Men finish fifth, women seventh at SAA Track and Field Championships; Petrels take five SAA event championships

Men finish fifth, women seventh at SAA Track and Field Championships; Petrels take five SAA event championships

The Oglethorpe track and field teams competed at the SAA Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday in Conway, Arkansas, with the men's team taking fifth and the women coming in seventh over the course of the two-day event.

Friday saw sophomore Jake Hadden win the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 9 minutes, 35.1 seconds, marking his first SAA track and field event championship. Freshman Toju Etiwe also garnered his first SAA championship on Friday when he bested all comers in the long jump, leaping 22 feet, 4.5 inches.

Etiwe worked his way to the top of the podium on Saturday, as well, as he competed on the 4-by-400 relay team that took the conference title with a time of 3:24.10. Etiwe joined senior Rodrigo Meade and fellow freshmen John Griner and Bryce McNealy to beat second-place Sewanee by just under eight-tenths of a second and take the program's first SAA 4-by-400 title.

Senior Arielle Shaw earned her first SAA title in her signature event, taking the triple jump crown with a leap of 38-3.5. She easily earned the victory, as well, besting her closest competitor by almost a foot.

Elsewhere on Saturday, McNealy took the 400-meter conference title in record-breaking time. He set the SAA Championships record and the school record, racing around the track in 48.33 seconds. That mark bested the previous record of 48.74 set by Levi Jones of Hendrix in 2018. Both McNealy and Berry's Jordan Wilson, the runner-up, bested the mark (Wilson ran the race in 48.47 seconds).

Etiwe had an outstanding overall meet, making his way onto the podium a second time on Saturday after finishing as the runner-up in the high jump. He recorded a leap of 6-2 to earn that mark, then also finished fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the 400 meters. He finished as the highest overall men's point-scorer at the meet.

Meade finished second in the 1500 meters, posting a time of 4:01.2 to earn his silver-medal finish.

McNealy also earned a podium finish in the 200 meters. He posted a time of 22.63 seconds in that event, finishing third, after finishing Friday's qualifying round with the best overall time.

On the women's side, senior Nicolette Andrey finished second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:06.31. She also set a school record in the 400 meters, finishing fourth in that event. Shaw also finished third in the 100 meters, blazing down the track in 12.99 seconds. 

Both women's relay squads performed well. Shaw, Andrey, junior Kayla Trice and freshman Sarah Ayoade teamed up for both races, and the group finished third in both. They completed the 4-by-100 in 48.98 seconds and finished the 4-by-400 in 4:08.18.