Records fall on Day 2 of MEC Championships
GLENVILLE, W.Va. – West Liberty University track and field athletes shattered school and meet records while winning multiple events here Monday as the Mountain East Conference championships splashed their way through a second day of competition at Glenville State’s Morris Stadium.
The Hilltopper women strengthened their hold on second place in the team chase while the WLU men held their own in the middle of a tightly-bunched pack chasing front-running Charleston despite dealing with off and on rain throughout much of the afternoon and early evening.
The weather didn’t dampen head coach Justin Simpson’s excitement with his team’s performance.
“This was a big Day Two for us,” Simpson said. “Adam O’Donnell set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in winning the men’s decathlon. Kelsi Hulit won the women’s discus, Aubree Story broke the school and meet record in the high jump and we had a lot of men and women score in multiple events.
“We also put ourselves in good shape for tomorrow’s track finals with several runners advancing on the women’s side while Tavian (Richardson) and Michael (Harriman) posted the two fastest times in the 800. This was a very good day.”
O’Donnell, who placed second in the 2019 decathlon, was never threatened in this year’s two-day event. The junior standout won six of the 10 events while placing second in the other four to score an NCAA provisional and school record 6,343 points – more than 1,000 points ahead of his closest pursuer.
Harriman was the fastest qualifier in the 800, winning his heat in a time of 1:56.08 with Richardson close behind at 1:56.19. The women qualified at least one runner in every event from Monday’s heats.
The Lady Hilltoppers’ strength and depth in the field events was evident once again on Monday. Hulit won the discus and was joined in the top seven by Lura Simons (4th), Kennedy Martin (6th) and Sydney Jefferys (7th). West Liberty scored three of the top eight spots in the shot put with Hulit (3rd) followed by Martin (4th) and Kaylee Savage (8th).
Story tied West Virginia Wesleyan’s Lauren Leaman for the high jump crown with a school- and meet-record 1.65 meters (5 feet, 5 inches) but had to settle for second place with one more miss than Leaman. Also notching second-place points for the Black and Gold was Nichole Groseclose with a 12:15.84 clocking in the 3000 steeplechase.
The MEC Championships conclude here Wednesday with the track finals, beginning with the 4×100 women’s and men’s relays at noon and concluding with the 4×400 relays at 3 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of the meet.