Clark breaks school record, Herd wins Qdoba Marshall Invitational


Richard Crank

Marshall senior thrower Hasana Clark prepares to participate in the weight throw at the Qdoba Marshall Invitational. Clark set a new personal record in the event with a throw of 20.48 meters.

Thundering Herd senior Hasana Clark broke three records in the women’s weight throw event on Friday to help the Herd’s track and field team win the two-day Qdoba Marshall Invitational, at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex.

Clark threw the weight for 20.48m (67 feet, 2.25 inches). Her mark shattered the Conference USA record, Marshall’s school record and is a current Marshall Invitational record. The throw is also currently ranked 25th in the nation.

Clark said on Saturday that the throw really surprised her.

“Nothing was going through my head,” she said. “I didn’t expect that to happen. I honestly didn’t even come into the track meet like ‘Oh I am expecting to (get a) (personal record) today.’ It is just something that happened.”

Marshall assistant track and field coach Caleb Bowen said on Friday that after the women’s weight event the team was in high spirits.

“After that women’s weight we are really excited,” he said. “They performed phenomenally and not just the top (athletes), every one of our (athletes) that performed got a (personal best).”

The meet ended on Saturday and the Herd took the victory with a total of 187 points out of 16 women’s events scored, 80 points more than second-place Eastern Kentucky. The Herd took first place in five of the events. Senior Kayla Haywood took first in the women’s 60-meter dash with a time of 7.70 seconds. Sophomore Brandy Elysee took first place in the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 25.15 seconds, while junior Safiyyah Mitchell took first place in the women’s 60-meter hurdles in 8.70 seconds. Senior Elena Marchand took first place in women’s shot put when she threw for 14.31 meters (46 feet, 11.5 inches).

Marshall head coach Jeff Small said in an interview on Saturday the main focus was gaining that confidence factor.

“We had some (athletes) have not great meets last week,” he said. “So, we hoped to get more confidence out of them this week.”

Bowen said the meet was just fun.

“It was a smaller meet and it just made it more competitive,” he said. “In every race and event that we were in, I thought we performed really well.”

Similarly, Small said that the team performed well and that they laid a couple of (athletes) back due to the Conference USA Championships just a week away.

“We (like) kind of having a conference meet just a week away,” Small said. “We kind of laid a couple people back and switched up their events. Some of our longer sprinters we ran short. Some of our middle-distance runners ran the 400. The thrower just started the tapper just a tiny bit.”

The Herd’s track and field team will leave on Thursday to travel to Birmingham, Alabama for the Conference USA Indoors Championship. The two-day event will begin Friday and end Saturday.

Smalls said that the key for a good performance is for the team to play it smart.

“We have to train but not too hard (and) rest up, lick (our) wounds and get ready for a great meet this weekend,” he said.

Millard Stickler can be contacted at [email protected].