UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond Track & Field opened its seventh annual Fred Hardy Invitational in record-setting fashion on Friday behind several strong showings from its field and distance corps. The Spiders will look for more of the same during Saturday's second and final day of action at Robins Stadium.
Senior pole vaulter Devin Cassels (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area) made the most of his final home appearance on Friday, jumping 4.45 meters to take third in the event and chase down a school record that had previously stood for nearly four decades (Jim Tucker, 1974).
Sophomore Grace Gibson (Virginia Beach, Va./Virginia Beach) also turned in an inspired performance on the women's side of the pole vault, equaling her program-record height of 3.40 meters that she reset just two weeks ago at the VCU Invitational to finish in a tie for sixth place.
Also in a record-setting state of mind was senior Meaghan McGovern (North Kingston, R.I./North Kingston), who smashed the six-year-old meet and facility hammer throw mark (52.71m) with her toss of 54.23 meters in the event.
Senior Nicol Traynor (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) continued what has been a strong final semester on the track, resetting her own meet and facility mark by better than four seconds with a 4:24.61 to finish as the top collegian and in second overall in the 1,500 Meters. Sophomore Alli Mannon (Litiz, Pa./Warwick) finished fourth in 4:34.87, while classmate Amanda Lineberry (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee Davis) took tenth in 4:46.23.
A pair of newcomers led the way for the Spiders in the men's 1,500 Meters. Matthew Groff (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) crossed the line in sixth in a time of 3:56.52, with Billy Fayette (Clarendon Hills, Va./Hinsdale) just behind in seventh (3:56.65).
Sophomore Elizabeth Schinski (Geneseo, N.Y./Geneseo) went the distance on Friday as well, turning in a strong finish down the stretch to take second in the 5,000 Meters with a time of 17:57.59.
Saturday's second and final day of Fred Hardy action begins at 9 a.m. with the men's discus at the Upper Practice Fields on the Westhampton side of campus along Crenshaw Way behind Parking Lot W39. Events at Robins Stadium get underway at 10 a.m. with the women's long jump. Running events are set to start at 11 a.m. with the women's 100 Meter Hurdles.
For a sixth-consecutive year, a SpiderTV will provide a live video stream featuring both running events and jumps in addition to on-air Spider alumni commentators. The video stream is available for a monthlong subscription fee of $9.95. Saturday's live video stream is available here.