Pickett, Janneh highlight Fred Harvey Invitational

Sophomore Jamila Janneh and senior Gabe Pickett were among the top finishers in the Fred Hardy Invitational in Richmond, Va., this weekend. Janneh broke a 28-year-old school record in the triple jump on Friday, while Pickett placed first among 30 competitors in the long jump on Saturday.

Coach Eric Mobley credited assistant coach Shameka Marshall for the jumping squad’s strong performances.

“It was wonderful,” Janneh said. “It was awesome. At first I didn’t know I broke the school record, I just knew I got the PR. I came over to high jump and Mobley was like, ‘You just broke the school record.'”

Pickett returned from injury last week, after sitting out for the entire indoor season.

“It’s great for him to be back competing,” Mobley said. “He placed very well as well and jumped really far. It’s good to see him back in stride and get him closer to where he left off.”

Looking toward the rest of the season, Mobley said he wants to see his teams perform better in the outdoor conference tournament than they did in the indoor tournament. This is the program’s first year in the American Athletic Conference.

“We want to have a better showing, we’re motivated not to have that feeling that we had during our indoor season,” Mobley said. “Our training has been stepping up. Our individual athletes have been getting after it in practice, and that’s where it starts.”

Men’s track gear up for Navy Invitational

Heading into the Navy Invitational Saturday, the men’s track & field team will likely count on a budding sprinter and jumper in sophomore Darryl McDuffie to maintain his current hot streak after a career performance a week ago at the Gotham Invitational.

McDuffie was the headliner at the 168th Armory in New York last week, qualifying for the IC4A Championships in the high jump with a personal-best mark of 2.06 meters. McDuffie also posted a personal-best time of 7.28 seconds in the 60-meter dash to cap a successful afternoon.

The Owls will also look for points from a solid field-event core.

Freshman jumper Jamal Williams and junior jumper Gabe Pickett anchored the long jumping unit in New York, placing 17th and 19th with jumps of 6.41 meters and 6.40 meters, respectively.

“Jumpers such as [Pickett] and [McDuffie] have been really good and we’re looking for them to get even better,” coach Eric Mobley said. “We’re looking for some overall team direction and improvement in all of the different events. Some of our top athletes have been in field, but we’re looking for them to spread the wealth around the entire team.”

Andrew Parent