Track competes in Day 1 of conference championship

The women’s track & field team traveled to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York to compete this weekend in the American Athletic Conference Championship.

Friday, the first day of competition, was highlighted by graduate-junior Blanca Fernandez, who finished fourth in the mile run with a time of 5 minutes, 4.73 seconds. This finish qualified Fernandez for the final round of the mile, which will take place on Saturday.

Senior Kiersten LaRoche earned a combined 3,555 points in the women’s pentathlon, awarding her fifth in the event and putting Temple on the board in the team scoring.

Sophomore Bionca St. Fleur placed eighth in the long jump with a distance of 5.78 meters, which also qualified her for the event finals.

Personal-best performances were brought in by freshman Katie Pinson, who finished 13th in the mile with a time of 5:13.53, as well as sophomore Sydnee Jacques with her 16th-place mark of 9.10 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.

First-year coach Elvis Forde said the competition at a conference level is fierce, showcasing some high-level talent.

“[It was] a pretty tough [day] in regards to our performances,” Forde said. “Our athletes competed really hard, and this is what this conference is all about in terms of the quality of athletes that are here. Although our kids performed well, I am going to have expectations that now we have to raise the bar if we are going to match up with the current athletes that are [at the championship].”

The Owls currently stand in last place in the overall rankings with five points scored, and will continue performances on Saturday.

-Tyler DeVice