May 2, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Alabama swept the three field events on Friday, the first day of the Jace Lacoste Invitational at Mississippi State University at Starkville, Miss. Charodd Richardson set a personal best en route to winning the men's weight throw, Nia Barnes won the women's weight throw with a mark that ranks eighth in school history, and Lakan Taylor was the top collegiate finisher in the women's pole vault.
"It was a good night of events for Alabama," Alabama head coach Dan Waters said. "We got some quality work in, and it was nice to see some solid performances as we get closer to the SEC Championships. Hopefully, we can get back out here tomorrow and string together a few more personal bests and event victories."
Junior Charodd Richardson set a personal best in the men's hammer throw to earn his third victory in the event this season. Richardson's mark of 65.07 meters (213 feet, 6 inches), bested his previous PR set at the Mt. SAC Relays (64.61 meters/212 feet). Richardson has now set a personal best in the event in each of Alabama's five meets this season. Oklahoma's Charles Nguyen placed second in the event with a mark of 56.98 meters (186-11).
Junior Nia Barnes won the women's weight throw with a mark of 58.64 meters (192 feet, 5 inches). Her winning mark ranks eighth in school history. Barnes also posted marks of 56.95 meters (186-10), 57.71 meters (189-4), 57.25 meters (187-10) and 56.94 meters (186-10). Iowa State's Kayla Sanford finished runner-up with a best mark of 55.92 meters (183-5).
Freshman Lakan Taylor was the top collegiate finisher in the women's pole vault by clearing 4.10 meters (13 feet, 5 1/4 inches). Taylor entered the competition at 4.00 meters and cleared that mark and 4.10 meters on her first attempt at each, but she failed to clear 4.20 meters on three attempts. Former Alabama standout Alexis Paine won the event, competing unattached and clearing 4.20 meters (13 feet, 9 1/4 inches). Alabama sophomore Autumn Conn finished fifth with a clearance of 3.80 meters (12 feet, 5 1/2 inches) on her first attempt. Alabama sophomore Anna Rawles and freshman Britainy Smith no-heighted.
On the track, senior Claire Turner took runner-up in the women's 5,000 meters. Turner (17:46.59) recorded her best time of the season and finished just over a second behind Jodie McGuff (17:45.37) of Mississippi State.
In the men's 5,000, sophomore Justin Ahalt placed third with a time of 15:03.63, while freshman Andrew Faris posted a time of 15:24.12 to finish eighth. Mississippi State senior John Valentine won the event in 14:50.05.
Alabama returns to action Saturday with a full slate of events scheduled. Field events start at 12 p.m. CT, while action on the oval begins at 2 p.m. CT.
Jace Lacoste Invitational
Friday, May 2, 2014
5,000 meters - 3. Justin Ahalt, 15:03.63; 8. Andrew Faris, 15:24.12.
Hammer Throw - 1. Charodd Richardson, 65.07 meters (213-6).
5,000 meters - 2. Claire Turner, 17:46.59.
Hammer Throw - 1. Nia Barnes, 58.64 meters (192-5).
Pole Vault - 2. Lakan Taylor, 4.10 meters (13-5.25); 5. Autumn Conn, 3.80 meters (12-5.50); NH. Anna Rawles; NH. Britainy Smith.