MOUNT BERRY, Ga. (CentreColonels.com) – The Centre women's track and field team competed in a Friday slate at the Southern Athletic Association Championships that featured some of the team's strongest events. The Colonels excelled on the track and in the field on Friday and sit in the lead heading into Saturday's events.
The Colonels finished with 80 points on Friday to hold the lead through seven events. Berry is in second place with 59 points, followed by Rhodes with 47 and Hendrix with 28.
There were only two track events on Friday, but Centre excelled in both of them. In the women's 10k, senior cross country All-American Serena Gale-Butto (Muskegon, Mich.) was the only runner in the field to post a sub-40:00 time, winning the race in 39:52.66. In addition, freshman Margueritte Wheeler (Louisville, Ky.) placed fourth in 41:54.13, while freshman Mary Douglass Hallman (Newnan, Ga.) finished in seventh with a time of 45:19.04.
In the 3000m steeplechase, the event belonged to sophomore Annie Rodenfels (Centerville, Ohio), who set six different Centre women's track records in 2017. Rodenfels won the steeplechase in 11:02.76 for ten crucial points for the Colonels. Freshman Courtney Gibson (Catlettsburg, Ky.) also scored in the event, finishing fifth in 12:06.06.
The field events saw three more individual victories for the Colonels. Junior All-American Sarah Hayhurst (Newburgh, Ind.) won her third consecutive SAA pole vault title, clearing 3.50 meters. Sophomore Taylor Singleton (Hendersonville, N.C.) finished in second place in the same event with a clear of 3.18 meters.
Junior Aja Leachman (Louisville, Ky.) posted the next individual event win for Centre, finishing first in the hammer with a throw of 47.46 meters, nearly two full meters ahead of the second place mark. Freshman Ashley Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) finished eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 35.10 meters. Leachman also placed third in the shot put with a mark of 11.74 meters. In the javelin, freshman Olivia Honaker (Brandenburg, Ky.) placed fifth overall with a throw of 35.63 meters.
Senior Anastasia Lyon (Lexington, Ky.) gave the Colonels their fifth event win of the day with a first place long jump of 5.25 meters. All told, Centre had individual victories in five of the seven events that were completed on the day.
The SAA Track and Field Championships will conclude from Berry College on Saturday. The Saturday schedule will include the women's 5k, 800m, triple jump, high jump and discus, all events in which the Colonels have had strong performances in 2017.