Maryland track and field ended its regular season with a bang at the Jim Thorpe Invitational. Although their competition was limited, the Terps made their last regular season meet one to remember.
The weekend was highlighted by a historic performance from thrower Angel Nkwonta, who has had a tumultuous outdoor season despite enjoying a prolific indoor campaign.
That changed in her return to State College, Pennsylvania, where she had set a number of records in the indoor season. She etched her name in the Maryland record books yet again with a first place finish and personal best of 61.50 meters in the women’s hammer throw.
And one attempt was all the senior needed as the mark moved Nkwonta up to No. 3 all time in Terps’ history.
With several spins and a toss, senior Alice Barnsdale joined Nkwonta on the podium, finishing in third place with a mark of 56.35 meters. Junior Kamryn Henderson finished not too far behind, posting a mark of 51.26 meters.
Competing against three other Penn State athletes, Maryland’s Lillian Hill also delivered a strong field performance for the Terps when she launched her javelin 42.11 meter, good for second place.
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Meanwhile, Hayden Tobias had a second consecutive stellar weekend. Although the freshman didn’t break any personal records, Tobias finished in third place in both the shot put and discus throw with marks of 17.37 meters and 47.20 meters, respectively.
Maryland was especially successful in the triple jump with Gerald Norgbe, at 14.38 meters, and Leah Blackall, at 12.45 meters, both finishing in first place to represent the men’s and women’s teams.
It concluded a dominant outdoor regular season for Norgbe and Blackall, who held a combined 12 podium finishes, including six first place finishes between the two.
The story on the track was much the same for a Terps squad preparing for championship season, highlighted by podium finishes and personal records.
Nadia Hackett headlined with first place in the women’s 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.10 seconds. It serves as the latest in a string of impressive times from the senior, who said she was holding herself to a new standard following her record-breaking showing at April’s Rutgers Tri-Meet.
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With a goal of scoring at the Big Ten championships next weekend, Hackett looks to be in good shape moving forward.
In the women’s 400 meter, Maryland ran unopposed. Kami Joi Hickson, Mackenzie Morgan and Nyela Williams each finished with personal records. Hickson ran 59.16 seconds, beating her old personal record set a month ago by less than a tenth of a second, while Morgan finished the race in 1:00.80 and Williams finished in 1:01.59.
Meanwhile, senior Christine Laurie delivered a strong performance in the women’s 1500 meter, taking home a first place finish with a time of 4:38.66. Sophomore Anna Coffin also had a solid showing in just her second appearance on the track this year, finishing third with a time of 4:43.22.
The familiar territory in State College proved successful for the Terps as they accrued a number of podium finishes. It bodes well for Maryland a number of athletes were able to set personal bests.
All things look to be pointing in the right direction for a primed Terps squad as they get ready to compete at the Big Ten championships next weekend.