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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: Commodores post best performance of millenia at SEC Championships

A successful three-day competition in Baton Rouge, La., was highlighted with two gold medals and Vanderbilt’s best team performance since 1999.
Veronica+Fraley+broke+a+school+record+and+was+the+SEC+discus+champion+over+the+weekend+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Veronica Fraley broke a school record and was the SEC discus champion over the weekend (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Vanderbilt Track and Field has managed to break records in seemingly every meet it has had all season, and it continued that streak at the SEC Championships. Several Commodores broke personal records while others etched their names into the school’s history books with program records. 

Vanderbilt posted its best team score — 39 — since 1999. The Commodores placed 11th overall in the event. The meet, which was hosted by LSU, took place in Baton Rouge, La., and ran from May 11-13. 

“The whole team — from the athletes to the coaches to the support staff — were working to be the best,” director of track and field Althea Thomas said. “Not just to have a presence and be better, but to be the best, and it’s showing in everything that we do.”

Track 

Vanderbilt’s weekend was highlighted with an incredible showing from graduate student Beatrice Juskeviciute in the heptathlon. The Lithuania native set her personal best with a score of 6,079 en route to a first-place finish to secure a gold medal. Jada Sims and Madison Murray found success in the event as well, placing inside the top 10 at fourth and seventh, respectively. 

Juskeviciute performed well enough to also land in the top 10 in Vanderbilt’s history books for a few of the specific events in the heptathlon. Her 6.03-meter long jump was her personal best and good for fourth-best in school history. She also jumped 1.68 meters in the high jump, the eighth-highest in Vanderbilt history. Sims won the competition with a distance of 1.77 meters, tied for third in the Vanderbilt record books. 

In the 400-meter hurdle prelims, Brooke Overholt and Allyria McBride qualified for the final competition after setting personal bests and landing at No. 2 and No. 3 in program history, respectively. In the final, Overholt came in fifth place, and McBride followed shortly thereafter in seventh. Mya Georgiadis ran a 58.64-second race, good for No. 8 among all-time Vanderbilt athletes. 

Satana Spearman ran a blazing 13.63-second 100-meter hurdle, which was an exact tie of her personal best. Julia Rosenberg continued to find success in the 1500-meter race with a personal best time of 4:26.85. Haley Walker and Lainey Phelps weren’t far behind her with times of 4:31.84 and 4:33.77 seconds, respectively. 

In the 400-meter preliminary rounds, Taiya Shelby’s 51.43-second race earned her a personal record and a spot in the finals, where she placed ninth. Her qualifying time is the second-best in Vanderbilt history. Kaira Brown followed with a time of 54.68 seconds. Madison Fuller finished with a time of 12.26 seconds in the 100-meter prelims. 

In the 4×400 relay, Ella Escobar, Nicole Anderson, McBride and Fuller landed sixth among all former Commodores with a time of 46.37 seconds. 

In the 3000-meter steeplechase, Joslin Blair and Emma Curry ran rimes of 11:00.59 and 11:26.57 seconds, respectively, both landing inside the top 10 in Vanderbilt history. Niki Narayani placed 11th in the 5000-meter race with a time of 16:43.98 seconds, and Caroline Ek finished right after, clocking in at 16:58.41 seconds.

Field 

Giavonna Meeks began her day with an impressive 56.54 meter toss in the hammer throw, placing 14th overall and No. 1 among all freshmen. 

Veronica Fraley threw for 17.23 meters in the shot put, good for fourth overall in the event. Sarah Marvin and Meeks participated as well, throwing personal bests of 15.93 and 14.11 meters, respectively. 

Fraley also threw for a school record 62.84 meters in the discus event, earning her a first place finish in the SEC and breaking the school record. Her throw is the 13th-longest in women’s collegiate history. 

Up next

The Commodores finished with their best performance at the SEC championships in 24 years, posting a team score of 39 points. 

“It feels really good. I’m most proud of how they’re doing everything with confidence and assurance, even beyond rankings and what people expect,” Thomas said.

With two first-place finishers and other standout performances, Vanderbilt Track and Field will wait to see if its name is called when qualifiers for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships are declared later this week.

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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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