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Firebirds Off to Running Start With Solid Performances at George Mason’s Father Diamond Invitational

Simone Grant is competed in multiple events throughout the day.
Simone Grant is competed in multiple events throughout the day.

FAIRFAX, VA - Coming off of a historic 2013-2014 track & field campaign, the Firebirds opened their 2014-2015 Indoor season on Saturday, January 10th at George Mason's Father Diamond Invitational with several strong individual performances.

Opening the lid on this Indoor Season for UDC was sophomore Brittany Okon (Health Education – Bronx, NY/Pelham Prep Academy) who ran 8.09s in the 60M dash to finish 4th among six competitors in Heat 6. She would finish 22nd fastest among 45 competitors in the 60M.

Next, a duo of All-Americans  took the track for the Firebirds in the 500M. All-American senior Jerily Benjamin (Health Education – Queens, NY/Phillip Randolph HS) narrowly missed the win in the 500M, finishing 2nd in Heat 3 with a time of 1:19.89 – 9th best overall among 22 collegiate participants. Her teammate, fellow All-American Marlena Wright (Journalism – Bronx, NY/Dewitt Clinton HS) was in close pursuit and finished 3rd in the same heat with a time of 1:20.40 for 11th overall.

The best performance of the day, however, would come in the 200M. All-American junior Simone Grant (Health Education – Bronx, NY/Pelham Prep Academy) ran an impressive time of 25.87 seconds to win Heat 3. Her time was the 2nd fastest time on the day by a collegiate athlete and 3rd overall among 50 competitors in the 200M.  Her time converts to 25.47 (Flat track time 04 25.87) and puts her 17th best in Division II on this still very young season.

The Firebirds look to continue making progress as they head to the Terrapin Invitational at the PG Sports Complex in Landover, MD on January 17th, 2015.