Pole vault veteran performances highlight Indiana Relays
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From Jan. 27-28, the Tulane track and field team made it through the midway point of its season with 11 top-10 finishes at the Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Indiana.
Facing schools such as DePaul, Miami University and the University of Louisville, the Green Wave had strong finishes in several events, including a trio of top-three finishes from upperclassmen. The Wave had an especially strong showing in the pole vault, with debuting redshirt senior Alyssa Applebee finishing third overall with a personal best jump of 4.02 meters, the highest any Tulane player has jumped this season.
“For me personally, it was a decent opener,” Applebee said.
Along with Applebee, sophomore Rebekah Markel and senior Mary Carson Pitts finished fifth and seventh with jumps of 3.87 meters each. This jump would be Markel’s personal best through her college career. Freshman Parish Kitto finished 11th with a jump of 3.42 meters.
“It was nice to finally get back out there and jump,” Applebee said. “I’m excited to move forward and get on some bigger poles …. It’s my last year. I want to make it the best year.”
The Indiana Relays also featured excellent performances from the runners. In the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Jessica Duckett and freshman Brandi Hughes would race side by side in the finals for the third time this year. They finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Redshirt seniors Jessica Adamson and Mikayla Sonneborn would take away third place finishes: Adamson in the 800-meter run and Sonneborn in the mile.
Pitts said the best part of the meet was the enthusiasm of the Indiana crowds at the two-day event.
“The crowd there is really big track fans, so it was fun that the crowd was into every meet, every race,” Pitts said.
With the outdoor season starting up, Pitts and Applebee are focusing on improving their skills in time for the tough competition they will face during the rest of the season.
“I’m looking forward to the New York meet because there’s going to be some more competition in the pole vault,” Applebee said. “… I’m looking forward to getting to jump against the nationally ranked [competitors] and really getting back in the groove of things before conference.”
On Friday, the Tulane track and field team will head back up north to compete at the Armory Track Invitational in New York. There, the team will face competition from strong athletic programs such as Ohio State, Duke and the University of Maryland. Pitts, however, feels confident in her abilities as she heads into the second half of the indoor season.
“I’m really excited,” Pitts said. “Having my coach excited for me, you know that it’s real. It’s not just your feelings or emotions. It’s real, set in stone. I feel like I’m more confident in my abilities right now. I’m excited. It should be a good year for all of us. We’re looking good.”