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Track and field takes third in inaugural competition

Track and field post event 2017
Brittany Truitt and Kim Toscano lead a pair of CSU runners during the 3,000 meter run at UNG's first ever women's track and field meet. (Photo courtesy of Anne Appleton, Columbus State University).

In the first-ever competition for the women's track and field team at University of North Georgia (UNG), the squad placed third out of six teams, missing second place by 15 points.

UNG earned five first-place finishes at the Seventh Annual Adonica Ferguson Memorial Relays hosted by Columbus State University at Brookstone High School on Feb. 26.

"We have a lot of strength in distance running because of our cross-country athletes who also compete in track and field," said Head Coach Tom Williams. "I'm very pleased with our start, especially with our performance in the 3,000-meter run event. We also had a great finishing event, winning the 4x400-meter relay. We are going to continue developing our field events, which are more difficult to fill with a new program. Our overall placing was strong, especially considering that we did not have any student-athletes compete in the triple jump, javelin throw, long jump, discus throw, shot put, the 1,500-meter run, or the sprint medley relay. So, we potentially left a lot of points on the table."

As a team, UNG finished third with 120 combined points. Columbus State took the top spot with 205 points while Clark Atlanta University took second with 135 points.

Brittany Truitt of UNG won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:12, which Williams said is a very strong performance. Makayla Ellis (10:51) and Jenna Sanborn (11:01) finished second and third. UNG had the top seven finishers in the event.

"We have a lot of strength in our consistency; our runners took strong performances from practice and made the same showings at the meet, which is huge," said Sharlie Brooks, a graduate assistant coach for track and field. "They are able to apply the things they have learned. Some of the newer student-athletes we have added only started training around the beginning of the year, and they performed very well. We see a lot of confidence building in them because of this meet."

UNG's Mary Owen Howell took first in the pole vault with 8 feet, one-half inch, finishing a foot higher than her nearest competitor.

The UNG 4x400-meter relay team of Truitt, Elizabeth Mullenax, Sarah Whittington and Dallas Akins won with a mark of 4:11, finishing one second ahead of the runners-up.

UNG's relay team of Emma Brown, Aleah Johnson, Sarah Buckler and Emily Sims earned a pair of first place finishes in the 4x800-meter relay and the distance medley relay (DMR). Their time of 9:37 in the 4x800 was 30 seconds better than the second-place finishers, while their DMR mark of 13:05 won by 18 seconds.

The team returns to the track on Saturday, March 11 at Choccolco Park in Oxford, Alabama.

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