May 3, 2014
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Missouri State track & field team won two events to finish third overall in the Jace LaCoste Invitational at Carl Maddox Track Complex on Saturday.
Junior sprinter Althia Maximilien won the 400-meter dash and the Bears' 4x400-meter relay squad of sophomores Oarabile Babolayi, Shavonne Husbands, Maximilien and sophomore Chelsie Horton claimed that race in a season-best time.
Maximilien also took the 400 meters in a season-best time of 53.48 for her first victory in the event this season. The relay clocked a time of 3:39.47, over two-and-a-half seconds faster than the team's last best time.
The Bears scored 79 points to finish ahead of UAB and Iowa State (72 points), Oklahoma (51), No. 10 Florida State (26.5) and No. 16 Virginia Tech (18).
"It was very important that we had a good meet, this being the last meet before our conference championships," Missouri State Director of Track & Field Ronald Boyce said. "We also know that morale is a dangerous thing - both good and bad. We had a good meet, our morale is on the good side."
Alabama won the team title with 150.5 points followed by 12th-ranked host Mississippi State with 109.5.
Maximilien, a native of Bridgetown, Barbados, also placed second overall in the 200 meters in a career-best 23.61, topping her previous best of 23.63 from the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 12.
Other quality performances came from Babolayi in the 400-meter hurdles and junior Haley Scott in the triple jump. Both finished second in their respective events, with Babolayi turning stopping the clock at 59.91. Scott leaped 11.81 meters (38 feet, nine inches).
In the long jump, sophomore Robiann Broomfield and senior Gemma Smith took the third and fourth spots. Broomfield was just five centimeters from trying her personal best with a mark of 5.89 meters (19 feet, four inches) while Smith jumped 5.74 meters (18 feet, 11.75 inches).
Junior Chelsey Borders, senior Pernell Joseph, Maximilien and Husbands were also second in the 4x100-meter relay in 45.71.
Husbands finished just behind Maximilien in the 200, placing third in 24.02. Joseph followed in seventh in a time of 24.70, while Horton was just one hundredth of a second off her career best in 25.13 to finish 10th overall in the event.
Husbands led of a group of five Bears in the 100-meter dash, placing fourth in 11.82. Joseph (11.89) was seventh Borders (11.95) eighth and Horton (12.26) was 10th with a career-best run. Junior Merica Moncherry rounded out the MSU competitors in the event with an 11th-place 12.32.
Other than Maximilien's performance in the 400 meters, freshman Rosalie Pringle also posted a solid time in the race. She won the second heat of the event to finish ninth overall in 58.02.
Missouri State is off next week in preparation for the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Carbondale, Ill., May 16-18.