WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Three school records fell on Saturday while King College competed at the Fast Track College Invitational. The Tornado made a strong showing in Winston-Salem, closing in or surpassing many personal records and national qualifying times in the process.
The first of three school records fell in the men's 5,000-meter race when Naseem Haje (Hagerstown, Md.) broke the school record with a 15:22 time and a third place finish in the event. Three additional King runners all finished inside the top-8 and under 15:30.00 including Dickson Kurgat (15:25.44/5th) and Spencer Frantom (15:26.06/6th), and Jordan Noe (15:28.35/8th).
In the women's one-mile event, Danielle Alfano (Chattanooga, Tenn.) broke the school record for a second time this season. She originally broke the record with a 5:19.77 finish at the Liberty Open on Jan. 28. She shattered her own record on Saturday with a time of 5:12.32, breaking her own mark by more than seven seconds.
The distance runners continued to impress and break down barriers when the entire four-person squad finished the women's 5k in 19:05 or under, marking the first time in King history of the occurrence. Kendra Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.) crossed the line first of the foursome, tallying an 18:29.17 time in the event. Hannah Witt (18:31.61/8th), Evan Ferrell (19:02.03/11th), and Danielle Beauvais (19:05.52/12th) followed in succession.
Shelbie Burchfield (Morristown, Tenn.) finished third in the women's high jump while also breaking a school record, hitting the 1.60-meter plateau. Last week at the Liberty Open, Burchfield hit 1.58 meters to set a personal record, for the time.
On a national scale, sophomore Earl Rahming (Nassau, Bahamas) finished just half of a second away from meeting the NCAA national qualifying time of 4.25 seconds when he crossed the finish line of the 400-meter dash with a clocked time of 49.71.
A host of Tornado team members set new personal records at the Fast Track Invitational. Freshman Reggie Warren (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished ahead of a pair of Western Carolina runners with a 22.93 time, coming within 0.05 of two University of North Carolina runners. Cheyenne Thornsberry (Bristol, Tenn.) and Miranda Broesche (Cleveland, Tenn.) each set PRs in the women's shot put. Thornsberry hit 10.23 meters on her best toss while Broesche hit 9.99 meters for new personal bests. Freshman Justin Newring (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished inside the top-10 in the men's triple jump, reaching 13.13 meters and placing ahead of two fellow Conference Carolinas opponents inside the top-10. This marked the first time Newring participated in the event in his collegiate career, setting a high mark for his newly founded PR.
Notable performances for the Tornado include Forrest Stuart (Appalachia, Va.) and his finals appearance in the men's long jump. With a jump of 6.59 meters, Stuart finished sixth in a field of more than 40 participants and in the thick for a top-5 spot. Rickey Bell (Advance, N.C.) placed 12th of 25 throwers in the men's weight throw (13.64), ranking alongside the likes of three Western Carolina tossers in the 14-meter range.
"I'm really pleased with our team's performance today," said Head Coach Peter Dalton. "After shaking off the cobwebs at the Liberty Open two weeks ago, we had a lot of good team and individual performances today. The improvement from our two most recent meets is very encouraging, moving forward."
King will next compete at the Gene Anderson Invite (Chapel Hill, N.C.) on Feb. 17-18 to close out the month before opening March with the Virginia Tech Final Qualifier in Blacksburg, Va. on March 3.