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Ellis Horton
Ellis Horton finished second in the weight throw at the VMI event.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

LR Track and Field Team Competes at VMI, South Carolina

The Lenoir-Rhyne  Track and Field Team made its return to Virginia Military Institute for the second weekend in a row.

Throughout the weekend, the Bears were led by a group of three women who placed in the top 10 for two unique events: Olivia Jackson, Marlesia Walker and Savannah Nippa.

In the women’s weight throw, Jackson took a third-place finish with a toss of 14.72 meters. Walker, the junior from Kankakee, Ill., finished seventh with a new season-best throw of 13.96 meters while Nippa generated a new personal best throw of 12.65 meters to round out the top 10.

In the women’s shot put, the three finished consecutively on the leaderboard with Jackson, Walker and Nippa garnering eighth, ninth and 10th place results, respectively. Jackson, the senior from Cherokee, N.C., recorded a toss of 11.3 meters while Walker produced a season-best throw of 10.33 meters. Nippa, the senior from Sanibel Island, Fla., finished just a shade behind Walker with a 10.29-meter throw.

For other events in the field, Pearl Ballard recorded a fourth-place finish in the women’s pole vault with a 3.22-meter result. That height is a new season best for the junior out of Hendersonville, N.C.

Ellis Horton recorded the best individual result for the Bears in Lexington with his second-place finish in the men’s weight throw. The senior from Mount Pleasant, N.C., recorded a toss of 16.06 meters, the best throw amongst all Division II participants.

Although it was not a busy weekend on the track for the Bears, LR was able to produce two top five finishers in men’s 60-meter hurdles. The pair of freshmen, Nick Tibolla and Liam Sutton, registered third and fifth-place results with times of 8.25 and 8.56, respectively.

In addition, the Lenoir-Rhyne Track and Field Team made its first trip to the University of South Carolina in the indoor season. And for the second weekend in a row, the men’s 4×400 relay team finished first in the event.

The combined team of Olawoe Olanrewaju, Clarence McGill, Bamidele Ajayi, and Marcus Crumpler logged a time of 3:12.56 to edge out South Carolina State’s “A Team” and Kennesaw State’s “B Team.”

For the women’s 4×400 relay, LR finished seventh in the event with a time of 3:54.38. That group was made up of Damyja Ortiz, Sharonda Priester, Carolin Fuehren, and Holly Kone.

For individual races, Ajayi notched another top three finish over the weekend with a personal-best time of 47.70 in the men’s 60-meter dash. That result was the mark out of all NCAA participants.

Meanwhile for Fuehren, the freshman continues to collect top placements in her first indoor season. This weekend, Fuehren recorded a personal-best time of 2:11.73 to finish seventh in the women’s 800-meter event.

After not participating in any of the final events last weekend, Alexis Brown made a strong return to the track with two top five finishes.

In the women’s 60-meter dash, Brown finished third with a time of 7:35. In the women’s 200-meter dash, the sophomore picked up a fifth-place result with a 24.07 time.

Keeping a focus on the short track, Sincere Sanders-Moss also had a top 10 finish as the freshman placed eighth in the men’s 60-meter dash. The Gastonia, N.C. native produced a time of 6.85.

For the 3000-meter events, LR had two top 10 finishers with Jacob Parkinson and Eliska Rihova in their respective events.

In the men’s race, Parkinson registered a new season best time of 8:37.32 to finish sixth in the competition. For the women’s race, Rihova just sneaked into the top 10 with a 10th-place time of 10:41.65; that mark is the new personal best for the sophomore.

Over in the field, Nick Henriques recorded a new personal best in the men’s triple jump event. The junior had a leap of 14.45 meters to finish third in the competition.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams will return to action for the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational. The two-day event hosted by Liberty University will begin on Friday, Feb. 9.


The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams will return to action for the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational. The two-day event hosted by Liberty University will begin on Friday, Feb. 9.