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Byrd Sets School Record at Joey Haines Invite

Tyler Owens, Nichyria Byrd
Tyler Owens, Nichyria Byrd

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The SIUE track and field teams had a successful weekend at the Joey Haines Invite behind Nichyria Byrd's record setting long jump performance.

"This meet was a success," said SIUE Head Coach Scott Block. "As anticipated, many of the athletes showed that they were adjusted to the outdoor season and had outstanding weekends."

On Byrd's second long jump attempt, she broke the SIUE women's long jump school record. Her leap of 19 feet, 11.25 inches would have qualified for last season's NCAA West Regionals.

"Nichyria is on a roll this season," SIUE Assistant Coach Joey Pacione added. "The number one factor in great long jumping is speed and she has learned how to call upon it consistently. Her future is very bright."

The other SIUE jumpers also had a successful day at the track. Deborrah Blackburn won the women's high jump with a mark of 5-05. Justin White placed third in the men's high jump (6'-2.75") and also placed third while setting a personal record in the long jump (21-11). In the men's triple jump, Julian Harvey placed second (49-7), DeVonte Tincher fourth (45-4.5), Logan Webb fifth (44-8.75) and Dalton Oakes sixth (43-6).

"The jumpers had an excellent day," Pacione said. "Justin made breakthroughs in the long jump and high jumps with his aggressiveness and it paid off with PRs. We changed the width of Deborrah's long jump approach, and it worked wonders for her."

In the throwing events, Lizzie Virgl placed second in the women's hammer throw (182-10). In the women's shot put, both Claire Nolan and Lauren White won their heats. Nolan (44-3.25) ended up placing fourth and White (36-3.5) eleventh. Martinus Mitchell finished third in the men's shot put with a mark of 54-6.75. John Barnes threw a PR throw of 156-1 in the men's discus.

The SIUE sprinters ran well this weekend with Collin Brown placing fourth (22.76) in the men's 200m and Ivory Cassell took fifth (12.58) in the women's 100m.

Aly Goff had a solid weekend, placing second (4:44.13) in the women's 1500m and fourth (2:21.85) in the 800m, setting her outdoor PR. Liam O'Connell took third (4:05.67) in the men's 1500m.

The Cougars took five athletes to the Washington University Invite Friday to take place in their 10K. For the women, Allie Sweatt ran a time of 36:59.31, which is good for fourth all-time in SIUE history and fourth best at the meet. Jess Clarke finished 10th with a time of 38:02.51 and Keri Burmester's time was 39:32.89. For the men, Austin Woodard ran a time of 31:26.00 and Tyler Owen 32:12.23.