Fernandez eclipses 3,000-meter mark
Temple’s newest track & field athlete, graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez, shattered Temple’s indoor 3,000-meter record at the Valentine Invitational at Boston University last Friday.
Fernandez established a new record mark of 9 minutes, 16.24 seconds, finishing in eighth overall.
First-year coach Elvis Forde said he was impressed with Fernandez’s performance, which could allow her entry into the NCAA National Championships.
“[Fernandez] had a really good run,” Forde said. “[She] really put herself in the position to get a chance to be in the NCAA [championship]. It will just be a waiting game now until that selection process begins.”
However, Forde will give Fernandez one more opportunity to improve her time further and qualify for the national meet, as she’ll travel to Notre Dame on Saturday to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational.
“We will run her one more time over at Notre Dame next weekend to see if she can get in automatically,” Forde said. “They only take so many people to the event, so we’re going to keep our fingers crossed for her and hope that things go well.”
St. Fleur breaks 21-year-old record
Sophomore Bionca St. Fleur also set a new all-time mark for the university on Friday, as she finished the 200-meter dash in 24.30 seconds, shattering a 21-year-old Temple record.
With the record-breaking time, St. Fleur finished the event in 12th overall. The previous Temple indoor 200-meter dash record of 24.50 seconds was set by Toya Adams back in 1994.
“I was actually really surprised,” St. Fleur said. “I always wanted to go sub-25 [seconds], and before I got on the [starting] line, all [coach Elvis] Forde was saying was, ‘You need to break 25.’ I think I had great preparations, just with all the workouts that coach Forde has been putting us through.”
St. Fleur also said she feels like she is following the path of a fellow runner, Jamila Janneh, who also holds Temple records of her own.
“I know [Janneh] broke a record her sophomore year, too,” St. Fleur. “I feel like I’m following in her footsteps, and [she’s] inspired me to just do the best I can and put on for Temple track.”
Former lineman honored
A member of the Temple team that went to the Garden State Bowl in 1979 will be honored next month.
Former Temple defensive tackle Matt Lauck will be enshrined in the Gloucester County Hall of Fame on March 24, it was announced Thursday. He spent the 1979 and 1980 seasons with the team.
He’ll be honored for his career at Pitman High School, where he was a standout football player and wrestler. His accomplishments in high school included his participation in the first New Jersey North-South all-star football game, along with a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association state heavyweight wrestling championship in 1979.
Butts earns weekly award
Freshman guard Alliya Butts was named the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week Monday for her performances against Tulsa and Houston last week. It marks her second time this season winning the award.
In a 75-67 loss to Tulsa on Feb. 10, Butts scored a team-high 17 points and added two assists and two steals. On Feb. 14 against Houston, she scored a team- and game-high 22 points and had six assists in a 72-60 victory.
In 14 games since entering the starting lineup on Dec. 28, 2014, Butts has averaged nearly 16 points per game.
The Edgewater Park, New Jersey native is averaging 13 points per game and has posted double-figure scoring marks in 10 consecutive games.
Cummings honored by conference
Senior guard Will Cummings led the way for the men’s basketball team in a pair of wins last week, and it helped earn the Jacksonville, Florida native his first career American Athletic Conference Player of the Week award.
The honor, announced by the conference Monday, comes after Cummings led the Owls with 21 points, five assists and four steals in the team’s 75-59 defeat of Cincinnati last Tuesday. He followed Tuesday’s showing with a 17-point game this past Saturday in Temple’s 66-53 victory against East Carolina. He added seven rebounds and six assists in the win, the Owls’ seventh straight.
He’s averaging 13.7 points per game in his senior season, along with 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals in 25 games played. After suffering a left-leg muscle strain against the University of Tulsa on Jan. 10, Cummings has started each game since he missed Temple’s 84-53 road loss at Cincinnati Jan. 17, and logged 40 minutes against the Bearcats last Tuesday, his first time playing the entirety of a contest since his injury.