NASHVILLE – The Vanderbilt track and field team made sure that its only home meet of the outdoor season was a memorable one.
With Carmen Carlos delivering record-breaking performance, the Commodores closed out the Black and Gold Invitational in strong style on Saturday.
Carlos ran to a victory in the 3k with a personal-best time of 9:28.97 to break a school record that had been in place for more than 20 years. The previous mark was set by Beth Tallent in 1994 with a time of 9:29.10.
Carlos’ performance highlighted a significant day for the Commodores.
The day began with a ceremony that recognized the seniors on the track and field and cross country rosters. Head coach Steve Keith said it was a “special group” and praised the seniors for the impact they had made during their careers. (For full interview with Keith, visit vucommodores.com). Sara Barron, one of the seniors in the group, sang the National Anthem.
Fittingly, several of the Commodore seniors produced outstanding performances as the rest of the day unfolded.
Senior Vanessa Valentine took third place in the 3k with a personal-best time of 9:36.30, which ranks No. 3 on VU’s all-time list.
The Commodores also had a pair of impressive performances in the 400, with Skyler Carpenter taking second place with a time of 55.15 and Faith Washington finishing third at 55.32. Carpenter and Washington each set new PRs while posting the No. 5 and No. 6 marks, respectively, on VU’s all-time list.
For the day, the Commodores had 11 individuals who posted Top 5 finishes, including Sarah Bell, who took second in the pole vault by clearing 13-3.50 (4.05m), and Jennifer Edobi, who finished second in the 800 at 2:10.94.
Vanderbilt’s 4×400 relay team — comprised of Faith Washington, Lydia Witty, Carpenter and Ginger Hutton — finished third at 3:48.61, and on the men’s side, Nikolaos Gkotsis was third in the Steeplechase at 6:04.16.
Vanderbilt took six of the top 15 spots in the women’s 800. In addition to Carlos and Valentine, Maddie Criscione was 10th at 2:12.94, Sara Tsai was 11th at 2:13.13, Lily Williams was 12th at 2:13.59 and Ginger Hutton was 15th at 2:14.07.
This week, Vanderbilt will send representatives to two meets — the Florida Relays and the Stanford Invitationals.