JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An experienced senior core would have a great final outdoor conference meet to lead the JU track & field team to its sixth consecutive A-Sun Championship on Saturday at UNF’s Hodges Stadium.
After coming into the day in third place, the Dolphins picked up 10 victories, including four from the seniors, to finish with 243 points ahead of UNF (158) and Kennesaw State (151). JU also tied the conference record for consecutive titles with former in-state rival UCF, who won sixth from 2000-05.
Junior Stacey Young earned “Most Outstanding Performer” honors after winning three events on Saturday. Senior Unique Singleton was the “Most Outstanding Track Performer” and senior Ronnisha Hall rounded out the meet strong to receive “Most Outstanding Field Performer” accolades. Head coach Ron Grigg took home “Coach of the Year” honors for the sixth straight season.
“There were so many great performances and stories, but the seniors carried the day for sure,” said Grigg. I’m so proud to watch them conclude their A-Sun career in a fashion that will make all JU supporters proud.
“From unseeded Sara Schunter finishing fourth in the discus to Louise Kiernan overcoming injury to run three great races today to Ronnisha Hall dominating four separate throwing events to Stacey Young winning two hurdle wins and a triple jump win to Unique Singleton with a scorching 200-meter run to Bienna Freeman with a front running school and conference record in the 800-meter, the list goes on and on.”
After finishing second in the long jump on Friday, Young picked up victories in the 100-meter hurdles (13.53) and the triple jump (40’0”).
Young won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 14.11, while senior J’Zotta Rolle (1:01.56) and junior Alana Walker (1:02.93) took second and third, respectively. Rolle also took third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.11
In the sprints, senior Louise Kiernan won the 100-meter with a time of 11.55. Singleton (23.25), senior Danielle Davenport (23.66) and Kiernan (23.67) combined to finish 1-2-3 in the 200-meter.
In the 4×400-meter relay, Davenport, Singleton, senior J’Zotta Rolle and sophomore Bienna Freeman broke the meet and Hodges stadium mark with a time of 3:40.69 to win the event. Davenport, Kiernan, Singleton and freshman Sarah Mecklenburg took first in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 45.60.
Freeman also won in the 800-meter with a meet, school and stadium record time of 2:07.87.
Sophomore Akeela Bravo won the discus with a toss of 141’11”, while Hall was second with a 134’7” and third in the javelin (118’9”) to close out the meet.
Sophomore Joanne Pierre took first in the 1,500-meter (4:33.89) to round out the top finishes and second in the 800-meter with a time of 2:10.92.
Earlier in the day, sophomore Rayanna Johnson won the long jump heptathlon with a leap of 17’1.5” en route to a second place finish with 4,330 points. Walker stayed in fourth in the heptathlon after finishing with 4,195 points.
Other conference scorers included sophomore Morgan Keel finishing second in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:48.10. Sophomore Sara Schunter was fourth in the discus (134’7”), while junior Amalia Vogler was fourth in the 800-meter with a time of 2:14.01. Freshman Svenja Meyer ran a time of 11:11.20 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish third.
The Dolphins will go back to training for the next two weeks before competing at the Penn Relays on April 28th in Philadelphia, Pa.