It was a solid four days for Middle Tennessee as the university hosted the 2016 Conference USA Track and Field Championships.
Geoffry Cheruiyot shone brightest on day three of the championships, earning an important 10points for his team while taking first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. His time of 8:51:04 set a new school record, previously held by Shadrack Matelong, with Cheruiyot finishing strongest when it mattered most.
In the women’s steeplechase the Blue Raiders placed third and fourth, with Josphine Kiptebeny finishing third and Rhema Cheruiyot not far behind. Kiptebeny finished in 10:44.62 and Cheruiyot finished with a time of 10:47.54.
Elizabeth Dadzie found the top of the podium twice over the weekend. Dadzie won the heptathlon Friday night and took first in the long jump Saturday with a mark of 6.09 meters. Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad joined Dadzie on the podium, posting a third-place finish with a mark of 6.06 meters.
In the 10,000 meter, Gladys David set a school record and posted a second-place finish with a time of 34:53.89. David finished just behind three-time conference champion Cali Roper, one of the most impressive performances for the Blue Raiders.
Atsu Nyamadi carried a strong performance into Friday, and eventually into Saturday, taking first in four events over the two days. Nyamadi joined Dadzie as the first Blue Raider champions taking first in the decathlon on Friday. On Saturday Nyamadi snagged another trio of conference titles, finishing first in the men’s 110-meter hurdles (14.73 seconds), the discus (43.29 meters) and the javelin (61.50 meters).
Agnes Abu had a solid outing Sunday, earning a pair of titles of her own, winning both the 800-meter and the 1500-meter.
Junior Eliud Rutto took home first in his best event, the 800-meter, and finished third in the 1500-meter.
John Ampomah ended Sunday breaking his own Conference USA javelin record and winning the event with a throw of 77.53 meters.
“I came here wanting to break the 77-meter mark but when it comes to conference events, it’s all about winning the championship,” Ampomah said in an interview with the DNJ.
Sampson Laari closed out the championships Sunday with a win in the men’s 5000-meter, a strong finish for the Blue Raiders.
Overall, both the men and women performed extremely well at the C-USA championships, with both teams securing their spot as second overall at the end of the weekend. The men took second with a total of 123 points while the women earned a total of 129.5.
Rice ultimately took home the crown on the women’s side, while Western Kentucky took home the men’s overall title.