LEXINGTON, Va. - The VMI women's team set four school records, while James Granderson and the distance medley relay earned all-conference honors to pace the men's squad on the opening day of the 2018 SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championship, contested Saturday at the Corps Physical Training Facility in Lexington, Va. The Keydets will enter day two ranked fifth in the men's standings and sixth in the women's standings.
Granderson got the day off to a quality start early with perhaps the most startling effort of the day, a 7.11 meter (23'4") long jump effort. It was good for third place in the competition, was nearly half a meter over his previous personal best and was the best long jump by a VMI athlete since the 2013 outdoor season (Antonio Wood).
The Keydets also earned all-conference honors in the distance medley relay, where Josh Willard, Kevin Bishop, Jahanzib Shahbaz and Micah Ellington timed in at 10:14.92 and finished third.
Notable efforts in prelims Friday for the Keydet men included Lee Warren, who was fourth in the 60-hurdles (8.23), Levi Whitt, who placed fifth in the 60-meter dash (7.05), Andrew Gould's sixth-place effort in the 400 (49.92) and Josh Willard's seventh-place result in the 800 (1:56.61). All four will run in event finals Sunday.
In the men's team standings, the Keydets rank fifth with 12 points, ahead of Wofford, The Citadel and UNCG. Samford leads ETSU, 46-42, in the battle for first place.
On the women's side, Julia Logan and Kerisha Goode continued to lead the way as they have most of the season, but the DMR and others chipped in as well. Logan finished third in the pentathlon, breaking her own school record in two events in the process. She scored 3,433 overall points to best her mark in that event and also cleared 1.73 M/5'8" in the high jump to break the school record she set earlier this season.
Goode, meanwhile, set a new school record in the prelims of the 60 dash with a 7.62 second effort that made her the #3 qualifier to Sunday's final. Goode was also third in the 200 prelims (24.66), while Bria Anderson qualified to the ECAC Championships in the 60 dash with a 7.72 second effort and will advance to Sunday's action as well.
The other school record to fall to the Keydets Saturday was the women's DMR, as Logan Luckett, Julianne Knoblett, Christina Hill and Bethany King finished fourth in 12:09.71.
Other results saw Sarah Leckman earn all-freshman honors in the shot put with a sixth-place finish (12.46 M/40'10 3/4"), Ariana Ruffin go to the finals in the 400 (sixth/57.97) and King qualify to the mile finals with a seventh-place result (5:04.71).
As a team, the Keydets are sixth in the women's standings with 17 points. Samford leads the way with 83.5 points on the women's side.
"I'm pleased with our efforts today," said VMI head coach Darrin Webb. "Julia Logan and Kerisha Goode have been outstanding all season, and James Granderson stepped up in a big, big way. As a team, we have to continue to fight and claw for each place and each point tomorrow and get all we can. I believe our team, and our athletes, will do just that."
The 2018 SoCon Indoor Track and Field Championships begin their second and final day Sunday at 9:15 a.m.