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UDC Opens Indoor Track & Field Season With Strong Performances at CNU Holiday Open

UDC Opens Indoor Track & Field Season With Strong Performances at CNU Holiday Open

Newport News, VA – Against a field with both Division I and II competitors, the UDC Firebird Women's Indoor Track and Field team opened the season in worthy fashion at CNU's Freeman Center in Newport News, VA this past Sunday, December 4.

UDC had strong all-around performances in the season opener, highlighted by strong placement in the Shot Put event, 200M-race, 400M-race, 800M-race, and 4x400M relay.  Sophomore Areial Clark (Kennesaw, GA – North Cobb HS) got the Firebirds off to a great start in the Women's Shot Put with a 7th place finish in the field of 25, throwing 12.32M.  This was the furthest throw by a Division II athlete at the meet.  In the 200M-race, Tatyana Commock (Washington, DC - McKinley Tech HS) placed 3rd in Heat 13 and 24th overall with a time of 26.95 seconds.  Shauna-Kay Creary (Kingston, Jamaica – St. Andrew HS) also competed in the 200M event and ran the race in 27-seconds flat, placing her second in Heat 8 which was good enough for 27th overall in the field of 77 competitors.  Senior Kaneesha Hollis (Centreville, MD – North Caroline HS) competed in the women's 800M race and placed 9th overall with a time of 2:33.12, which resulted in a 3rd place finish in Heat 2 against a field of 23 competitors.  Latoya Allen (Washington, DC – Dunbar Senior HS) and sophomore Kaydian Jones (Kingston, Jamaica – St. Andrew HS) both competed against a field of 23 in the women's 400M.  Running in Heat 8, Allen finished with a time of 1:01.84 for 4th in the Heat and 16th overall, while Jones placed 6th in the Heat and 21st overall.

To cap off the meet, the Firebirds' vaunted 4x400M relay team won their heat convincingly in 4:00.62.  Junior Callister Jones (Fort Washington, MD – Onon Hill HS) started the race strongly, putting the Firebirds in a close second-place in the first leg of the race.  In the second leg, Latoya Allen trimmed the lead before handing off to Kaydian Jones, who then took the lead after the third leg.  Upon receiving the baton, anchor Kaneesha Hollis extended the Firebirds' lead by three seconds, which resulted in a first-place finish for the Firebirds in the Heat. 

The Firebirds' strong showing at the CNU Invitational placed them 5th overall, which was an impressive feat considering the heavy number of participants and schools involved.  By contending in a largely competitive field, Head Coach Alton Mckenzie felt that this meet provided a good barometer for the start of the Firebirds' season.  "I'm glad we got a chance to measure ourselves against some good competition in our season opener," said Coach Mckenzie.  "The performance of the 4x400M team along with Areial Clark's showing in the Shot Put will hopefully boost the confidence of the team and convince them that we are able to be competitive against top level competition."
With much promise heading into the season, the Firebirds' strong start matches the expectations felt by Coach Mckenzie.  Looking to improve on the results at the CNU Open, the Firebirds return to action on January 14, 2012, when they will compete in the Armory Invitational in New York.