STATEN ISLAND, NY – The University of the District of Columbia Women's Track & Field team finished 6th with a total of 51 points at the East Coast Conference Indoor Championship on Friday, February 23rd at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex.
The Firebirds were not far behind their opponents with Daemen taking 5th with a total of 62, St. Thomas Aquinas in 4th place with 66 points, LIU Post 3rd with 71, in 2nd with 87 was Georgian Court, and in 1st with a score of 147 Roberts Wesleyan took the ECC Championship.
The event began with the 60M dash, and with three of UDC's sprinters in the final. Junior Shaneik Bowra came away with a 2nd place finish and a remarkable time of 7.78, her personal best, earning the Firebirds eight points.
Next, was the 200M dash, where once again the Firebirds impressed with sophomore Shannell Hibbert taking 5th place for a personal best in a time of 25.75 to earn two points, and junior Shaneika Bowra ran a season's best 26.0 to take 6th place and one point.
The 400M dash proved to be another strong event for the Firebirds with sophomore Niasia Harding placing 3rd in a time of 59.04, sophomore Temera Duncan finished 5th in 59.41; both broke their season's records to give the District of Columbia another eight points.
In the later event, the 500M saw freshman Dajour Jones produce a wonderful 4th placed finish with a seasons best of 1:12.16. In the 60M hurdles, the Firebirds saw two striking performances by sophomore Shannell Hibbert who took 1st place to become an ECC Champion with a time of 9.14, and her teammate, senior Stacy-Ann Rowe took 3rd place in a seasons best time of 9.38.
The final track event of the evening featured the 4x400M relay, which UDC has won the past five years. The outstanding quartet of Temera Duncan, Shannell Hibbert, Dajour Jones, and Niasia Harding made sure the Firebirds took that crown for another year with an incredible 1st place finish in a time of 4:01.95.
In the field event, junior Shakeithia Nicholson took part in the Long Jump where she had a remarkable leap of 4.81M to finish 5th.
However, the highlight of the evening was Temera Duncan receiving the Elite 18 Award. The ECC Elite 18 honor is awarded to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average competing in each of the ECC's 18 championships. Temera is an accounting major with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Head coach Joel Phillips stated he was, "very proud of the team and the way they competed at the championship meet. Being one of the smaller teams in the conference these young ladies showed a lot of heart and focus. Out of the 8 events we had student-athletes entered, we scored in 7 of those events. At the end we were 6th out of 9 teams with 51 points."