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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Track and Field: Vanderbilt breaks more records at Joe Walker Invitational

Several Commodores etched their names in the school record books after a successful trip to Oxford
Jada+Sims+competes+in+the+heptathlon+at+the+Joe+Walker+Invitational+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics.%29
Jada Sims competes in the heptathlon at the Joe Walker Invitational (Vanderbilt Athletics.)

CORRECTION: This piece was corrected at 11:24 p.m. on April 14. It previously listed incorrect names for athletes Emma Curry, Giavonna Meeks and Sarah Marvin.

In a season that’s been filled with personal and school records, the Joe Walker Invitational proved to be much of the same for the Commodores. The two-day meet, which was hosted by Ole Miss, took place on April 7 and 8 in Oxford, Mississippi. 

“Our athletes who competed this weekend did an amazing job taking advantage of an opportunity to make progress,” director of track and field Althea Thomas said. “With multiple personal bests, school records and entries into our program record books, this team is working relentlessly to reach our full potential.”

The Track 

Jada Sims left her mark all over the invitational, starting with a second place finish in the heptathlon. Her showing was good enough to land her not just on the event podium, but also in the school’s record books. Her score of 5,319 placed her at No. 6 all-time among other Commodores to compete in the event. Sims stayed hot, finishing first in the 800m with a personal best of 2:18.91 and second in the long jump.

Sims’ fellow senior Madison Murray found success in both events as well, finishing in eighth place in the heptathlon and fifth in the 800m. Cameron Fawcett and Mackenzie Culpepper both set personal records in the 800m as well, with times of 2:12.76 and 2:13.96, respectively. Fawcett’s time was good enough to earn her a top 10 finish in her heat. 

Graduate student Brooke Overholt blazed through the 400m, finishing in just 54.76 seconds, good for a third place finish and the seventh fastest time in Vanderbilt history for the event. Ella Escobar sped to a personal best of 11.98 seconds in the 100m race, finishing seventh overall and tying for the eighth fastest time in school history. Taylor McKinnon landed in fifth place after the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.75 seconds, and following behind her was Sims with a time of 13.98. Both athletes were fast enough to land in the top 10 of Vanderbilt’s fastest 100m hurdles of all time. 

Looking at the long-distance events, freshman Audrey Allman ran a 4:27.11 1,500m, landing her a third place finish. Ella Lambert, who competed in the same event, notched a career-best 4:35.81. Fawcett, Julia Rosenberg and Emma Curry all ran career-bests in the event as well.

The Field

The Commodores racked up numerous records off  the track as well. Giavonna Meeks broke her own school record in the hammer throw with a 52.51-meter throw. Graduate student Beatrice Juskeviciute built off of her teammates success by breaking the school record in the javelin throw after a 45.47 meter throw. 

Freshman Sarah Marvin crushed the shot put, as her throw of 15.24 meters earned her a first place finish among all freshmen, and fourth overall. Murray threw the shot 10.12 meters for a new personal best. Veronica Fraley flashed her dominance yet again, claiming first in the discus event with a throw of 54.14 meters. It was her third first place finish in as many meets. 

Looking forward, Vanderbilt will have a quick turnaround before traveling to Walnut, California from April 12-15 to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays.

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About the Contributor
Aiden Rutman, Senior Staff Writer
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
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