Lady Roadrunners Have Successful Day In Gulf Shores Despite Weather

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Track and Field Lady Roadrunners travelled to Gulf Shores, Ala. to participate in the University of Mobile Invitational on Saturday. It had been soggy all week in south Alabama and Saturday was no different.
 
RECAP
Track and Field meets will usually go on even if it is raining, but not if there is persistent lightning in the area. The meet got underway with the 5,000 Meter Run, and then the lightning shut things down.

Though the meet organizers did all they could to get the meet back underway, there was a long string of storms coming across Mobile Bay that were set to cause lightning in the area for most of the day. The meet had to be cancelled.
 
Fortunately, the 5,000 Meter Run featured three really fast Roadrunners with freshman Riley Jo Ford, junior Alex Gass, and senior Kay Vradenburgh competing in the lone completed event in Gulf Shores. In the race, Riley Jo ran away from everyone early and cut 19 seconds from her fastest ever 5K when crossed the line first in 18:29.
 
Meanwhile, Alex was battling for second place with conference rival Isabel Valenzuela from the University of Mobile. After a couple of position swaps, Alex pulled away with three laps remaining in the 12 ½ lap race to finish second in a personal best time of 19:02.
 
Kay fought hard for two miles, but the last mile would prove it would not be her best day. She finished in 19:40, which was good for 7th place overall. It was still her third fastest 5K ever.
 
While the Roadrunners were busy taking care of business in the 5,000 Meters, there were two ladies competing in the Long Jump: junior Vanessa Rivera and freshman Briana Ray. Though the event was not completed due to the weather, Vanessa was almost able to Long Jump her way into the Dalton State record book. She leaped past the Roadrunner record on her one completed attempt, but the competition did not complete and, therefore, was not officially recorded.
 
The next event was the 4X800 Meter Relay. Freshman Kayla Mattox started the event with her leg but was pulled off the track before completing a handoff to the second runner. The lightning caused a delay. After about an hour wait, the meet was back on until more lightning caused the meet to be canceled.
 
Most other teams would have called it a day and packed up the bus to go home. But that was not the end of the day. The Roadrunners were anxious to put their fitness to the test. After all, this was the last chance to race prior to the SSAC Championship meet.
 
They got on the bus and drove north for a few hours. Once they were out of the rain, they found a track along the route, parked the bus, and got off to run a 1500 Meter race. Sophomores Kathryn VradenburghKate Roberts, and Haley Tillery, juniors Rebecca Poe and Rachel Ward, and freshman Kayla Mattox all toed the line together to see just where they stood. It wasn't a race against other schools, but it was a race against the clock.
 
Once all had crossed the finish line, there were five personal bests from the group of six! Vradenburgh finished in 4:53, Roberts in 5:11, Tillery in 5:16, and Poe and Mattox in 5:28. It was a great run in makeshift circumstances. The times were not recorded anywhere officially, but that didn't matter. It was a satisfying day.
 
While the running Roadrunners were busy setting personal bests, freshman Suzana Rivera was throwing her discus. Once again, there were no official measurements, but she took advantage of the opportunity to throw, even if it was only against herself!
 
QUOTES FROM COACH
Comments From Coach Dean Thompson:
"What a crazy weekend! There was much more to the weekend than just the meet. There were some obstacles that could have discouraged the team. None of those things were within their control, but they were things that can take your mind off the task at hand and keep you from performing your best. They each shoved those potentially negative thoughts to the back of their minds when it came time to compete."
 
"I was so happy for Riley Jo and Alex in the 5K. The former has been looking for a sub 18:40 5K for a long time, and the latter really wants to get under 19:00. Riley Jo was able to reach her goal, but Alex just missed hers. Still, it was a significant personal best, and I know she's really happy with that."
 
"Kay wasn't at her best, but we can get so caught up in where we are today and forget about the past. A couple of years ago, Kay would have been over the moon with her time. Today, she wasn't satisfied. Though my heart hurts for her to be unhappy, it's great to have an athlete who wants so badly to do her best every time out."
 
"We have more field event athletes than we have ever had and I'm having a great time watching Bri, Vanessa, and Suzana compete in those events. They have a passion to do their best in an effort to help the team. And they add so much to the team in their attitudes and the encouragement and enthusiasm they bring to every meet."
 
"The stop on the trip home was something that was certainly not planned prior to the meet being cancelled, but these ladies have worked hard to improve. It was important to get in some competition so that they could prove to themselves that all the work has been paying off. But just think about what they did. They rode on a bus for four hours, got off the bus, warmed up, and ran better than they had ever run before. Talk about great character! It was really a special thing to watch."
 
"This is my fourth track season at Dalton State, and we've never had a better group of competitors. In addition, we've never had a group that enjoyed each other's company so much. "These ladies are going to look back on these days 20 years from now and remember them as great days. It is humbling to be a part of something so special. I say it all the time, but I mean it every time; I'm so proud of these ladies, their accomplishments, their academic footprint on our campus, and the integrity they display each and every day."
 
UP NEXT
Most of the Lady Roadrunners only have one meet left, the SSAC Championship meet in two weeks at William Carey (Miss.) in Hattiesburg, Miss. on April 28 & 29.


Four Covenant Players Earn All-USA South Baseball Honors

Meg Buchanan, Susan Street, Katie Young, And MJ Levine Finish 1st In CWGA Action

Mocs Set To Defend SoCon Softball Tournament Championship


Four Covenant baseball players collected All-USA South West Division honors, as the league unveiled its season awards on Thursday. Senior Alex Gonzalez earned first team All-West, while senior ... (click for more)

Here are the CWGA Play Day Results for Tuesday. Play was at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. 1, 2, 3 Team Play 1st Place Meg Buchanan, Susan Street, Katie Young, and ... (click for more)

The No. 3 seeded Chattanooga Mocs softball team is set to open the 2021 Southern Conference Tournament tomorrow, Thursday, May 13 against No. 2 Western Carolina at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+ inside UNCG ... (click for more)



Sports

Four Covenant Players Earn All-USA South Baseball Honors

Four Covenant baseball players collected All-USA South West Division honors, as the league unveiled its season awards on Thursday. Senior Alex Gonzalez earned first team All-West, while senior Brooks DuBose, and juniors Hunter Christian and Joseph Ridenour were second team All-West selections. Gonzalez was also Covenant's representative on the All-Sportsmanship team. All ... (click for more)

Meg Buchanan, Susan Street, Katie Young, And MJ Levine Finish 1st In CWGA Action

Here are the CWGA Play Day Results for Tuesday. Play was at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. 1, 2, 3 Team Play 1st Place Meg Buchanan, Susan Street, Katie Young, and MJ Levine -11 2nd Place ( 2 way tie) Kathy Vaughn, Seong Glickman, Pat Wilson, and Evelyn Marie Williams -9 Lynn McGee, Candy Feher, Kandy Berke, and Patty Jones -9 Low Gross: ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Boyd Raises Issue Of Pinkston Raises To A Staff Member He Married And Hiring Her Brother; DA Says, "I Have Done Nothing Wrong"

County Commissioner Tim Boyd has questioned District Attorney Neal Pinkston on the issue of relatives in his office. He released an email he received that was critical of DA Pinkston giving allegedly excessive raises to a top staff member that he married and for hiring her brother. At budget hearings, he asked DA Pinkston whether he had any relatives on the county payroll. ... (click for more)

2 Killed, 1 Injured In Shooting Wednesday Night On Ridgeside Road

DeQuan Paris, 25, and LaRome Ridley, 20, were killed and a 29-year-old man was injured in a shooting on Ridgeside Road Wednesday evening. The two men who died are brothers. They have two other brothers. Their mother, Amanda Del “Rat” Paris, died last Dec. 3 at age 39. Chattanooga Police responded to the 3600 block of Ridgeside Road on a report of a person shot at approximately ... (click for more)

Opinion

Please Stop Calling Us “Latinx”

We’re asking nicely, because we think the use of the term has been mostly well-intentioned. But let’s start with some numbers: a mere 3 percent of Americans of Latin-American descent use “Latinx” to describe themselves. This is based on a 2020 Pew Research poll of about 3,000 American Latinos. Those who want for “Latinx” to become the default say it’s preferable because it’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Earn Life's "Free Lunches"

The worst debacle in our nation’s history, it is beginning to be proven, was when the United States was quarantined during the COVID-19 epidemic. Our economy – from employment to production – was stymied. Our next generation responded with virtually no education for an entire year and a surging teen suicide epidemic and the biggest profits that were made in the second half of 2020 ... (click for more)