Saunders Takes Two at UMass Saturday
The Central Connecticut women's track and field team placed sixth out of 11 teams at the UMass Inviational in Amherst, MA on Saturday. Junior Ronea Saunders led CCSU with two first-place performances.
Saunders placed first in both the high jump and the long jump event. The CCSU high jump record-holder jumped 1.71 meters on Saturday in the events. In the long jump, Saunders posted a career-best leap of 5.45m en route to the gold.
Freshman Melissa Wolliston also competed in the long jump. In her first collegiate attempt in the event, Wolliston jumped 4.82m for 14th place.
Wolliston also sprinted for CCSU Saturday. She was the first Blue Devil to cross the line in the 100m hurdles with her career-best time of 15.10, good for sixth. She also raced the 400m hurdles in which she finished fifth overall with her career-best time of 1:07.34. Sophomore Alyssa Gonzalez topped Wolliston in the 400m hurdles, claiming the silver in the event with her own career-best race of 1:03.54.
Gonzalez finished behind Wolliston in the 100m hurdles with her career-best time of 15.52, good for ninth. She also raced the 200m dash and was the first Blue Devil to cross the line. She finished eighth in 25.56 for another career-best mark.
Freshman Sherise Truman also performed well in the sprint events. She raced career-best marks in both the 100m and 200m with times of 12.69 and 26.08, respectively. She finished ninth out of 30 sprinters in the 100m and 11th of 43 competitors in the 200m.
In the distance events, sophomore Ally Gates earned the bronze in the 5,000m run with her first career appearance in the event. Gates crossed the line in 18:10.22, ahead of freshman Brandy LeClair (10th, 19:12.82) and junior Shannon McBride (12th, 19:25.17).
Central posted another top-ten performance in the 800m run when junior Taylor LePage crossed the line in 2:18.78 for 10th place overall. She was followed by freshman Jazmin Booker in a season-best time of 2:23.80 and freshman Paxton McNierney (2:34.48) in her first appearance in the event.
In the 1,500m run, freshman Brittany Mendelson was the highest-finishing Blue Devil in her first career attempt at the race. She finished 15th overall with her time of 4:47.09. She was followed by McBride, who finished in a career-best 4:56.68.
Sophomore Chelse Terry performed exceptionally well in the discus throw, registering a season-best distance of 41.10m for the silver. She also competed in the hammer throw (8th, 37.90m) and the shot put (14th, 10.81m).
Central tallied 53 team points for sixth place. Boston College claimed first with 157 points, followed by UMass (151.66). Northeastern finished third with 114.50 and Holy Cross (102.50) and UConn (56.60) rounded out the top five.
The Blue Devils will return to action this Friday, April 18, when they travel to Princeton for a two-day competition.