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Ashlee Osaji
Ashlee Osaji won gold in the women's long jump at the Sun Belt Championship and 14th at the NCAA East Preliminaries in the women's long jump.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Women and Men’s Track and Field Team Compete at NCAA East Preliminary Round

The App State men’s and women’s track and field team closed out competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet on Friday. The Mountaineers were represented by seven individuals, the most App State has sent to the preliminary meet in program history.

Graduate student Ashlee Osaji landed 14th in the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.14m (20′ 1.75″), while senior Taylor Smith took 43rd with a leap of 5.66m (18′ 7″). Osaji set the App State and Sun Belt record on March 23 at the Weems Baskin Relays with a leap of 6.54m (21′ 5.5″). The Madison, Ala. native was named Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year and collected First-Team All-SBC honors after clinching gold with a leap of 6.26m (20′ 6.5″) at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships. Smith recorded a personal best of 6.32m (20′ 9″) at the App State Open on April 27, which moved her to second in the program all-time list. Throughout the season, Smith collected three Sun Belt Athlete of the Week honors for her efforts in the women’s long jump and in the women’s 100 meters, women’s 200 meters, and women’s 4×100-meter relay.

In his first appearance at the NCAA East Prelim meet, freshman Matthew Gray recorded a clearance of 5.22m (17′ 1.5″) to tie for 27th in the men’s pole vault. In his freshman season, the Bryson City, N.C. native broke the program record on two occasions, setting the current record of 5.34m (17′ 6.25″) on April 27 at the App State Open. He also collected Second-Team All-SBC honors after securing silver in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 5.27m (17′ 3.5″) at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships.

In his second consecutive appearance at the NCAA East Prelim meet, senior Niejel Wilkins recorded a leap of 15.22m (49′ 11.25″), landing 33rd overall. Earlier in the season, Wilkins tied Joel Gaddy’s 2008 mark for fifth in the App State all-time list with a personal best leap of 15.83m (51′ 11.25″) at the App State Open on April 27. Wilkins also earned Third-Team All-SBC honors after earning bronze at the Sun Belt Championships with a leap of 15.55m (51′ 0.25″).

Clocking a time of 14.05, sophomore Harrison Robinson finished 35th in the first round of the men’s 110-meter hurdles. Robinson had clocked a personal best of 13.93 on March 22 at the Weems Baskin Relays, which raised him to third in the App State all-time list. The Jacksonville, Fla. native also collected Third-Team All-SBC honors after a bronze finish with a time of 14.00 in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships.

In the women’s pole vault, sophomore Ava Studney tied for 37th with a clearance of 3.80m (12′ 5.5″). The Waxhaw, N.C. native set the school record with a clearance of 4.04m (13′ 3″) on March 16 at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open. She also tied the school record for the women’s indoor pole vault with a clearance of 4.06m (13′ 3.75′).

Senior Chris Wainscott recorded a toss of 16.50m (54′ 1.75″) to place 44th in the men’s shot put. The Indianapolis, Ind. native had recorded a season best toss of 17.88m (58′ 8″) on March 16 at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open. He stands second in the App State all-time list with a toss of 17.95m (58′ 10.75″), which he recorded during the 2023 season.

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}