Outstanding individual performances highlight Eagles weekend at Marshall Invitational

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Outstanding individual performances highlight Eagles weekend at Marshall Invitational

By Brad Laux, MSU Athletic Media Relations

Morehead, Ky. – Morehead State Lucy Singleton picked up another individual title, while Michael Dunagan finished second in the mile and fourth in the 800-meter race to beat the Eagle women’s and men’s track teams in Friday and Saturday’s Marshall Invitational at the Jeff Small Track at the Chris Cline Indoor Athletics Complex in Huntington, W. Goes.

On the opening day of the meeting, Jacob Vogelpohl ranked fourth and Peyton Fairchild fifth in the men’s 5000 meters, with Laikin Tarlton taking fifth place in the women’s version of the race.

MSU Coach Clay Dixon was thrilled with multiple outstanding performances from the Eagles.

Singleton won his 800-metre race on Saturday by more than half a second in 2:17.43. The freshman has had quite a bit of competitive success at Marshall this season. In January, she set a competitive record in the 600-meter race at the Marshall Classic, a result that earned her a historic co-Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week honor. At a December meet in Marshall, she finished second in the 400 meters.

“I’m glad Lucy had another solid 800. This was an all-time ‘pr’ for her,” Dixon said. “It was exciting to watch because at around 300m she was 20m from the lead, but her endurance and cross-country experience really showed as she won over the leaders and with About 200 yards to go, she took the lead and held on for another win.”

Dunagan was only half a second behind Eastern Kentucky’s Alex Leshan after clocking 4:20.65 on the mile. Leshan finished the race in 4:20.13. UNC Asheville’s Jax Ledford crossed the line three and a half seconds past Dunagan to take third place.

Dunagan covered the 800m race in 1:57.76, about a second off third place and just under three seconds behind UNC Asheville champion Brock Newsome (1:54.78).

“Michael did really well and had a breakout weekend. He had a big ‘pr’ in the mile and almost got the win,” Dixon said. “The 800 was fun too because it had little rest. My goal with a lot of guys is to be where we left off the outside track (last May) when we’re done indoors. I think the most guys are in a good place to perform well this spring.”

Wes Grogan the Cruz Ortiz Ramirez also scored for the Eagles in the mile, finishing seventh (4:37.00) and eighth (4:37.26), respectively. justin bland finished 10th in the race in 4:46.54.

Vogelpohl was crushed at the line by Owen Mathews of Northern Kentucky in Friday night’s 5,000m. The sophomore Eagle was clocked in 15:39.83, 23 hundredths of a second behind Mathews. Fairchild was just slightly behind finishing in 15:42.49. Two other MSU runners also made the top 10: Kyler Stewart finished eighth in 15:49.88 and Toby Cook finished ninth in 15:51.89.

“I’m really happy with Jacob in the 5k. He’s really come a long way in the last year and his hard work is paying off,” Dixon said. “His ‘pr’ was around 16:40 in high school, so it was fun to watch him go under 16 minutes. (The) same for Toby. His ‘pr’ in high school was 17 minutes and he is really improved (in everything) from 5K to 800m.”

Tarlton put in a pair of successful performances, placing ninth in the mile in 5:29.60, in addition to his time of 19:01.51 in the 5K. First-year student Megan Bush finished eighth in that final race in 19:17.40.

Morehead State’s best finish in the sprints was 17th, which J.D. Camacho reached at 400 meters. She recorded a time of 1:05.88. sierra kelley placed 18th in the 200 meters in 27.43. Grace Lopez notched the same finish on the 60 yards in 8.37.

“The women’s sprints are coming. If you compare where they were at last year’s only indoor meet on Feb. 20, they’re either at the same times or faster than last year,” Dixon said. “For example, JD is about two seconds faster in the 400m than last year.”

The men’s 4×400-metre relay of Ortiz-Ramirez, Grogan, Cook and Dunagan finished sixth in 3:41.74. The women had two entries in the 1600 meter relay. Kelley’s team, Singleton, Lily Gray and Keana Meriwether was fourth in 4:20.03; with the quartet of dallas jones, Cloe Copas, Riliegh Owens and Tayla Lee was sixth in 4:26.90. The ladies also had a foursome competing in the medley distance relay. Owens, Kelley, Marie-Alice Thornburg and Copas was sixth in 13:05.60.

The Eagle women had 23 points to place seventh in the final team standings, while the men were fifth with 34 points. Appalachian State won the women’s competition with 215 points, with UNCA winning the men’s title with 233 points.

The MSU women will take two weeks off before returning for the OVC Championship, which takes place February 23-24 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Eagles finished 11th in the 2019 meeting. The 2020 version of the event did not take place.

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