Fayetteville, Ark. - The Nebraska track and field teams traveled to the 2014 Arkansas Spring Invitational for the first big meet of the outdoor season on Friday and Saturday. The Huskers excelled to the tune of 11 event titles at John McDonnell Field.
Junior Devandrew Johnson swept both the long jump and triple jump competitions as he is off to a strong start to the outdoor campaign. Johnson's leap of 24-1 3/4 (7.36) earned the top spot in his first outdoor long jump appearance. In the triple jump, Johnson registered a wind-aided distance of 47-10 (14.58) to claim his second title of the day.
Senior captain Chad Wright also brought home a pair of event titles at the Arkansas Spring Invite. Wright's distance of 62 1/4 (18.90) in the shot put left him alone at the top of the Big Ten rankings. Wright also recorded a mark of 193-11 (59.10) in the discus throw.
In the hammer throw on Friday, the Huskers set a pair of personal-best marks with sophomore Will Lohman leading the way for NU with a first place finish. Lohman's distance of 201-6 (61.42) is the sixth best mark at NU, while junior Carlie Pinkelman also set a new personal-best mark of 182-0 (55.48) to finish fourth.
The Huskers set three PRs in the women's javelin throw with sophomore Maggie Malone leading the surge with a toss of 170-2 (51.88). Freshman Sarah Firestone tallied a personal-best distance of 155-8 (47.46) to finish second as Anne Martin also clinched a personal-best distance to finish fifth.
Junior Ellie Ewere set a new personal best in the women's triple jump after she recorded a distance of 42-6 1/4 (12.96) on her last attempt to capture the top prize as she vaulted to the top of the conference.
Senior captain Annie Jackson led the NU contingent of throwers to a 1-2-3 finish in the shot put competition with a measurement of 51-8 1/2 (15.76). Junior Carlie Pinkelman followed Jackson in second, while Veronica Grizzle rounded out the top three. Jackson also ended up in third with a mark of 145-2 (44.26) in the discus throw.
In a gusty women's long jump, freshman Tierra Williams and sophomore Mollie Gribbin both notched wind-aided personal best marks. Williams took runner-up honors with a leap of 20-2 1/2 (6.16), while Gribbin recorded 19-6 3/4 (5.96) to come in third position.
Junior Marusa Cernjul earned a third place finish in the high jump after she cleared 5-7 1/4 (1.71). In the pole vault, sophomore Paula Andrie posted a personal-best height of 13-2 1/2 (4.03) in a fourth place showing for the ninth best mark in NU history and currently third in the conference.
Freshman sprinter Kadecia Baird stopped the clock at 23.71 in the 200 meter dash to finish third with the second best time in the Big Ten. Senior Ellie Grooters also posted a fourth place finish in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:00.85.
Back on the men's side, the Big Red relay squads were quite impressive with a pair of top performances on the day. The men's 4x100 relay team of Tim Thompson, Oladapo Akinmoladun, Ricco Hall and Dexter McKenzie finished as the top collegiate team with a time of 39.95 to lead the way in the conference. The Huskers also dominated the 4x400 relay where Drew Wiseman, Miles Ukaoma, Sean Pille and Tibor Koroknai put together a time of 3:10.28 to finish first and claim the second best time in the Big Ten.
In the pole vault, Sanderfer cleared his way to a personal-best height of 16-6 3/4 (5.05) to finish runner-up, while Craig Driver took third at 16-0 3/4 (4.90). Steven Cahoy and Beau Simmons also claimed the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
Sophomore Oladapo Akinmoladun continued to excel on the short track hurdles. Akinmoladun grasped the top spot with a time of 13.84 in the 110 meter hurdles, tied for the best in the league.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Jarren Heng posted a time of 9:22.77 to finish in third place. Fellow classmate Travis Englund notched a new personal best height of 6-10 3/4 (2.10) in the high jump. Junior Gus Gehlen also registered a personal best in the event. Nolan Border finished in fourth place in the 800 meter run after he touched the tape in 1:58.77.
Freshman Matthew Bloch garnered runner-up honors in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:25.81. Bloch's time set a new personal best by more than 20 seconds in his debut season.
The Husker men had a strong showing in the 1,500 meter run where they finished in third and fourth while setting a pair of personal best times. Senior Trevor Vidlak clocked in at 3:49.87 to finish third, while Jacob Olson set a new personal-best time of 3:51.48. Freshman Matt Gilbert also recorded a new career-best time of 3:57.14.
The Huskers will return home next Saturday (April 12) when they host the Nebraska Quad at 11:00 a.m. at Ed Weir Stadium.