Johnston and Goode Lead Keydets on Day One at SoCon's
Courtesy: Southern Conference

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Elizabeth Johnston finished second in the discus and sixth in the hammer, while Kerisha Goode reset the school record in the 100-meter dash for the second consecutive meet to lead VMI women's track and field on the opening day of the Southern Conference Outdoor Championships, contested Thursday in Birmingham, Ala.

Out of the event finals contested Thursday, Johnston was the clear standout for the Keydets. Competing in her final collegiate meet, she posted the third-best discus effort in school history, a 43.09 M/141'4" toss that gave her a runner-up finish. It was the highest final by a Keydet woman in a conference throwing event since Renee Reives finished second in the outdoor shot put at the 2015 SoCon meet.

Johnston also finished sixth in the hammer with a personal best effort of 45.94 M/150'9", helping the Keydets sit fourth after day one. VMI has 27 points, six points ahead of The Citadel and nine more than ETSU. Mercer (17) and UNCG (four) round out the team standings, which are led by Samford (152), Western Carolina (107) and Furman (43).

Among running event preliminary results, Goode led the way for the Keydets with an impressive 11.69 time that was good for the third-fastest qualifying time. It was three-tenths faster than any VMI woman had ever run in the event, after Goode has become the first VMI runner to break 12 seconds just eight days ago at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier.

Yaa Agyepong-Wiafe also broke 12 seconds in the event Thursday, timing in at 11.91 to qualify sixth and Mia McClain advanced as well, finishing ninth (12.08).

Other finals Thursday included Julia Logan finishing fifth in the high jump (1.63 M/5'4 1/4") and Bria Anderson placing sixth in the long jump with a best effort of 5.79 M/19'0". Bethany King was eighth in the 10K (40:09.89), and Tiffany Quick joining Johnston with quality results in the throwing events. Quick was sixth in the shot (12.27 M/40'3 1/4") and discus (40.68 M/133'5").

In other prelim results, Goode and McClain advanced in the 200, with Goode breaking her own school record. She timed in at 24.17 for the #4 qualifying spot, while McClain was ninth in 24.92. Agyepong-Wiafe was the second-fastest qualifier in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.74.

Finally, Brenea Thomas is fifth in the heptathlon after four events, having recorded 2,524 points.

"I was pleased with our opening day," said VMI head coach Darrin Webb. "Elizabeth Johnston was outstanding, and this was an incredible way for her to finish up a career in which she's shown great improvement throughout. In the prelims today, we were able to advance several competitors and saw great times. We are in good position going into tomorrow's events."

The 2017 SoCon Championships resume at 8:45 a.m. Friday in Birmingham.

Women's results – Day 1
1. Samford – 152 points
2. Western Carolina – 107
3. Furman – 43
4. VMI – 27
5. The Citadel – 21
6. ETSU – 18
7. Mercer – 17
8. UNCG – 4
T9. Chattanooga – 0
T9. Wofford – 0

Women's All-Freshman – Day 1
10,000 meters
Grace Dwyer, Furman
Anna Hayden, Furman
Jennifer Stephenson, Furman

Women's hammer throw
Jess Page, The Citadel
Maggie Johnston, Samford
Amy Yarborough, Western Carolina

Women's long jump
Jazmine Gooden, Western Carolina
Erin Hines, Samford

Women's javelin
Erin Hines, Samford
Emily Kirk, VMI
Amy Yarborough, Western Carolina

Women's 3,000-meter steeplechase
Gabrielle Jennings, Furman
Emma Grace Hurley, Furman
Anna Grzeszczak, Mercer

Women's high jump
Charlotte Krause, Samford
Cecilia Piscetelli, Western Carolina

Women's discus throw
Maggie Johnston, Samford
Jess Page, The Citadel
Amy Yarborough, Western Carolina

Women's triple jump
Ationza Smith, ETSU
Charlotte Krause, Samford

Women's shot put
Tiffany Dunham, Western Carolina
Rachel Rouse, Western Carolina
Amy Yarborough, Western Carolina