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TAMPA - A trio of school records hit the dust and the men's 4x100 relay nearly did the same with that school record as the University of South Florida track and field teams finished a strong day at the USF Open Friday in the first outdoor meet of the season for the Bulls.
A pair of sophomores who owned school records from their first collegiate seasons came right out and bested those marks, as Jared Thomas and Casey Wagner threw personal bests in the men's discus and the women's javelin, respectively, out at the USF Track & Field Stadium.
A third sophomore, Allie Prendergast, established the new top mark in the 3,000 meters as well, as Prendergast ran a time of 9:41.51, just edging out the previous school record of 9:41.80 set by Aimee Lund back in 1994.
In addition, the 4x100 relay of Lindsey Lamar, Kayvon Webster, Derrick Hopkins and Greg Fontus posted a time of 40.89 despite a mishandle on the last handoff as the foursome finished just short of the 40.83 school record set in 2007.
Thomas threw 182-3 to better last year's mark of 181-2 that had previously stood as the best mark in USF history. Wagner, meanwhile, launched the javelin 154-6, outdoing her distance of 152-8 that ranked as the top mark in school history.
In a warm-up meet for the Bulls Invitational March 19, USF held several top performers out of the meet, while cold weather into the early evening kept other athletes out. Schools that competed included Pepperdine, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida A&M, Florida Southern, Saint Leo, University of Tampa, and Nova Southeastern, among others.
Sophomore David Aristil and freshman Pascal Orelus posted solid meets in the 400 meters, as Aristil's time of 47.72 moved him into second all-time behind school record holder Carlton Mitchell. Orelus finished second behind Aristil with a 48.24, which puts him at fifth on the top 10 list.
Junior Kevin Kelly made his Bulls debut with a throw of 190-7 in the javelin, which immediately puts him at fourth on USF's all-time top 10 list.
Sophomore Shaniel Chambers had a strong meet in the 800, an event she ranks second all-time in, as she finished in 2:12.15. In the 1,500, sophomore Yasmin Smith ran a time of 4:34.83 to place second overall. Classmate Jen Wynands also placed third in the 3,000, running a 10:16.88.
The sophomore class continued to shine for the women in the distance events, as Nicole Rozario, chasing the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, ran 10:44.02, a little more than five seconds off the all-time best.
Senior Armante Marshall landed in the top 10 in the 100 meters after running a 10.86 as he placed third at the meet. A pair of distance runners on the men's side in senior Ryan Courtoy and sophomore Phillip Wise posted PRs in the 800 and 3,000 meters, respectively, using times of 1:53.84 and 8:39.90.
Freshman Monique Williams ran a time of 12.31 to come in second in the crowded 100 meters, while sophomore Shambrey Oliver had the top time in the 200 in 25.66 along with the fifth-best time in the 100 in 12.55.
Aside from Wagner's throw, a few other members of the women's team performed well in their respective field events.
Senior Samantha Shade leapt 18-5 in the long jump to set a new PR and land in the top 10 on the all-time school list, while also posting a mark of 38-0.75 in the triple. Juniors MaShonda Rayner and Rachel Etienne finished second in the triple and long jumps behind Shade, as Rayner leapt 37-4.5 while Etienne cleared a distance of 18-0.5.
Sophomore Lauren Noe outdistance teammates in the shot put, discus and hammer, as Noe, and sophomores Atasha Warren and Sarah Canter finished within three feet of each other in the discus.
Warren also set PRs in both the discus and hammer, while Canter did the same in the javelin and discus with throws of 143-1 and 144-8, respectively.
Junior Stephanie Duffy began the outdoor campaign, following her win in the pole vault at the BIG EAST Championships, by leaping 12-3 in the pole vault. Freshman Mike Vani and Wyatt Metzger leapt 15-1, while senior Sean Young cleared 15-7 in the pole vault.
Two other jumpers did well in the first outdoor meet, as senior Michael Kursteiner had a height of 6-7.5 in the high jump while junior Antillio Bastian posted a distance of 22-1.75 in the long jump.
Senior Tyler Perkins just missed his PR in the hammer with a throw of 159-11, while also launching the discus 165-1. Thomas posted a hammer toss of 141-11 as well.
The Bulls will be back in action in two weeks as USF hosts the Bulls Invitational March 19 at the USF Track & Field Stadium.