RICHMOND, Va. – After having a pair of athletes qualify for the ECAC/IC4A Outdoor Championships on Friday, the VCU Track & Field progams had a slew of student-athletes reserve spots at the outdoor championships later this spring with solid performance on Saturday at the Fred Hardy Invitational on Saturday at University of Richmond.
"I am pleased with what I saw this weekend but we still need to improve in some areas," added VCU head coach Jon Riley. "We've been putting money into the bank and it is getting close to the time to make some withdraws."
The Rams had a pair of relay squads qualify, in the men's & women's 4x400 relay teams. The men's side of freshman Darius Vaughn, junior Dominic Costanzo, sophomore Andrew Shipp and freshman George Moore finished in second place in a time of 3:15.81. The time was nearly two seconds faster than the IC4A qualifying mark.
The women's relay side of sophomore Niaimani Aduma, sophomore Sherrie Timberlake, freshman Nicole Grasty and freshman Amethyst Polk turned in a third place finish in a time of 3:50.41. The time fell under the qualifier, giving these four Rams the chance to compete at ECACs.
Junior thrower Frank Afriyie qualified in the discus, after earning first place honors in the event. The Alexandria, Va., native's toss traveled a distance of 49.86 meters and past the 47.50 IC4A qualifying mark. Freshman Ryan Coles earned a fifth place finish in the same event, heaving the discus 47.32 meters, just shy of the qualifying mark.
"Frank has really begun to let his training come through in recent weeks," added VCU assistant coach Ethan Tussing. "His consistency has improved and he's returning to his old form by throwing far and winning meets. We look forward to seeing where he can take it from here the rest of the outdoor season."
For the VCU women, redshirt sophomore Jessica Williams grabbed a second place finish in the discus, heaving the object 45.46 meters. The toss was nearly three meters past the qualifying mark. Senior Julia Anyaugo claimed a fourth place finish, with a 41.95 meter toss.
Vaughn had quite a day on the individual side, claiming a fifth place finish in the 400 meters (49.03 seconds) and a sixth place finish in the 200 meter dash (21.97 seconds).
Sophomore sprinter Chase Turner earned himself a first place finish in the 110 meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 15.23 seconds.
In the women's 200 meter dash, Grasty placed fourth overall, and second among collegiate competition with a time of 24.83 seconds.
Senior Rachel Montague garnered a fifth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 15.24 seconds.
Freshman Sarah Fulgham placed in the long jump, coming in fourth place after leaping 5.47 meters.
The Rams will travel to Gainesville, Florida this upcoming weekend (April 6-7) for the Florida Relays.