Track and Field: Commodores play the right notes at the Music City Challenge

Multiple top-ten finishes and two new program records highlighted a successful final home meet for Vanderbilt.


Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt track and field competing in the Music City Challenge on Feb. 11, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Noah Weitzel, Contributor

During the third and final home meet of the season, Vanderbilt’s Track and Field team made a statement at the Recreation Center with multiple top-10 finishes and school records broken. The team will carry this momentum into the upcoming SEC championships that will be held on Feb. 24 and 25.

Hosting almost 50 different schools for competition, Vanderbilt performed especially well in the mile, 200m, 60m, 60m Hurdles, 3000m and weight throw. Freshman Kosi Umerah put on a particularly spectacular show, setting the school record in the weight throw with a distance of 19.87 meters.

Track and Field Director Althea Thomas gave praise to the team for their collective performance. 

“Everybody came in with a focus and a goal, kind of redefining what success is, and we really zoned into that,” Thomas said. 

Other performances of note were Caroline Eck in the one mile (4:46.44) and 3000m (9:20.85), Rondajai Washington in the 200m (24.46) and 60m (7.82), Ella Escobar in the 60m (7.61), Beatrice Juskeviciute in the 60m hurdles (8.44) and Brooke Overholt in the 60m hurdles (8.51). Each of these athletes secured top-10 finishes for the Commodores in each event.

Sophomore Rondajai Washington built on early-season success, as her time in the 200m placed fifth in program history. Her time in the 60m was tied for 10th, the same event in which Escobar brought her competition time up from the program’s sixth spot to the third.

Niki Narayani, running the 3000m, capped off Vanderbilt’s successful weekend with a school record-setting time. The Commodores will return to action at another invitational this upcoming weekend on the road in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The team looks to keep up its positive momentum before facing the nation’s best at the SEC championships at the end of the month.

“We’re putting it all together. The PRs, the school records, and the top 10s are just a testament to the work they’ve put in, so it puts us in a good position going into [the SEC Championships],” said Thomas.