Track preps for indoor championships

Wesley Kirchharr

Sports Editor

The Troy track and field team closed out its regular season by taking part in Samford’s Bulldog Invitational on Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex. In the final stretch before the Sun Belt Indoor Championships on Feb. 18, the Trojans broke several impressive feats, capping off a record setting regular season.

The meet featured talent from in-state programs such as Samford, UAB and South Alabama while also featuring competitors at the top of the regional level from South Florida, Southern and Kennesaw State.

Highlighting the Trojans on the track were Casimir Tawiah and Jordan Smith. Tawiah became the first Trojan to ever break the eight second mark in the 60-meter hurdles. The junior sprinter finished with a school record time of 7.96 seconds, good enough for the second-place spot in the meet, falling just shy of Kennesaw State’s Paris Williams who finished with a time of 7.93 seconds.

Smith improved on his record setting performance last meet by finishing the 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.76, landing him in the third-place spot at the invite. Smith was bested by Southern’s Canoy Tyree and South Alabama’s Larry Lombard, who ran a 1:52.08 and 1:52.46, respectively. 

Another record setter for Troy was distance runner Macki Walsh. The sophomore’s fourth place finish in the women’s 3000-meter, with a time of 10:09.58, outpaced any other Trojan in history, placing Walsh at the top of the Troy record books.

The Trojans also notched several second-place finishes, having three competitors land in the runner-up slot. The 400-meter duo of Madison Kennedy and Jordan McCleskey fell just shy of first place in the women’s and men’s races, respectively. Kennedy finished with a time of 56.43 while McCleskey posted a time of 49.50.

Precious Ogba’s 200-meter time of 24.27 seconds was one tenth of a second shy of the top spot, taken by Southern’s Ty’Juanna Eason. 

Gabrielle Henderson also scored for the Trojans on the track, notching a new personal best in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.56 seconds. Henderson is the second best in Troy’s history in the event and continues to inch closer to the top spot. 

Next, the Trojans are set to travel to New York City to compete in USA Indoor National Championships on Friday, Feb. 15. This championship comes days before the Sun Belt Conference Championships on the 18th of this month, hosted in Birmingham.

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