Herd runs strong at 2018 Thundering Herd Invitational

Marshall track and field returned home this weekend with a strong performance inside the Chris Cline Indoor Athletics Facility at the 2018 Thundering Herd Invitational.

Appalachian State won the meet with 132 points and Marshall finished second with 99, tallying two event wins and 21 top-10 finishes.

Marshall track and field head coach, Jeff Small, said that after a setback at the Gladstien Invitational, coming home was good for team morale.

“We had a little valley there,” Small said. “Now, just to be back home on this track, the whole groups are coming together. Overall, I really think we made a great jump forward today as a program.”

Junior Reneese Batson started the meet on a high note for the Herd, taking first place in the women’s weight throw with a best throw 17.43 meters (57 feet, 2.25 inches).

Marshall had a pair of top-four finishes in the triple jump. Junior Melany Belot finished second (12.17m/39 ft. 11.25 in.) and sophomore Denisha West finished fourth (11.87m/38 ft. 11.50 in.).

Sophomore Safiyyah Mitchell won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.49 seconds, falling just short of the program record of 8.42 seconds. Her time set a new facility and meet record, and is the best time this season throughout Conference USA.

“I wanted to PR (personal record) really bad,” Mitchell said. “I was just trying to push as hard as I could. I got out really slow, but I brought it back at the end.”

Freshman Lauren Zaglifa broke the school record in the indoor pole vault in her second competition for the Herd with a best clearance of 3.50 meters (11 feet 5.75 inches). She said the key to success was using adrenaline and guidance from the coaching staff to help her relax while competing.

“It’s cool because they know the mental blocks,” Zaglifa said. “They know what I’m feeling when I’m up in the air and it really helps.”

Mitchell said the team’s consistency through its first four events of the indoor season provides confidence moving forward into the next event.

“We have a really good team this year,” Mitchell said. “In our conference we have a chance to become one of the best.”

Complete results from the 2018 Thundering Herd Invitational can be found on Herdzone.com.

Marshall track and field will travel to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia for the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational this coming weekend.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected]