By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Junior Sarah Brandt wasn't the least bit intimidated to be standing at the starting line with some of the best 800-meter runners in the nation. In fact, that description fits Brandt, herself.
A junior from Oroville, Calif., Brandt broke her own school record Friday and placed 23rd overall in a very impressive field of middle distance runners at the Florida Relays. Brandt scooted the distance in 2:10.86, eclipsing the mark of 2:11.96 that she had established as the school record just a week ago.
Her performance was one of several outstanding efforts Friday from members of the Tennessee Tech track & field team who qualified to compete in the 72nd annual Pepsi Florida Relays.
The day wrapped up with a second school record being smashed when the 4x400m relay team breezed to the new mark and finished 10th overall in the large and talented field. The TTU foursome of Na'Asha Robinson, D'Airrien Jackson, Crystal Liebenberg and Sharnique Leonce obliterated the previous mark by more than 14 seconds when they completed the cycle in 3:41.98.
Back to the 800m race: Jackson was the third-fastest freshman in the field and broke her own personal best with a time of 2:13.87 to place 40th overall. The only freshmen to post better times that Jackson were a pair of Alabama rookie sprinters.
Leonce started Tech's day under the Florida sunshine by posting a time of 14.39 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, just .06 off the school record of 14.44 seconds. Leonce placed 61st in the race.
A little while later, Robinson ran a time of 54.44 seconds in the 400-meter dash, placing 23rd in the field of world class runners.
Coach Wayne Angel's team competes in two events on Saturday to finish its visit to the Sunshine State. The Golden Eagles will run in the 4x100m relay and the 4x800m relay before heading home.
The Golden Eagles journey to Nashville Friday to compete in the Boston Moon Invitational, hosted by Tennessee State University.
100m hurdles - 61 Sharnique Leonce, 14.39
400m - 23 Na'Asha Robinson, 54.44
800m - 25 Sarah Brandt, 2:10.86 (School Record)
800m - 40 D'Airrien Jackson, 2:13.87
4x400m relay – 10 Na'Asha Robinson,D'Airrien Jackson,
Crystal Liebenberg, Sharnique Leonce, 3:41.98