Strong Performances at Walsh (Ohio) Invitational for WLU
NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Several members of the West Liberty University track teams made an impact here Friday as the Walsh (Ohio) Invitational concluded at the Dan McCallion Track.
Sophomore distance ace Hannah Kemp shattered a 21-year-old school record in the 1,500-meter run while a quartet of Hilltopper men's runners made a big move up the Mountain East Conference and Atlantic Region leaderboard with stellar performances.
Kemp, the reigning MEC Cross Country Runner of the Year, became the first WLU woman to break the 5-minute mark in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:54.63. That easily eclipsed Kristen Hetzel's previous school standard of 5:00.59, which had been on the books since the 1999-2000 outdoor season.
Kemp's time was third-best in the MEC this spring and ranks among the top 10 so far in the Atlantic Region.
On the men's side, Tavian Richardson won the 800-meter run in near-record time with Michael Harriman placing third. Phil White hit the tape first at 5000 meters with Danah Phillips notching a third-place finish, as well.
Richardson just missed breaking one of the oldest records in the WLU books. His winning time of 1:53.86 was less than a second off the existing mark of 1:53.10, set all the way back in 1976 by West Liberty Hall of Famer Bruce Cox. Harriman wasn't far behind with a time of 1:55.13, giving the Hilltoppers the top two times in the MEC this spring.
Richardson ranks No. 2 in the Atlantic Region with Harriman at No. 4.
It was a similar story at 5000 meters as White (15:04.45) and Phillips (15:18.80) returned home with the two fastest times in the conference this spring. White's time ranks second in the Atlantic Region with Phillips at No. 4.
The West Liberty men and women will be in action Saturday when they travel to Buckhannon, W.Va. for the Jasmine Claggett Invitational, hosted by West Virginia Wesleyan.