BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Behind a pair of impressive performances in the relay events and outstanding individual performances, the University of Tennessee Men’s Track and Field Program at Martin finished fourth at the 2022 Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships for its best school story performance.
The Skyhawk men’s program finished fourth among OVC teams with 73 total points while the women’s team came in ninth with four points. Southeast Missouri won the men’s tag team title with 198 points, edging out Eastern Illinois by a narrow 1.5 margin. Meanwhile, Murray State won the women’s championship with 139 points.
In addition to the success of the Skyhawks team, UT Martin stood out Darius Holland was honored post-championship as the league’s co-male OVC freshman following his season of accomplishments. In addition to rewriting career-long program records in the long jump and triple jump, he scored a combined 10 points in both events during the championship. His best jump of 7.34 meters on Wednesday finished in fourth place to claim five points for the team before breaking his own triple jump record again on Thursday to finish fourth with a distance of 14.11 meters.
T&F: Congratulations to @UTM_XC_TF jumper Darius Holland for being named the 2022 OVC Indoor Athletics Co-Freshman. Holland set two school records this season while scoring points in the long jump and triple jump for the Skyhawks at the OVC Indoor Championship. pic.twitter.com/Ts7KhAQ4W5
— UT Martin Athletics (@UTMSports) February 25, 2022
The Skyhawks added three more points later Wednesday afternoon as Will Oglesby led the men’s team in the 5k. The senior clocked a time of 14:54.77 to earn the team three points and finish sixth in the field.
UT Martin stole the show with their first big relay performance on Wednesday night. After entering the Championship with the best Distance Medley Relay team in the league, the Skyhawks lived up to that billing in Birmingham. The quartet of Cole Davis, John Collin crooked, Andrew Brown and Luke McNair chained a championship performance with a time of 10.05.75 to claim 10 points.
The Skyhawk women also joined the board with their DMR team from Rita Emmer, Sanaa Smith, Blayne Lachance and Lilia Alvarez. The group finished seventh overall with a time of 12:35.15 but still claimed two points.
Thursday’s performance began with the UT Martin men competing in the mile race. The duo of Cole Davis and Luke McNair combined to score three for the Skyhawks as Davis finished seventh at 4:15.22 while McNair came in just behind at 4:19.31.
UT Martin climbed onto the podium for the first time over the hurdles. After winning medals in 2019 and 2020, junior brady fry was looking to continue that streak in the men’s 60m hurdles and he did just that. Fry narrowly missed out on his second championship, finishing second with a time of 8.31 seconds.
The points continued to roll in for the men’s 400m as Askew finished fifth with a time of 49.49 while fellow freshman Khalid White posted a time of 50.15 to finish seventh.
First-year dual-sport athlete JaMichael McGoy also earned the Skyhawks two points with his seventh-place finish in the men’s 60 with a time of 7.05 seconds. Meanwhile, Jayle Ana Wyatt also added two points for the women’s team in the 60m with a mark of 7.91 seconds.
UT Martin almost put athletes on the men’s 800m podium as Hawken Foote and Andrew Brown finished back to back in third and fourth. Foote claimed the podium with a late push clocking 1:54.03 while Brown nipped at his heels at 1:54.14.
The Skyhawks earned their last points as individuals in the men’s 3k as a rookie Will Cahill used a late push to finish second in the event with a time of 8:20.21 for a new personal best. Oglesby returned for the second distance encounter in as many days to sneak up the points standings with an eighth-place finish at 8:33.94.
Finally, UT Martin had some late fireworks in the men’s 4x400m relays. The Skyhawk Group of Maluke ClverAskew, Brown and Foote raced with the best in the league and finished third by just 0.02 seconds on SIUE with a time of 3:20.17 for a new school record.
With the indoor season coming to an end, UT Martin will open its outdoor campaign on Friday, March 25-26 at Margaret Simmons’ invite hosted by Murray State.