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Belmont track and field wreaks more havoc on university record books at Vanderbilt Invitational

Updated: Apr 25

Following an impressive season start at the Commodore Challenge, the Belmont track and field teams made the short drive back to Vanderbilt University where yet another school record fell at the Friday-Saturday meet.

The weekend’s Vanderbilt Invitational hosted notable programs like Southeastern Conference’s University of Mississippi, University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt itself, alongside Arkansas State University, Georgia State University and the University of Memphis.

These talented competitors did not hold the Bruins back, however, as senior thrower Jessica Mattsson tossed the weight 17.59 meters, enough to break a 7-year-old school record Friday night.

Mattsson finished second in her flight of 12 and secured a 13th overall finish out of 32 in the weight throw event. Her record-breaking throw landed her at third place in the Ohio Valley Conference rankings.

Also on Friday, sophomore sprinter Qua’Jon Fuller finished just shy of a school record in the 200-meter, which he ran in a flashing 22.23 seconds — merely 0.06 seconds short of the program best.

In Belmont’s first multi-event of the season, junior Sade Alalade made an impressive collegiate pentathlon debut, placing eighth out of the 18 contestants with 2,833 points.

The Georgia native ran the 60 meter hurdles in a personal best 9.94 seconds, placed fifth in high jump with a 1.57 meter leap and finished sixth in the 800-meter race with 2:41.79.

As Alalade finished up her competition, the men’s pole vault squad took their marks and did not disappoint.

Sophomore Aidan Dinsbeer placed seventh with his 4.50-meter clearing and Nick Bazzoni got 11th with a jump of 4.35 meters.

Moving on to Saturday, the Bruins showed up ready to finish out the meet with grit.

The women’s team brought several performances to Saturday’s events, beginning with the triple jump.

Junior Morgan Louderback sailed 11.22 meters to earn a ninth-place finish among 17 competitors.

In Saturday’s track events, junior Lily Hallum — last week’s record-breaker — and sophomore Brooke Gartner both ran personal best miles.

Clocking in at 5:03.38, Hallum’s mile time is the fastest in the OVC this season while Gartner’s 5:03.66 ranks second.

Another lightning finish came from junior distance runner Katie Flaherty, who is now first in the OVC’s 3000-meter event with her time of 10:00.03.

Moving into the 4×400 meter relays Belmont’s team of Emory Moore, Savannah Balcerak, Sarah Richmond and Caroline Pruitt, proved to be a speedy bunch, bringing home a 3:53.41 time. They finished eighth of 14, beating OVC rival Austin Peay University, among others.

On the men’s side of Saturday’s events, senior thrower Cal Widener showed up for the Bruins with a personal best shot put performance. Widener chucked the shot 15.94 meters, claiming second place on the OVC indoor performance list.

After several shattered program records and many personal bests over back-to-back weekends at Vanderbilt, the Belmont track and field teams look further ahead at its upcoming indoor schedule.

For the first time this season, in hopes of shredding more lines in the record book and advancing to the top of OVC rankings, the teams will travel outside Music City to the Bellarmine Invite in Louisville, Kentucky, on Feb. 4-5.

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PHOTO: Jessica Mattsson during her program-best performance in the weight throw Friday. Belmont Athletics

This article was written by A.J. Wuest.

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