Watson, Ricks reach finals of 60m hurdles, part of eight PRs set at Buccaneer Invite

Sophomore Meghan Araldi, first of the two BC runners shown in this archived photo, improved her personal record in the 5000-meter run by a minute this weekend at the Buccaneer Invitational. Senior Judith Melly, in the background, established a benchmark PR by competing in the event indoors for the first time. | Photo by Benny Benton
Sophomore Meghan Araldi, first of the two BC runners shown in this archived photo, improved her personal record in the 5000-meter run by a minute this weekend at the Buccaneer Invitational. Senior Judith Melly, in the background, established a benchmark PR by competing in the event indoors for the first time. | Photo by Benny Benton

by Benny Benton

 

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Barton College freshman Jasmine Watson and junior Courtney Ricks both reached the finals of the 60-meter hurdles with top-five performances, and accounted for two of the eight personal records set by Lady Bulldogs over the weekend at the Buccaneer Invitational.

Watson broke the Barton school record with a run of 8.91 seconds in the preliminary round that earned third place in a field of 34. She also took over the top spot on the NCAA Division II Southeast Region performance list with the mark.

Ricks won her heat, beating four NCAA Division I runners to the line in the process, and claimed fifth place overall in the preliminary round with a personal record time of 9.12 seconds.

The marks earned the two runners, both from Suffolk, Va., spots in the semifinals, where Watson posted a time of 9.03 to place fourth and Ricks recorded a time of 9.22 seconds to finish eighth.

Those results advanced both runners to Saturday's finals, where Watson again placed fourth with a time of 9.0 seconds and Ricks finished right behind her in fifth with a mark of 9.17 seconds.

Barton had two other team members earn top-15 results during the meet. Senior Sharon Kiptoo placed 14th out of 58 participants in the 800-meter run with a season-best time of 2:23.18, and sophomore Kelsey Poole claimed 14th out of 37 in the shot put with a toss of 11.56 meters, which was less than a tenth of a meter off her own school record set last month in the same facility.

In the 5000-meter run, sophomore Meghan Araldi chopped an entire minute off per previous personal record in posting a mark of 20:09.46. The time is just 16 seconds off the indoor school record.

Also breaking PRs were Andrea Mills in 200-meter dash (28.05 seconds) and 400-meter run (1:03.89), and Nikki Helton in the 60-meter dash (9.05 seconds) and 200-meter dash (29.74). Senior Judith Melly established a benchmark PR in the 5000-meter run (21:05.85) by competing in the event indoors for the first time collegiately.

The meet served as the team's final tune-up for the Conference Carolinas Indoor Championships, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18, at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C.