MT Track and Field gives solid performance at Tennessee Relays

Photo by Jonathan Clark / MTSU Sidelines

Middle Tennessee traveled to Knoxville to compete in the Tennessee Relays. Coach Dean Hayes had this weekend marked as one the Blue Raiders needed to perform well. The competition was tough. The track meet featured some of the top teams in the nation.

The Blue Raiders were well tested, and they came away with a few victories that left Hayes optimistic about the team’s postseason future.

“I’m satisfied all around,” Coach Hayes said. “We competed hard.”

This statement couldn’t be more true of the final race, when the Blue Raiders fought to the final step of their race.


Middle Tennessee finished just two-tenths of a second behind the Jackets, but it didn’t deter the job the Blue Raiders did during the day.

Another record breaking weekend

The Blue Raiders managed to make history again this weekend. After breaking the school record in the 4×400 meter relay earlier in the outdoor season, the women outdid themselves.

Even though they broke the school record, the team of Agnes Abu, Loveth Odia, Janet Amponsah and Abike Egbeniyi finished the race in second place with a time of 3:35.76.


Coach Hayes sees this relay team going far in the postseason.

“[Their performance today] will move us up in the standings. We should make it,” Coach Hayes said. “We are in pretty good shape for the east regionals.”

For the men, the school record in the distance medley relay was broken. This team also found themselves in second place despite the strong performance, as the team of Ifiok Umoh, Hilary Rono, Sampson Laari, and Eliud Rutto clocked a time of 9:48.13

A very strong showing from the women

While this wasn’t the best day MTSU has enjoyed on the track, the women made their presence known. In addition to helping set a new school record, Abike Egbeniyi continued her spectacular season with a win in the 800 meter run. The Blue Raiders would take the first two places as Agnes Abu finished second.

Janet Amponsah also had a good outing on the track. She won the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.19. Her day wasn’t finished as she placed third in the 100 meter dash.

Rhema Cheruiyot took third in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Cheruiyot was not available for the inside season, so Coach Hayes hopes she can add some points for the team in the distance races to help put them over the top.

“The women finished in third place indoors, but we didn’t have Rhema Cheruiyot,” Coach Hayes said about projections for the team, “We are getting some improvement out of the 4×100 relay and the distance runs so that should give us a shot at some more points.”

What’s next?

After this weekend, Coach Hayes is even more confident in his team.

“We should challenge for the two conference titles, men and women“ Coach Hayes said.

The Blue Raiders will split up next weekend. Some of the players will head to the Austin Peay Invitational in Clarksville. The other players will head out to California for the annual Mt. SAC Relays.

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Follow MTSU Track-and-Field beat writer Jonathan Clark (@JonDemetries) on Twitter for more coverage.

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To contact Sports Editor Tyler Lamb (@Tlamb35), email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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