CHARLOTTE, NC - University of the District of Columbia's 400M runners Kaneesha Hollis and Callister Jones turned in huge personal best performances to lead the Firebirds at the Johnson C. Smith Invitational in Charlotte, NC. The duo finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the 2nd Heat of the 400M.
Hollis (Centreville, MD - North Caroline Senior HS) had a convincing performance in her heat, dominating the field with an impressive time of 55.74. Her teammate Callister Jones (Fort Washington, MD - Oxon Hill HS) followed in the same heat with a time of 56.14. Hollis finished 4th overall among the 36 competitors, and was the 3rd fastest collegian on the day. Jones was 7th overall and was the 6th best college athlete. Both of these athletes' times were NCAA Provisional Qualifying times.
Other strong performances came from the field where Areial Clark (Kennesaw, GA - North Cobb HS) won the shot put event with a toss of 12.99M - just five minutes after completing her heat in the 100M Hurdles.
The good weather lent itself to several Firebirds running personal and season bests. The 4x100M quartet of Atiya Amis, Kaydian Jones, Jasmine Smith and Shauna-Kay Creary ran a season best for the Firebirds with a time of 48.30 seconds for 6th among 12 competitors. Also, Callister Jones, Kaneesha Hollis, Kimoy Mais and Kaydian Jones were fourth in a time of 3:55.68 in the 4x400M relay.
Kaydian Jones (Kingston, Jamaica - St. Andrew HS) led the way in the 200M with a 2nd place finish in heat 3. Her time of 25.77 was 12th best in a field of 55 competitors. Shauna-Kay Creary (Kingston, Jamaica - St. Andrew HS) was 3rd in Heat 5 in 26.07 (personal best) and 18th overall.
Head coach Alton McKenzie had this to say about the meet:
"We had some impressive performances, with Areial Clark starting the day with a win in the shot put. Kaneesha Hollis had a major breakthrough race with her 55.74 in the 400M. With Hollis and Jones both on the NCAA Provisional Qualifying list, this will be a source of motivation for our entire team and a great step for our program to make a mark nationally. They should finally believe they belong among the best in Division II Track & Field. We're looking forward to the coming weeks to continue our improvement," McKenzie said.