Track and Field: Vanderbilt soars at Commodore Challenge

Vanderbilt Women’s Track and Field capped off a successful weekend at the Commodore Challenge, setting two program records.

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Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt track and field competes during a race in Nashville during the indoor season in 2022. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Aiden Rutman, Deputy Sports Editor

Vanderbilt Women’s Track and Field opened the winter track season in style, competing in six track events and five field events. The team set two program records and posted two first-place finishes. 

Vanderbilt’s best performance came in the 4×400-meter relay race, when the team posted a time of 3 minutes and 43.8 seconds. The time was fast enough to earn them first place in the entire event — narrowly edging out second-place Alabama by less than half a second. Allyria McBride, Madison Fuller, Maydson Wilson and Kaira Brown composed the quartet that won it for the Commodores. 

The team’s success in medium-distance events continued as Taiya Shelby dominated en route to a first-place finish in the 600m race. Her time of 1:29.06 not only beat out the second place winner by over four seconds but was also the fastest time in program history. Shelby holds records in the 300m and 400m events, as well. 

The Commodores’ best team event came in the 1000m race. Vanderbilt saw 6 runners finish inside the top 10 of the event, including a second-place finish from Haley Walker. 

On the field, Beatrice Juskevicuite placed first in her high-jump group with a height of 1.66 meters. She also finished fourth in the long jump after jumping 5.74 meters. Jada Sims placed fourth in her group after jumping 1.74 meters, good for sixth-best in program history. 

Veronica Fraley placed third in the shot-put with a 16.29-meter throw. Freshman Kosi Umerah set a program-record in the weight throw with a distance of 19.01 meters. 

The women — joined by a handful of members of the Men’s Cross Country team — will return to competition on Jan. 20 at the Vanderbilt Invitational.