May 14, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La.- The Marshall University track and field team concluded the 2012 outdoor season on Sunday night, finishing in 11th place after accumulating 28 team points over three days at the Conference USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.
Entering Sunday's final round of events, the Thundering Herd sat just two points ahead of last-place Tulsa in the overall standings after juniors Vanessa Jules and Elaine Derricott managed a nine point haul with third and sixth-place performances in Saturday's heptathlon finale. In need of more points, the Thundering Herd was able to rely on a quintet of point-claiming performances to keep ahead of the Golden Hurricane on the leaderboard and secure an 11th place finish in the 12 team competition.
Junior javelin thrower and school record holder Amanda Kennedy made the largest contribution to the cause by claiming eight points for the team with a second-place performance in the javelin throw. The Herd athlete managed a 44.42m throw that was good enough for second-place in the event, earning her Marshall's best individual placement at this year's outdoor meet.
Jasia Richardson also managed to reel in three vital points for the Marshall cause, bounding her way to a sixth-place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 12.52m. Vanessa Jules then nearly found her way to another top-three finish after placing third in the heptathlon just one day prior, but came up a mere .03m short after her 1.73m jump was only good enough for fourth-place in the high jump.
The Silver Springs, Md., native's leap did earn the team five crucial points, though, and gave her confidence heading into the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay. There, Jules teamed-up with Elaine Derricott, Amber Pierson, and Loren Dyer to finish in seventh-place and grab two more points for the Herd total. Tulsa, who finished eighth in the relay, only claimed one point and was doomed to a last-place finish behind Marshall, who also managed a point earlier in the day when Brittany Carey, Delkira Maybin, Kearra Haynes, and Crystal Walker finished eighth in the 4x100m relay.
As a team, Marshall has now concluded its 2011-12 season, but will have several athletes representing the green and white in the NCAA Tournament later this month. The Herd's 11th place finish in New Orleans means the squad finished both of this year's indoor and outdoor C-USA meets in the same spot, but improved upon the last-place finishes from a year ago. UCF won the event with 160 team points.