USI Men’s Track & Field finishes eighth at WashU invitational

The men’s track and field team finished eighth at the Washington University in St. Louis Invitational over the weekend.

Though his specific place was not known as of press time, Senior James Cecil said he probably placed somewhere in the teens.

“We had people at different meets and at NC State so we didn’t have a full team,” Cecil said. “Most of our guys, however, did compete.”

In the 5000-meters race, over 200 competitors entered. Cecil crossed the finish line at 14 minutes, 54.46 seconds earning him 21st place.

Among the top performers for the Screaming Eagles were freshman Andrew Pierce. He collected top 10 finishes in the 100 and 200-meters race, placing seventh in the 100 meters at 11:40 seconds, and eighth in the 200 meters, clocking in at 23.21 seconds.

Freshman Grady Wilkinson finished 19th in the 10,000-meters at 31.44, an event that featured over 70 runners. Cain Parker finished 27th for the Eagles at 32.11.

“I would say we would have done the same spot even if the full team was there,” Cecil said. “There really was not much of a difference. Overall we placed the same way.”USI’s men’s team will return to action this Friday at the Kentucky Wesleyan invitational in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Women’s Scores:

Women’s track & field also saw several members place at the WashU invitational in St. Louis.

Among the top competitors, Sophomore Jennifer Comastri recorded her first-ever provisional time in the 10,000-meters.

“It was my first time running a 10k,” she said. “I have never run one in my life so I was not sure how I was going to go into it, it was super exciting though. I just had to be tough the whole way through.”

Comastri finished third in the event, making her the seventh fastest in Division II at 36 minutes, 28.55 seconds.

Her freshman year on campus, Comastri said she did all the running on her own, before joining the team track & field team “for fun.”

“I initially didn’t come to (USI) to pursue the sport I just loved the campus and the way I felt,” she said.

Comastri ran track for three years, and cross country for a year while in high school.

“It ended up being way better than I thought it would,” she said.

Comastri said she will continue to run and hopes to look towards the nationals in California in the coming weeks.

“I hope to qualify there,” she said. “I run a lot of different events.”

Comastri said she trains all day every week. Running 55 miles a week, she averages anywhere from six to 10 miles a day.

“I think a lot of people look at college sports and they are intimidated,” Comastri said. “Because it is a big step up. I think that’s how I felt too, but if you go into it with an open mind, you can improve so much, you just have to have the right mindset.”

A number of Eagles placed in the 5,000-meters. Five runners made it in the top 50 in an event that started over 130 competitors.

Senior Jessica Lincoln was not far behind, finishing the 10,000-meters in 37 minutes and 33 seconds in seventh place.

Senior Melina Gryschka placed 13th at 17 minutes and 38 seconds. Followed by junior Kate Henrickson in 20th and senior Bryce Cutler in 24th.

Among other notable athletes, freshman sprinter Dakota Gates led with a pair of top 10 runs, placing 10th in the 100-meters at 13.40 seconds and eighth in the 200-meters at :28.09.

USI overall finished 6th of 12 teams with 15 points.

USI’s women’s team will return to action again this Friday at the Kentucky Wesleyan Invitational in Owensboro, Kentucky.