LU track teams establish meet marks at Classic

CHARLESTON, Ill. — The Lincoln track and field teams repeatedly set records during the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic that was held Thursday through Saturday.

Perhaps the most notable mark came when Lincoln won the women’s 4x400-meter relay with the squad of Michelle Cumberbatch, Yanique Haye, Ladonna Richards and Dereka Kelly. Their time of 3:41.50 set the O’Brien Field record, breaking the mark of 3:42.62 set back in 1982 by Eastern Illinois.

The Blue Tigers’ only other victory came from Nickesisha Beaumont in the long jump (19-2), and she also mixed in a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash (12.08) for good measure.

Cumberbatch was second in the 400-meter hurdles in 59.01, a time that would have been good enough to beat the existing O’Brien Field record of 59.50 if Illinois’ Latyoya Griffith hadn’t won the event in a time of 58.68.

Tamara Keane was second in the 400-meter dash in 55.05, breaking the Big Blue Classic mark of 55.62 while finishing behind the now-record time of 54.41 set by Illinois’ Asia Thomas. Cumberbatch, who was fourth in 55.58, and Kelly, who was fifth in 55.62, also beat the old mark.

On the men’s side, the Blue Tigers won the 4x100-meter relay with a squad made up of Ravel Grey, Romel Lewis, Devin Hill and Terrel Cotton. The team’s time of 40.33 set a Big Blue Classic record, breaking the mark of 40.84 set in 2009 by Indiana State.

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