LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska record book was rewritten for the second straight week during the first day of the 36th Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational. Chantae McMillan scored 4,378 points in the women’s pentathlon to break the Nebraska record and post the fifth-best score all-time by a collegiate athlete.
McMillan made a strong case for the meet’s most valuable performer with her school-record, as she broke Ashley Selig’s 2006 record of 4,336 points. A senior from Rolla, Mo., McMillan automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships with the score and moved to second on the 2011 NCAA list behind Oregon’s Brianna Theisen, who recently set the NCAA record in the pentathlon with a score of 4,507 points at the UW Invitational. On her way to breaking the school record, McMillan set personal bests in the 60 hurdles (8.63) and 800 meters (2:24.97), while also tying her best in the high jump (5-7).
Freshman Mara Griva captured her third meet title of the season with a personal-best leap of 20-9 ¼. The jump bettered her previous best of 20-8 ½ and moved the Ventspils, Latvia, native from No.12 on the NCAA list to a tie for the No. 4 spot with TCU’s Whitney Gipson. Griva’s win was the first for a Husker in the event at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational since 2004 when Kwonya Ferguson won the Huskers’ third straight meet title after Ineta Radevica won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.
Chris Phipps then completed the sweep of the long jump for the Huskers with a personal-best jump of 25-8 ¼, betting his previous best of 25-6 ¼. Phipps’ win marked the fourth straight year that a Husker has won the men’s long jump with Nicholas Gordon winning in 2008 and 2009, while Bobby Carter took the meet title as a freshman last season. Gordon finished runner-up to Phipps with a leap of 25-5 1/2.
Natalie Willer successfully defended her meet title in the women’s pole vault for the second straight year with a winning vault of 14-0. The senior co-captain tried to break her own school record of 14-3 ¼ with tries at 14-4, but was unable to clear. Willer has already secured a spot at the NCAA Championships after clearing 14-1 ¼ twice this season.
Teran Walford started the men’s heptathlon with three personal bests, including the 60 meters (7.32), long jump (21-4 ¾) and shot put (39-7 ¾), with his throw in the shot put breaking his previous best of 37-7 ¼ by over two feet. Walford finished day one with 2,279 points and sits in second place to Rice’s Clayton Chaney (2,879). Walford and the rest of the field will finish the heptathlon tomorrow with the 60-hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters.
The Huskers will be back at the Devaney Center for the second day of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational starting at 10 a.m. with the men’s heptathlon 60 hurdles. The field and running events will start at Noon with the women’s shot put and mile.