Meet: Atlantic 10 Indoor Track and Field Championships
Location: Kingston, R.I.
Team Score: 1. VCU – 122.5, 2. George Mason – 102.5, 3. Dayton – 94, 4. Richmond – 84, 5. Duquesne – 77
The Short Story: With five individual champions the Rams surged on day two to bring home their second consecutive Atlantic 10 Indoor Championship, and their third since the 2015 season. The team also won an outdoor championship in 2016. Like in 2017, VCU's field events and sprints helped separate them from the rest of the conference. Following the meet, Head Coach Jon Riley was named the Atlantic 10 Women's Coach of the Year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- On her final jump of the meet, senior Taylor McCormick won the triple jump for a third consecutive season with a school record 12.34m leap. McCormick has now rewritten that record three times, two of which have come in championship settings. Just behind McCormick was Aliyah Newman taking the silver with a personal best 12.17m mark.
- After winning the long jump on day one, De'Nisha Smith won the 60-meter hurdles for a second consecutive year. Smith's 8.65 was .01 better than the time that won her the gold in 2017.
- Also repeating as champion was sophomore Kayla Smith, who won the 400-meter with a season-best 54.76. Smith won the race in 2017 and was named Rookie of the Meet. Smith also placed fifth in the 200-meter.
- Junior Latrice Morris ran the best 60-meter dash of her career and won the event with a 7.60. Morris took second in the event last year. Coming in at fourth in the 60-meter was sophomore Alexis Willis.
- Sophomore Makayla McGowan earned fourth place in the shot put with a 13.77m mark. Behind McGowan were juniors Camora Sanders and Tyler Robin coming in at fifth and sixth, respectively.
- The Rams 4x400-meter relay team earned a third overall finish with a season best 3:49.99 behind the efforts of Ashlee Greenlee, Ashley Brown, Judith White, and Kathleen Gardner.
- Sophomore Ashley Brown took fifth in the 1,000-meter with a 2:56.77.
- It was junior LeClare Beres placing fifth in the pentathlon with 3,288 points.
COACH RILEY ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP
"This team showed resilience this weekend. I knew we were going to have a great weekend after our team meeting on Friday night. They were focused and locked in. They had confidence and believed in their abilities," Riley said.
"Everyone stepped up, but senior De'Nisha Smith got things going on the women's side. She set the tone for the rest of the team and they fed off her energy and enthusiasm."
VCU heads to Boston to compete in the ECAC-IC4A Championships on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4.