With two attempts remaining, Angel Nkwonta sat in second place on the leaderboard behind Kentucky’s Molly Leppelmeier for the lead in the women’s weight throw.
Lining up for her penultimate throw, Nkwonta spun and released the weight and watched it fly for a personal and program record 21.69 meters, jumping Leppelmeier to the No. 1 spot that Nkwonta held onto for the rest of the event.
The winning throw topped the previous school record of 20.62 meters, set by Nkwonta herself in 2021, by over a full meter.
Maryland track and field set or tied five program or personal records Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Invite – the Terps’ third meet of 2022 – headlined by Nkwonta and men’s runner Caleb Dean.
Dean added his own program records, breaking the men’s 60 meter record with a 6.68 second run in the event’s semifinal on Saturday and notching the second-fastest men’s 200 meter mark in program history at 21.22 seconds on Friday.
“Opening up day one with two school records set the tone for what we came to Kentucky to accomplish,” coach Andrew Valmon said in a release.
Dean started the Terps’ stretch of solid showings Friday morning when he placed fifth in the men’s 60 meter with a time of 6.73 seconds. In the early afternoon, junior Maxwell Myers’ personal best 1:20.00 in the men’s 600 meter placed fourth.
Junior Sarah George’s 17.36 meters in the women’s weight throw placed sixth and also set a personal best.
Dean, continuing his record-setting weekend Saturday morning in the men’s 60 meter semifinal, finished third behind Kentucky’s Lance Lang and Youngstown State’s Anthony Woods to advance to the event finals.
“This is the time of the year where competition starts to heat up and I’m happy to see our athletes responding with top ranked performances,” Valmon said.
After a stellar Friday and a promising Saturday morning, the Terps’ success slowed as the second and final day of the McCravy Invite wrapped up. In the men’s 60 meter final, Dean committed a false start penalty prior to the race’s start, disqualifying him from the race and ultimately ending his day.
Elsewhere, freshman Eric Albright set a season-best in the men’s 800 meter with a 1:53.24 time and Nkwonta followed up her first place finish in the weight throw Friday night with a third-place finish of 15.81 meters in the women’s shot put.
Sophomore Jeff Kline’s 17.08 meter throw placed fifth in the men’s shot put and junior Anna Coffin finished seventh with a time of 5:04.04 in the women’s mile run.
Although the initial success from Friday failed to carry over to Saturday, Valmon is looking to capitalize on his team’s success moving forward.
“This is the progress we are looking for this season as we make forward progress towards some lofty goals,” Valmon said.