Mountaineer runners earn eight first place finishes at App State Split Open


Courtesy of App State Athletics

Freshman thrower Daiyanna Cooper celebrates her multiple first place finishes in the App State Split Open Friday.

Drew Bailey, Reporter

App State women’s track and field had one of the most successful days in program history Friday at the App State Split Open, notching eight first place finishes, double its highest previous mark this season. 

One Mountaineer athlete won two events. Freshman Daiyanna Cooper tossed 15.69 meters to finish first in the weight throw and threw 12.02 meters to win the shot put. Friday

Senior LaBria King finished first in the 55-meter dash with a 7.09 time. This was her second-straight event with a first place finish this season. Senior Jelonnie Smith finished with a 7.16 and sophomore Ani Judd finished with a 7.30. They earned second and third place, respectively.

Junior Taylor Smith recorded her second first place finish this season. She reached a personal record of 6.05 meters in the long jump, which ties the fifth best mark in program history. Junior Djamila Peterson also did well in the event, finishing in third with a 5.64-meter jump.

Following second place finishes at the previous two events in the pole vault, senior Casey Meinert leaped to a first place finish, launching herself 3.51 meters. Junior Ceila Agee also finished with 3.51 meters, but an earlier failed attempt gave her second place.

In the one mile run, sophomore Bianca Copeman crossed the finish line first with a blazing 5:32.05, and junior Danielle Lugo crossed second with a 5:37.84.

App State’s dominance was highlighted by the 300-meter dash, where the Mountaineers finished in the top six positions.Smith finished first after sprinting to a 40.26 time. Senior Jessica Dixon and junior Mariah Atwater closed out the podium. They finished with times of 41.33 and 41.56, respectively. 

In the women’s triple jump, junior Jada Branch took off for a 12.26-meter jump, achieving her second first place finish this season in the event. Senior Hassani Burris finished third with a 12.08-meter jump.

Besides Cooper, two other underclassmen made the podium in the weight throw. Freshman Graysen Arnold threw 15.24 meters, capturing second. Sophomore Megan Plummer highlighted the successful performance of the underclassmen with a 13.78 throw and third place finish. In the shot put, Plummer threw for 11.94 meters to finish second. 

Freshman Morgan Kornke finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:24.57. Freshman Karsyn Kane finished hundredths of a second behind with a 2.24:59 time. 

The 3000-meter dash produced another rare occurrence on the day when the Mountaineer runners did not win an event. Senior Taylor Houston put up an 11:10.97 to earn second place. Abby Garnberg produced App State’s last top three finish of the day, achieving third with a time of 11:13.95. 

Women’s track and field will try to build on their success when they return to East Tennessee State University for the Buccaneer Track and Field Invitational Feb. 4-5.