LEXINGTON, Va. – Hosting the Southern Conference Indoor Championships for a second straight year, the VMI track and field teams got off to a good start Saturday at the Corps Physical Training Facility.
Between the two VMI squads, over three dozen Keydets earned season-best times or marks. Both VMI teams are presently in sixth place in their respective standings after day one.
Five-time defending men’s champion Western Carolina totaled 50.5 points on day one of the championship meet to put it comfortably in front of ETSU, which won three events and totaled 33 points, and The Citadel and Furman, who had 31 apiece. Samford is just a half-point back in fifth place, with VMI (12), Wofford (four) and UNCG (three) rounding out the team scoring.
On the women’s side, three-time defending champion Samford totaled 69 points for a 16-point lead over Western Carolina (53). Furman is third with 34 points, followed by ETSU (30), Wofford (22), VMI (16), Chattanooga (eight) and The Citadel (two). Samford and Furman won two events each on the opening day.
“I am pleased with the athletes who were able to advance to the finals and scored team points today, but we also have 4-6 more athletes that were right on the bubble of advancing,” said VMI head coach Darrin Webb. “It was great to have Sarah Leckman get on the podium in the shot put and to qualify for the ECAC championships. Many others did well, but a couple other performances that standout are Eliza Brooks running a school record in the women’s 400, and Ariana Ruffin advancing to both the 200 and 400 finals.”
Leckman placed second in the women's shot put after throwing a distance of 13.50 meters (44' 3.5").
Brooks also placed second in the 400-meter preliminaries with a school record time of 57.10 seconds, beating the former record held by Chandale Williams who registered a 57.29 back in 2009. Ruffin came in fourth with a time of 57.90 seconds to advance to the finals and placed seventh in the 200-meter preliminaries in 25.49 seconds to advance in that event, as well.
Daniel Usher placed eighth in the men's shot put to earn a team point as he recorded a distance of 14.57 meters (47'9.75").
Griffin Kowal and Andrew Arlint tied for fifth in the men's pole vault as both achieved a height of 4.55 meters (14'11").
The SoCon Championships resume Sunday with the continuation of the heptathlon at 9 a.m.
Live results, daily recaps and photos can be found at SoConSports.com.
Men’s results – Day 1
1. Western Carolina – 50.5 points
2. ETSU – 33
T3. Furman – 31
T3. The Citadel – 31
5. Samford – 30.5
6. VMI – 12
7. Wofford – 4
8. UNCG – 3
Women’s results – Day 1
1. Samford – 69 points
2. Western Carolina – 53
3. Furman – 34
4. ETSU – 30
5. Wofford – 22
6. VMI – 16
7. Chattanooga – 8
8. The Citadel – 2
Men’s All-Freshman – Day 1
Men’s long jump
Trini Feggett, Western Carolina
Justin Stuckey, Samford
Benjamin Okafor, Western Carolina
Men’s pole vault
Charles Cooley, Western Carolina
Thomas Martin, Western Carolina
Daniel Walsh, VMI
Men’s shot put
Ryan Eldridge, Western Carolina
Adam Hart, Western Carolina
Solomon Ghosh, VMI