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Following the first day of the Asics Winthrop Invitational on Friday, March 25, the Radford University track and field squad already recorded a school record, notched six preliminary top-three preliminary performances and locked down a victory in the men’s 5000 meter run.
The athlete at the front of the 5000 pack was RU standout distance freshman Brian Gorowitz. He’s been the symbol of the future for the Highlanders’ distance team, and showed why, winning the race in 15:17. It was his first individual victory of his college career.
Assistant Coach Sean Bossman, who used to run for the distance team and is serving as the head distance coach this season, told RU Athletics that this performance was exactly what they had been looking for out of the young runner for some time now. He commented on how relaxed the Highlander looked during his “perfect” race and hoped this would boost his confidence for the remainder of the year.
In day two of the invitation, Gorwitz toed the line for the 1500, where he finished in eighth place in a time of 4:07.
Also headlining the distance team were freshman Chris Weeks and senior Brittney Whittaker.
Weeks took seventh overall in the 800 meter race, narrowly missing breaking the 2:00 plane.
Whittaker was the first to cross the line in the women’s 800 meter, winning the race in a time of 2:19.
Sophomore Sam Keltner didn’t do so bad for himself either, crossing the line in the 10,000 meter run in third place with a time of 33:34. His time was also a confidence-booster as it was a personal record by almost a minute.
RU sprinters held their own as well on the first day of competition at Winthrop.
Sophomore Kaise White hit a time of 49.00 in the 400 meter prelims and also took sixth in the 200 meter prelims in 22.47 and was set up to face RU junior Raschad Kelso, whose time of 21.96 was fast enough for third.
The high point for the RU sprinting core, however, came from freshman Chris Dobbins. The Highlander came through in a school-record, 14.41 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles, which was good enough for second place in the preliminary round.
Dobbins also took home silver in the long jump with a personal best leap of 7.07m/23’2.50.
The women’s sprint team came out in force in North Carolina as well this past weekend, especially the younger group.
Freshman Diane Wesh crossed the line in first place for the preliminary round of the 400 meter dash, finishing in 57.02. She also made the final heat of the 200 by running a 26.02.
Speaking of freshmen, the duo of Amber Church and Courtni Pannell performed well again this past weekend in the 100 meter hurdles. Church broke the tape in 14.26 and Pannell was right behind in 14.59. Church also took ninth place in the long jump, clearing 5.08 meters.
The second day of the meet did not go as planned for the Highs, largely due to inclement weather. It was raining in Winthrop throughout the day and it only got worse, meaning times were much slower than normal.
RU will be back out on the track this coming weekend at Liberty University.