SILVER SPRING, MD - Coming off of a one-week respite from competition, the Firebirds looked to get back into the full swing of their Indoor Track & Field season by competing at the Terrapin Invitational at the PG Sports Complex.
Action for the Firebirds began in the field with the High Jump, which saw freshman Saida Burns-Moore continue her good start to her collegiate career. She cleared 1.63M to finish 3rd best among 14 collegiate athletes. This mark was just shy of her season best of 1.65M.
The first track event for the Firebirds saw sophomore Shayna Hodge just miss her season best in the 60M Hurdles, running 9.56s to finish 4th in Heat 4 and 17th in a field of 29. The Firebirds also had other quality performances on the track early in the meet with seniors Brittany Okon and Simone Grant competing in the 60M Dash. Okon was 2nd in heat 1 with a time of 8.11s and placed 17th best among 38 competitors. Her teammate Grant finished 3rd in the next heat with a time of 8.06s, good for 14th best on the day.
Both Okon and Grant would then immediately head to the runway to compete in the finals of the Long Jump. Okon finished 9th overall among 22 competitors with a leap of 5.16M. Grant leaped out to a season best 5.51M, just getting edged for the best jump by a collegiate athlete on the day (which was 5.52M). Her mark was just shy of the 5.57M NCAA Provisional Mark.
The Firebirds also had good performances in the 300M event from their pair of quartermilers, as senior Marlena Wright won heat 3 with a time of 43.60s and was 10th fastest among 22 competitors. Her teammate, graduate Jerily Benjamin, won heat two with a time of 41.68s. That time was good for 4th best on the day.
Sophomore Tajah Franklin also had a strong showing in the Shot Put, finishing 16th among 24 competitors with a personal best of 10.56M. Also, Burns-Moore was a finalist in the Triple Jump and finished 8th among 17 competitors with a mark of 11.13M.
The Firebirds wrapped up action on the day with the 4x400M as the quartet of Jerily Benjamin, Jasmine Walker, Stacy-Ann Rowe and Marlena Wright finished 4th in the last heat (4), running 4:11.52 for 14th among 18 teams.
"The work continues as we approach the mid-point of our Indoor Season," Head Coach Alton McKenzie said. "We just need to keep extending ourselves in training and be consistent going forward and the big performances will follow in the weeks to come."
The Firebirds will look to start February on a good note at Christopher Newport University's Vince Brown Invitational in Newport News, VA, Saturday, February 6th, 2016.