Hokies deliver strong performances on first Friday of outdoor season

By | March 26, 2022
RALEIGH, NC and COLUMBIA, SC – Tech’s track and field squads posted solid results and impressive performances at the Raleigh Relays and the Weems Baskin Invitational as the Hokies kicked off their outdoor season in style.

Essence Henderson kicked off outdoor competition for the Hokies, first finishing as the No. 4 collegian in the Raleigh Relays’ shot put with her throw of 15.66m (51′ 4.5″) Thursday morning. Then on Friday, Henderson exploded in the discus competition, launching a throw 53.39m (175′ 2″) to earn the victory as the top collegian in the event.

Tech athletes also delivered strong results in the distance competitions at the Raleigh Relays. on Thursday night, Seb Anthony punched the clock at 3:44.79 in the 1500m, while Ben Fleming dazzled in the 5,000m with his new lifetime best time of 13:57.73, moving him into the No. 5 spot in the Hokies’ record book.

Joining the throwers and distance runners at NC State’s Raleigh Relays was the sprints group, as hurdlers Matt Mitchell, Sam McLendonand Layla Anderson started their outdoor season well. Mitchell finished fifth in the 110m hurdles with a lifetime best time of 14.08w (No. 4 all-time at Virginia Tech), and McLendon followed just behind in eighth with his time of 14.12 (No. 6 all-time at Virginia Tech) . Anderson posted a PR of 14.22w in the 100m hurdles as the trio handled the barriers well at their first outdoor meet of the season.

Cole Beck began his quest to defend his 100m ACC title on Friday, finishing second in the event at the Raleigh Relays with a statement opening time of 10.15w. freshman Torrence Walker also delivered a strong performance, running a lifetime best 10.46w to win his heat.

Three Hokies ran the 400m outdoors for the first time this season, as Kennedy Harrison paced Tech’s sprinters with an outdoor PR of 47.30 seconds. Kahleje Tillmon followed with his outdoor career best of 47.32, and Tyreke Sapp crossed the line in 47.93.

At the Weems Baskin Invitational, jumpers and multi athletes kicked off their outdoor competition with a bang. Sean Murphy punched in a massive personal best in the javelin, throwing the implement 54.59m (179′ 1″) at the meet in South Carolina.

Caleb Stephens put together the best long jump of his life so far, flying 7.39m (24′ 3″) to take second in the invitational edition of the event. Hailey Huston Myles finished first with her lifetime best jump of 5.96m (19′ 6.75″), and on the men’s side E.J. Bell debuted in the event, posting a leap of 7.11m (23′ 4″) in his first collegiate long jump competition.

Action resumes tomorrow morning at 10 AM in both Raleigh and Columbia, as Khalil Bedoui throws hammer at the Raleigh Relays and a quartet of decathletes throw discus at the Weems Baskin Invitational. Hokies will compete at 1 PM in the Texas Relays as Rachel Baxter and Julia Fixsen go up against the top talents in the nation.

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