The ACU track and field team picked up where the women’s distance program left off last fall, competing against some of the nation’s best at the Texas A&M 11-Team Invitational this weekend.
Junior Allie Hackett set the tone for the two-day meet on Friday night when she became the first Wildcat to win an individual event at the stadium. Hackett set a meet record in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 16:31, allowing her name to be etched in ACU history as the third fastest mark all-time indoors for the university.
Hackett would post another win on Saturday in the 3,000 meter run with a personal best of 9:37. Second place finisher from Baylor, Peyton Thomas, made Hackett work a little harder for it though, finishing two second behind her.
The Wildcats would go to post 14 top-10 finishes, including six top-five finishes.
Athletes in a variety of events started strong for ACU. Senior sprinter from St. Lucia, Rosen Daniel, finished third in the 400 meters with a time of 47.58. Junior Diana Garcia-Munoz finished fourth in the women’s mile with a new personal record of 4:56.
Elsewhere in the stadium, field athletes had a solid start to the season with senior Jelani Rainey leading the way with a fifth-place finish in the men’s weight throw. Rainey was short by a only a few inches of his PR in the event with a length of 56-9.5 (17.31m). Sophomore Morgan Knight recorded a top-10 finish for the Wildcats placing ninth in the weight throw.
At the triple jump area, senior Jeremy Tatham finished strong with a sixth place finish and also an indoor PR with a length of 47-.25 (14.33). Junior pole vaulter, Kenzie Walker, jumped to a 10th place finish with her vault of 12-8 (3.86 m).
The final event of the meet, the 4×400 meter relay was a great way for the women’s team to finish a season opener. Chartia Hurt, Kimone Green, Petrene Plummer and Jessica James would come back from a fourth place spot to tie for first in their heat. The women would ultimately finish sixth overall with a time of 3:47.46.
“It was a decent start, and we see the things that we need to fix,” assistant head coach Ray Walker said, “We have some work to do before conference in a few weeks, but we will be ready.”
The Wildcats return to action at the end of this month, Jan. 29-30, when they travel to east Texas to compete in the Houston Invitational.