WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The 2017 ASUN Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships got underway on Thursday with Kennesaw State taking the early lead in the team event ahead of Jacksonville and North Florida. The Owls took the lead after placing the top-two athletes in the Women's Pentathlon.
Jordan Gray completed her personal trifecta winning the pentathlon event for the third consecutive season. The Ball Ground, Ga. native posted a new ASUN Indoor Track and Field Championship record with 4,015 points. She finished the hurdles in 8.73, before clearing 1.65m in the high jump event. After leading the field with a 13.57m shot put, Gray scored 771 points in the long jump with a leap of 5.74m.
After running the final event, the 800m, in 2.28.07, Gray was crowned the ASUN Indoor Track and Field Pentathlon champion for the third-straight season. Her total of 4,015 is good for 11th in the NCAA this season in the pentathlon. Her teammate Shakedra Robinson and Jacksonville's Emily Myslinski also placed on the podium in the opening event of the 2017 Championship.
Kennesaw State's women claimed first place in two of the three major field events in day one, taking top marks in the pole vault and the long jump. Erica Sergeant led the way with a clearance of 3.69m, falling just short of the ASUN best height she took at the Crimson Elite earlier this season. Her teammate Rachel Sherrill took third on the day at 3.54m while North Florida vaulter Louisa Washburn grasped the silver with a 3.54m of her own, earning the tiebreaker with Sherrill after clearing the bar on her first attempt.
The Owls swept the top three spots of the long jump as Gray climbed the podium for the second time this Thursday. Her leap of 5.79m was good for second on the day, trailing only teammate Morgan Campbell for the top spot at 5.81m. Jacksonville took the top two spots of the women's shot put with Noelle Parker claiming the furthest distance in the ASUN indoor season, tossing 14.05m from the circle.
Eden Meyer of North Florida set a new ASUN Championship record with her 9:37.09 pace in the 3000m to beat the rest of the field by 25 seconds. Her time is the second fastest in the conference all year, trailing only her facility record performance at the Samford Invitational two weeks ago (9:31.16). KSU's Kidan Kidane (10:02.68) and UNF's Brittany Lang (10:05.76) rounded out the top-three.
Jacksonville's Jacquelyn Baldwin set the fastest time in the 60m dash preliminaries, beating her ASUN best time of 7.50 at a pace of 7.45 in heat one of Thursday's qualifying races. Kennesaw State's Jocselyn Powell ran the fastest prelim 60m hurdles at a time of 8.36, to set a new program record and enter day two as the top qualifier in the event.
In the final event of the evening, the women's Distance Medly Relay saw a fierce battle. The teams finished in the order of Jacksonville, North Florida, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, NJIT, and USC Upstate. Upon review by officials, it was determined the first five teams completed the final leg of the race one lap too short. The Games Committee determined places would be accepted as they stood, with no results for times for all teams, with the exception of USC Upstate.
At the end of day one Kennesaw State holds a first place lead with 96 points, edging second place Jacksonville by 60 total. Day two of the 12th annual ASUN Indoor Track and Field Championship gets back in action at 10:00 AM Friday morning, beginning with the final three events of the men's heptathlon.