Alabama senior long jumper Quanesha Burks has earned a spot on the Preseason Women's Bowerman Award Watch List, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday afternoon. The Bowerman Trophy is collegiate track and field's highest individual honor. This is Burks' third consecutive appearance on the Bowerman Watch List. Burks won the long jump at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the 2016 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, while finishing as the runner-up in the event at the 2016 outdoor championships. Burks also claimed long jump titles at the 2015 and 2016 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the 2016 SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships. Burks broke Alabama's 28-year-old school record in the outdoor long jump in 2015 with a leap of 21-9 (6.63 meters) at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla. She has gone on to record the top-10 outdoor long jump marks in Crimson Tide history and owns nine of the top-10 indoor marks as well. Joining Burks on the watch list are: Oregon's Raevyn Rogers, Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington; Georgia's Keturah Orji and Kendell Williams; Kentucky's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn; Ole Miss' Raven Saunders; Notre Dame's Molly Seidel and Arkansas' Lexi Weeks. Alabama opens the 2017 indoor season on Jan. 13-14 at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tenn.
Men: National runner-ups at last year's NCAA indoor competition, Arkansas' men's track and field team has been ranked as the fourth-best in the nation in the USTFCCCA 2017 preseason polls. The Razorbacks return seven indoor All-Americans from last season, including triple jump national champion Clive Pullen. Arkansas heads into this Friday's home opener as the third-highest ranked Southeastern Conference program. It is joined in the top five by No. 1 Florida and No. 3 LSU.
Women: The defending outdoor national champion Arkansas women's track and field team will embark on its 2017 indoor campaign as the No. 2-best team in the country. The USTFCCCA announced its preseason rankings Monday afternoon, which placed the Razorbacks as the most dominant Southeastern Conference team. Arkansas returns nine indoor All-Americans from last season, including national champion pole vaulter Lexi Weeks and national runner-up pentathlete Taliyah Brooks. About to embark on only her second indoor campaign as a Razorback, sophomore pole vaulter Lexi Weeks has been named to the 2017 Preseason Women's Bowerman Award Watch List. The USTFCCCA announced the top 10 early contenders on Wednesday afternoon prior to the new year's opening weekend of track and field competition.
Auburn track and field will open up the 2017 indoor season on Jan. 13 at the Commodore Invitational in Nashville, Tenn, joining SEC opponents Florida, LSU, Tennessee and Georgia. Men: For the 2017 season, the Tigers will return an experienced lineup that features 2016 Olympian Teray Smith (Bahamas) and four time outdoor All-American Kahlil Henderson. Newcomers O'Dean Skeen (60m), Akeem Bloomfield (400m). Raheem Chambers (60m) and Jaron Brooks (High Jump) will look to add an immediate boost to the lineup. Women: On the women's side, senior Marshay Ryan will look to improve upon her fifth place finish in the triple jump last season at the SEC Indoor Championships. A four time All-American finished ninth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the triple jump. In sprints, the Tigers return sophomore Jenae Ambrose, who finished 4th in the 200m at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships, Sashel Brown and Jonielle Smith. Transfer Sara Almen will join the Tiger high jumpers after competing at the 2016 Olympic qualifier.
The University of Florida track and field program enters the 2017 campaign with a pair of top-six teams, as its men are No. 1 and its women check in at No. 6 in Monday's (Jan. 9) USTFCCCA Preseason National Team Rankings. This is the second consecutive year and fourth time since 2011 UF's men open the season ranked No. 1. Both the 2011 and 2012 teams began the year ranked No. 1 and went on to win the NCAA Indoor Championships. Last year's team finished seventh at NCAA Indoors, but captured the program's sixth national title since 2010-more than any team in the country during that span-at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. UF's women also nabbed the No. 6 spot in last year's preseason rankings. It is the fifth consecutive top-10 preseason ranking for the Gators. Florida's men lead the nation with four returning times/marks that rank No. 1 nationally-Andres Arroyo (800 meters), KeAndre Bates (long jump), Grant Holloway (60-meter hurdles), 4x400 relay (Eric Futch, Kunle Fasasi). Only two other teams (Oregon, LSU) boast more than one-both have two Clayton Brown's season-opening high jump mark of 2.25 meters ranks third among all returners, giving UF a nation-leading five returning top-three times/marks. The Gators also see Ryan Clark (60 meters), Yanick Hart (60 hurdles), KeAndre Bates (triple jump) return top-10 times/marks, giving them a total of eight-which only trails Oregon (10) for the most nationally. Florida's women boast a pair of top-three returners in Darrielle McQueen (triple jump) and Yanis David (triple jump). The Gators also return a top-five times/marks from McQueen (long jump) and its 4x400 relay (Taylor Sharpe) and a top-10 time from Becky Greene (mile). The Gators opened their 2017 season this past Saturday (Jan. 7), with Holloway's stellar evening headlining a slew of notable performances from underclassmen.
Men: The Bulldogs started their 2017 indoor campaign with four collegiate victories and three improvements to the school's all-time top-10 list at the Orange & Purple Classic in Clemson, S.C., on Saturday. Senior captain Alex Poursanidis set the tone for his teammates by dropping a career best in the weight throw on his fifth attempt to win. Poursanidis shot to a lead in the SEC and second nationally with the fifth-best weight throw in school history with a mark of 69 feet, 10 1/2 inches. Two of the top performances for the Bulldogs came from student-athlete newcomers who did not win their events. All-American transfer Keenon Laine and true freshman Darius Carbin cleared 7-2.50 in the high jump to finish second and third, respectively. This was the top height by a Georgia high jumper since 1996. Senior Sid Vaughn began his final indoor season in the Red and Black by edging junior teammate Bryan Kamau for the win in the 3000-meter run. Vaughn ran an 8:25.58 to finish just ahead of Kamau (8:25.83). Ayrian Evans, Maurice Freeman, Reggie Glover and Jeramey Hampton combined to run a 3:12.21 to wrap up the day with a first-place finish in the 4x400m relay. Junior Henry Dwyer tallied another collegiate win after taking second overall in the mile with a time of 4:17.43. In rare runnings of the 300m and the 500m, Freeman clocked a 33.67 to take third in the aforementioned race while Evans was fourth in other showdown with a 1:04.24. Georgia will train through the weekend before traveling to the site of the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Quad Meet on January 21.
Women: The Lady Bulldogs finished their opener by bettering six spots in the school record books and registering nine collegiate wins. Junior Tatiana Gusin responded to a 2016 outdoor redshirt season to soar to the top of the world's 2017 high jump list with a 6 feet, 2 3/4 clearance in the high jump. This vaulted her into a tie for second in the school record books with three-time Olympian and Rio finalist Levern Spencer. Also of note, sophomore Mary Terry reached a personal-best mark of 5-8.75 to tie teammate Mady Fagan for fourth. The Lady Bulldogs posted an impressive 1-2 finish in the long jump, assuming the No. 2 and 3 spots on the national performance list. Defending NCAA indoor/outdoor triple jump champion Keturah Orji matched her personal record in the long with a third jump of 21-4.25, which is still No. 5 in the school record books. Hall opened with a mark of 21-3.25 to quickly take over the No. 5 spot on UGA's all-time top-10 list in her first official meet as a Lady Bulldog. Junior Aliyah Johnson still represented for Georgia in the triple with a performance of 42-7.50 that matched her personal best and put her at No. 3 on the national list. Hall was also third in the 60m (7.45) after running a 7.35 to win the prelims with the best time for UGA since 1999 (school record of 7.24 at 1999 NCAA Championships, Debbie Ferguson). In addition to the long jump, Orji ran the fastest time of her career in the 60m (7.53) in the prelims. Senior Kendell Williams, who is aiming to become the first competitor in history to win four NCAA pentathlon titles after setting collegiate records at the last three Nationals, ran the country's third-fastest 60m hurdle time (8.20) to win, reached 5-10.75 for third in the high jump and was fourth in the shot put (41-1.75). True freshmen twins led Georgia in first through fourth-place finishes in both the 3000m and the 5000m. In the 3000m, Jessica Drop ran a 9:41.43 to finish 10 seconds ahead of fellow freshman Yanely Gomez while in the 5000m, Sam Drop picked up a 34-second victory with a time of 17:06.68. Georgia also started with a first and second-place finish in the weight throw as senior Shelby Ashe went 65-9.50 and true freshman Beatrice Llano debuted with a 61-2 outing. Also, junior Emily Savage was the top collegiate finisher (third overall) in the pole vault after going over the bar at 12-5.50. The Lady Bulldogs also went 1-2 in the 800m with junior Devon Artis leading the way with a 2:12.61. The Georgia women will also travel to the Aggies' facility for their second of four regular season meets on January 21.
The Kentucky women's track and field team, which starts its season in earnest at home with this weekend's Kentucky Invitational, learned it begin the year at No. 8 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason computer rankings, which were released Monday. The Wildcats began the season in the preseason top-10 for the fourth season in a row. Kentucky is preseason No. 8 for the second year in a row, after starting ranked sixth the two seasons prior. The Wildcats return plenty of established national scorers for the 2017 season. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn enters her sophomore season as one of the nation's most heralded athletes. Said assertion was confirmed by her place on the Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List, announced last week. Perhaps flying more under the radar Sha'Keela Saunders, a four-time NCAA medalist - also appears poised for a quality season as she produced the best December indoor long jump in collegiate history last month. The likes of Javianne Oliver, Destiny Carter, Kianna Gray, Jacklyn Howell, Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile and countless more, in diverse events, also have marks contributing to this season's strong early ranking with plenty of more Wildcats currently or potentially able to score at the NCAA meet. Kentucky's men's team enters 2017 likely to be lead by senior Nick Anderson and junior Jacob Thomson. Anderson was SEC 110m hurdles bronze medalist, and NCAA silver medalist last year. Thomson claimed a SEC bronze indoors before going on to win the league 5k and 10k outdoors. Kentucky will begin 2017 at home with two-day meets each of the next two weeks. On Friday Kentucky will begin welcoming a broad field to the Kentucky Invitational, while next week the Wildcats will play host to one of the nation's most stacked fields for the 2017 McCravy Memorial, which will be shown streaming live on SEC Network+ via ESPN3 and WatchESPN.
Tonea Marshall was quick out of the blocks in her collegiate debut at Friday's Purple Tiger Invitational as the freshman from Arlington, Texas, won the women's 60-meter hurdles while running 8.29 seconds in her first collegiate final to highlight LSU's 2017 season opener at the Carl Maddox Field House. Marshall emerged as the sixth-fastest hurdler in the NCAA ranks in the early stages of the season as she followed her time of 8.40 in the prelims with a winning 8.29 in the final to win her first collegiate title. Marshall was not the only Lady Tiger to line up in Friday's final in the women's 60-meter hurdles as fellow freshman Brittley Humphrey trailed in third place with a season-opening time of 8.47 and junior Danielle Phillips followed in fourth place overall with a time of 8.52. Kortnei Johnson ran her fastest 60-meter race as a freshman last season when it counted the most as she crossed the finish line in 7.33 for sixth place in the final at the SEC Indoor Championships while making her conference debut. Johnson wasted no time in equaling her personal best in her first meet as a sophomore when she won the 60-meter title at the Purple Tiger Invitational while matching her PR of 7.33 in the final. Johnson was also the top qualifier in the preliminary round when she advanced with a time of 7.40 to win the second heat. She was followed across the line in the final by fellow sophomore Rachel Misher, who clocked a personal best of her own at 7.38 for second place in the final. Sophomore Jordan McClendon led a host of six Lady Tigers kicking off Friday's action in the early field events by winning the women's weight throw title in her LSU debut, and she did so by cracking the school's all-time Top 10 performance list in the event with a winning mark of 58 feet, 6 ¾ inches on her sixth and final throw of the day. McClendon, who owns a personal best of 62-1 in the event from her freshman season at Tulane a year ago, ended the meet as the No. 10-ranked Lady Tiger all-time to ever compete in the weight-throw event. Not only did senior Blair Henderson and sophomore Dajour Braxton open their indoor seasons with wins, but they did so while setting new indoor personal bests as Henderson won the mile in 4:08.99 and Braxton followed with a victory in the 3,000 meters in 8:21.12 to highlight an outstanding opening meet for LSU's distance group. The Tigers and Lady Tigers combined for 14 event wins in their season opener last week. They continue their season with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, this weekend where they will compete at the Commodore Invitational running Friday and Saturday at the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility.
The Ole Miss track & field teams will kick off their indoor season this weekend at the Commodore Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee. Ole Miss will look to build on the momentum from head coach Connie Price-Smith's first season at the helm in 2016 when the Rebels tied a school record with six indoor All-Americans and then shattered a school record with 13 outdoor All-Americans, including NCAA champion, shot put record holder and Bowerman finalist Raven Saunders. The men had their best SEC indoor showing in program history (third place with a school-record 80.5 team points) and tied for their second-best SEC outdoor performance (fifth place). The Rebels also had a breakthrough 2016 cross country season, with the men finishing fourth nationally and the women 23rd, both program bests. Women: The Rebels are 21st in the preseason USTFCCCA rankings and will look for leadership from returning All-Americans Raven Saunders (throws), Nicole Henderson (sprints), Lindsey Murray (pole vault), Shannon Ray (sprints) and Breanna Tate (sprints). The Ole Miss women tied for 22nd at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships and finished 11th at the SEC outdoor meet and 14th at the SEC indoor meet. Saunders had a sophomore season for the ages as she broke both the indoor and outdoor collegiate shot put records, won the NCAA outdoor shot put title, indoor and outdoor SEC shot put crowns, and was one of three female finalists for the Bowerman Award. Shortly after her 20th birthday, she qualified for Team USA at the Olympic Trials and surged all the way to a fifth-place showing in the shot put at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is the Rebels' first Olympian returning for a collegiate season since men's sprinter Isiah Young was a London Olympian in 2012 and a senior at Ole Miss in 2013. Other returning athletes who look to lead the way this year include distance runners Emily Bean, Shelby Brown and Mary Alex England. Freshman jumper Kaira Simmons, pole vaulters Sandra Brown and Nicole Kallenberger, and JUCO National Athlete of the Year and multi-national champion thrower Janeah Stewart are expected to contribute immediately. Men: The Rebels are coming off one of the best track seasons in school history after finishing third at the 2016 SEC Indoor Championships (tied for best in program history) and fifth at the SEC outdoor meet (tied for second-best in program history), while they placed just outside the top 25 nationally indoors (T-27th) and outdoors (T-26th). First team All-Americans in 2016 who return this season include Robert Domanic (DMR, 1500m), Craig Engels (DMR, 1500m), MJ Erb (steeplechase), Derek Gutierrez (DMR), Dempsey McGuigan (hammer throw) and Sean Tobin (DMR). One second team All-American returns, Branden Greene (outdoor high jump). Ole Miss won its third straight SEC indoor title in the DMR last year, while sweeping the men's distance races at the SEC indoor meet - Domanic in the mile and graduated Ryan Walling in the 3000m and 5000m. Outdoor SEC champions were Engels in the 1500m and Greene in the high jump. Other veterans expected to lead the way in 2017 include distance runners Wesley Gallagher, Trevor Gilley and Ryan Manahan, as well as thrower Kevin Conway. JUCO transfer Brian Williams was a national champion in the discus and will also contribute in the other throws.
Mississippi State kicks off the 2017 track and field season this Friday at the Blazer Invite in Birmingham, Alabama. The event is hosted by UAB and will feature 26 running events Friday along with 12 field events on Saturday. The Bulldogs return 32 competitors from last year's squad which made it to nationals in Eugene, Oregon during the outdoor season and saw two more Bulldogs take home national titles in Curtis Thompson (Javelin) and Marta Freitas (1500m). Thompson enters his junior season at Mississippi State as one of the most accomplished athletes in school history, and was named to the Bowman award watchlist last week. The award is presented to the nation's best athlete in the sport of track and field. It is the third-consecutive season MSU coach Steve Dudley has had an athlete on the watch list. For more information on the track and field program, follow the team on Twitter, like them on Instagram and join them on Facebook by searching @HailStateTF.
Mizzou opened the 2017 indoor track & field season at the Border Battle on Jan. 7, competing against Iowa and Illinois in Iowa City, Iowa. In all, nine Tigers registered top-three finishes, including first place finishes from senior LaQuisha Jackson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) in the 60m dash and redshirt sophomore Gabi Jacobs (Bloomington, Ill.) in the shot put. Jackson, who already owns the 60m dash indoor school record, finished first at the Border Battle in the 60m dash with a time of 7.42. The time was just .01 slower than her best 2016 indoor time of 7.41 and .11 slower than her school record time of 7.31. Jacobs set her personal record in the shot put with the first place finish, recording a throw of 14.88m (48-10). The throw is her best shot put throw, regardless of indoor or outdoor, surpassing her previous best indoor throw of 13.40m (43-11.75) and her best outdoor throw of 14.68m (48-2). Sophomore Maya Cody (St. Louis, Mo.) recorded a personal best time with a second place finish in the 60m dash with a time of 7.48. Cody, who already holds the second fastest 60m time in school history, improved her best mark by .06 after posting a time of 7.54 at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge on Feb. 19. Freshman Karina Liz (Aurora, Ill.) and redshirt Samantha Farmer (Columbia, Mo.) each impressed in their Tiger debuts, recording top-five finishes in their respective events. Liz finished second in the 600m run with a time of 1:37.11, while Farmer finished fifth in the mile run with a time of 5:12.87. For the Tiger men, redshirt junior Cain Winebrenner (Kansas City, Mo.), redshirt junior Ben Goodman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and redshirt senior Ahren Bohanan (St. Charles, Mo.) each recorded top-three finishes to open the season. Winebrenner finished second in the 600m run with a time of 1:20.76, while Goodman finished third in the mile run with a time of 4:14.81 and Bohanan finished third in the weight throw with a throw of 17.32m (56-10).
The South Carolina Gamecocks open their 2017 season on Saturday, January 14 when they head upstate for the Clemson Invitational. The meet begins at 11 a.m. Inside of the Clemson Indoor Complex. Joining the Gamecocks and host Clemson at the event are Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville, Johnson C. Smith, North Florida, North Carolina A&T and Southern Wesleyan. Four Gamecocks return to the squad in 2017 after finishing last year as NCAA Indoor All-Americans. Natasha Dicks (Triple Jump) and Briana Haith (400m) both earned the honor on the women's side, while Ncincilili Titi (200m) and David Winters (200m) grabbed indoor laurels for the men's squad. Both Haith and Titi were also Indoor All-Americans in 2015. Several more Gamecock veterans have earned Indoor All-America accolades in previous seasons, including Tyler Brockington, Marisa Bellamy, Precious Holmes and Jussi Kanervo. All four are back in the fold and looking to achieve greatness again in 2017. Last but not least, several Outdoor All-Americans return from a very successful 2016 NCAA Championships. On the women's side, Brockington (400m Hurdles, 4x400m), Holmes (4x400m), Aliyah Abrams (400m, 4x400m), Natasha Dicks (Triple Jump) and Shelby Freedman (Javelin) were honored at outdoor nationals last season. For the men, Kanervo (400m Hurdles) and Josh Awotunde (Shot Put) grabbed outdoor laurels a season ago. Carolina returns to the Clemson Indoor Complex for the first time since 2015, when they ran in both the Orange and Purple Classic and the Bob Pollock Invitational. Among current Gamecocks, Tyler Brockington had the most success at the 2015 Orange and Purple Classic, as she won the women's 200m dash. Briana Haith finished second in the women's 400m dash, and the duo combined to lead Carolina to the women's 4x400m relay victory. On the men's side, Jussi Kanervo and Ryan Bermudez were part of the winning 4x400m relay team, while Isaiah Moore finished second in long jump and Richard Fish placed runner-up in pole vault. Overall, Carolina won 11 events at the meet, which opened the 2015 indoor campaign. The Gamecocks returned to Clemson for the Bob Pollock Invitational, held Jan. 23-24, 2015. Markus Leemet scored a dominating win in the heptathlon, and Fish placed second in the pole vault. South Carolina stretches out into their first multi-day competition of the season next week, as they participate in the Vanderbilt Invitational. The event runs Jan. 20-21 in Nashville, Tenn., and it's a preview of the 2016 SEC Indoor Championship, which will be held at the same facility Feb. 24-25.
Tennessee won 12 events and posted 34 top three finishes in their first competition of the 2017 season. The Vols fell to Indiana on both the men's and women's sides in a dual meet at Gladstein Fieldhouse. Tennessee notched one building record and two meet records and posted six marks which ranked in the top five in the country so far this season. The day ended on a high note for the Vols as the 4x400m team of Ari Cogdell, Christian Coleman, Nathan Strother and Mustaqeem Williams posted a time of 3:10.25, the top mark in the country this year. The quartet surpassed Texas A&M's 4x400m time of 3:10.72 as the fastest recorded so far this year. Coleman continued his great performances in the 200m as he won the competition by setting a facility record of 20.86 seconds. That mark was the second fastest 200m so far this year, .01 seconds from the top spot in the country. He is one of only two people in the country to post a time under 21 seconds this year. The Vols excelled in the other sprinting events as Mustaqeem Williams tied for the fourth fastest 60m mark in the country this year. The Vols were dominant in the 400m competition as Strother and Cogdell posted two of the top four times in the country. Strother finished in 47.67 and Cogdell crossed the line in 47.71 to take the first two spots in the dual meet. On the women's side, Shania Collins and Maia McCoy dominated the women's sprinting events as the two of them set multiple PR's and went 1-2 in both the 60m and 200m dashes. Collins won the event with a time of 7.41 which equaled the meet record with Sue Walton who set the mark for UT in 1995. Collins and McCoy were at it again in the 200m as Collins set a PR of 23.63 to win the event, followed by McCoy's personal best of 24.01. Stamatia Scarvelis won two events for the Vols as she claimed the weight throw and shot put crowns. Scarvelis posted a PR with the fourth best mark in school history at 19.05m as Tennessee took the top three spots in the weight throw. Savannah Marlow notched second and moved from eighth to sixth in the school record book with a throw of 18.25m. Candice Butler was the third Vol to set a PR with a mark of 17.55m. Scarvelis followed that performance by claiming the shot put title with a mark of 16.03m which finished as the sixth best mark in school history as she set a PR, improving from her 15.21m distance in December. That mark also ranks in the top five in the NCAA Division I this year.
The Aggies host two meets this weekend with the Aggie Team Invitational on Friday and the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Saturday. Three schools in the Saturday meet - Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor - rank among the top 40 in the preseason edition of the USTFCCCA national team computer rankings. Schools in the Saturday team scored meet include Abilene Christian, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State, UT Arlington and UTSA. Competing in Friday's meet are Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Prairie View A&M, Sam Houston St., Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas Southern, UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, and UT Rio Grande Valley. Men: Fred Kerley set a meet record in the December Reveille Invitational hosted by Texas A&M as he won the 200m in 20.85 seconds. A meet record was established by freshman Devin Dixon over 1,000m as he clocked 2:24.82. Another leading collegiate mark early in the indoor season campaign included the 4x400 relay (3:10.72) of Deon Hickey, Kerley, Bryce Deadmon and Richard Rose. Women: Jazmine Fray's school record over 1,000m highlighted Aggie performances at the Reveille Invitational in December. Fray posted a time of 2:43.15 that bettered the Texas A&M record of 2:49.01 set in 2003 as well as the Gilliam Indoor facility record of 2:46.51 set in 2009. Leading marks for the early portion of the indoor season were established by Diamond Spaulding in the 200m (23.37) along with the 4x400 relay (3:36.10) of Jaevin Reed, Kadecia Baird, Danyel White and Glorilisha Carter.
Vanderbilt will host a field of 19 schools at the Commodore Invitational this weekend in Nashville. Seven other schools in the conference, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee will be competing at the meet. The Commodore Invitational will mark the team's first competition since the Vanderbilt Indoor Opener on Dec. 3. Among the highlights of that meet included a first-place finish in the 1-mile run for senior Courtney Clayton with a time of 4:51.57 and freshman Caleigh Lofstead posting a new personal-best height of 13' 5.25" in the pole vault. Lofstead's mark is tied-for-first nationally with Samantha Tollerud (Kent State) and Kathryn Tomczak (Air Force). Senior Sarah Bell's height of 13' 1.5" in the meet also ranks fifth nationally in the pole vault. The Commodores also came away from the weekend with three athletes ranking among the Top-10 on VU's all-time performer's list. Lofstead now ranks second all-time in program history for pole vault, fellow freshman pole-vaulter Margaret Ollinger ranks fifth on the list with a height of 12' 3.5", and Sarah Goodale set a new PR and now ranks sixth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.85 seconds.