Firebirds End Indoor Season on High Note / Open Outdoor Track & Field Season with Strong Performances

Latoya Allen

The University of the District of Columbia Firebirds Women's Track & Field Team ended their indoor season on a high note with competitive finishes in several events at the Armory Collegiate Challenge at the New York Amory on February 25, 2011. 

Two-time All American junior Kaneesha Hollis ( Criminal Justice-Centreville, MD) ran a respectable 59.0 seconds coming from way off the pace to finish 4th in her heat of the women 400m dash. That time was good for 13th overall from a large field of 31 runners. All-American junior Latoya Allen (Social Work- Washington, DC) won her heat easily in 60.48 seconds for 20th overall.

 Three-time All-American senior Saleena Green (Marketing- Kingston, Jamaica) also won her heat of the 200m comfortably in 26.14 seconds. That was good for 18th overall from a field of 32 sprinters.

 Sophomore Callister Jones (Marketing-Ft. Washington, MD) also won her heat of the 500m convincingly, placing 15th overall from a field of 29 runners. Freshman Areial Clarke was 5th overall in the women's shot put with a throw of 12.03m. 

Two-time All-American senior Erica Nixon (Health Education- Bronx, NY) continued her consistent placing in the 60m dash, placing  second in her heat with a time of 7.96 seconds (equaling her season's best) and had her making the finals of every 60m dash she's entered this season. Due to injury, she wasn't able to compete in the finals.

 Coach Mckenzie was upbeat about the team's performance saying, "This meet had several teams with athletes trying to get NCAA qualifying times. Being able to compete well against these athletes is a good sign as we head into the outdoor season."

 The Team opened their 2011 outdoor season with strong performances at the William & Mary University Tribe Open last weekend, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Leading the way was the quartet of  junior All-American Latoya Allen (Social Work-Washington, DC), Kaneesha Hollis, Callister Jones and senior Demia Franklin (Health Education-Baltimore, MD), who finished 2nd in the 4x400M in 4:02.75.  

 Allen ran the open 400M earlier in the afternoon and finished 4th overall (total field of 14 runners) in 60.76. Hollis was a convincing winner of her heat of the 800m with a time of 2:25.28, which was 5th overall (total field of 14 runners).  

In the sprint events freshman Jasmine Smith (Architecture-Baltimore, MD) finished 4th in her heat in 12.90 for 9th overall (field of 14). High jumper freshman Shauna-Kay Creary (Business Management-Kingston, Jamaica) showed her versatility by stepping on the track to run 26.76 for 2nd in her heat of the 200m dash for 9th overall (field of 20 runners).

 The Firebirds also made their presence felt in the field with Freshman Areial Clark leading the way with a 3rd place finish in the shot put, throwing 12.40m. She was also 4th in the Javelin with a throw of 26.84m. Stacy Griffith was 4th in the high jump clearing 1.55m.  

The Firebirds head to NC State next for the Adidas Raleigh Relays on March 25-26, 2011.