Fortenberry And Nicholls Dash To Victories At Jaguar Invitational

Courtesy of UNO Athletics

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Nicholas Mitchell sets school record in the shot among numerous personal records

Senior Alexia Fortenberry and sophomore Micheal Nicholls provided the University of New Orleans with championship performances by winning the 60-meter hurdles events and Nicholas Mitchell set a school mark in the shot putt at the Jaguar Invitational at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday.

“This was a good day because we got a lot of good performances across the board with our sprint, distance and weight people,” said head track coach Benjamin Dalton  

Fortenberry, of Harvey, Louisiana, picked up her first win of the indoor season winning in a time of 8.42 seconds, improving her clocking of 8:59 a week earlier at the KMS Meet when she finished second.

“Alexis is doing a really good job of putting her feet down fast, which is everything you need when it comes to hurdles.   She’s doing well,” said Dalton.

Nicholls, of Bridgetown, Barbados, remains undefeated—a perfect 3-0—on the young season matching his best time of the year thus far at 7:96.  Nicholls was Southland Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016 after winning the 110-meter high hurdles at the Southland Conference Championships. Both Fortenberry and Nicholls collected 10 points for the first place finishes.

Nicholas Mitchell, a freshman from Chicago, finished 4th in the shot putt scoring 5 points with a school record effort of 53 feet, much to the delight of his coach.

“That one was really big for Nick because it was a 6.6 percent jump.  That’s huge and he is really doing well.”

Another freshman, Emma Hickman had a personal record in the weight throw at 43 feet 2 and one quarter inch.

All of UNO’s distance group set personal records.  Jared Robertson in the 400 (53:71) and the 800 meters (2:00:46).  Senior Clayton O’Callaghan finished 4th in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:47:35 and scored 4 points.  It was his first sub-16-minute race.

Mark Golay was selected athlete of the meet for New Orleans after slicing a huge chunk of time off his previous 5,000-meter clocking.   The sophomore from Metairie covered the distance in 16:12:15, good enough for sixth place and 3 points.

“Golay just absolutely crushed it in the five-thousand.  That was the event of the meet.  That was a minute and ten seconds faster than his previous time. He was awesome,” said Dalton

In the women’s mile both Latoya Harris (5:41:39) and Jamilla Nelson (6:13:79) turned in personal records.  In the 5,000 meters, Emily Martinez recorded the fastest time of her career at 19:28:24 and scored 1 point.

Zoria Findley and Latoya Harris did not score by ran personal bests in the 400 meters at 1:00:42 and 1:04:19 respectively.  Chelise Brown reached her first final in the 60-meter dash.  The Thibodaux, Louisiana senior crossed the finish in sixth place in 7:77, scoring 3 points.

Horizontal leaper Michael Strong took seventh place in the men’s long jump for 2 points at 22-2.   Sprinter Alex Hawkins recorded a personal best in the 60-meter dash at 7:24.

In team rankings the men’s team came in 9th out of 16 teams scoring 25 points and the women 10th out of 15 squads totaling 14 points.

“We are trying to make it really team focused so that they know every single point matters so that they can get a little momentum and excitement.”   Dalton Continued, “We’re starting to beat some people with half the squad they have so it’s kind of fun.”

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Fortenberry And Nicholls Dash To Victories At Jaguar Invitational