Good days on the track for Lincoln

It was a productive weekend trip to Indiana for the Lincoln indoor track and field teams.

The Blue Tiger women continued to live up to their No. 1 national ranking, setting eight of the top times in NCAA Division II while splitting time between two meets. The Blue Tigers were at Indiana University for the Hoosier Hills meet Friday in Bloomington, Ind., before competing in Purdue University’s Fred Wilt Invitational on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind. Both meets featured mainly NCAA Division I competition, and Lincoln held its own with the bigger schools.

The highlight of the weekend came at Purdue, where Lincoln took second in the 4x400-meter relay. Kimberly Bailey, Donna-Lee Hylton, Tamara Keane and Lovan Palmer finished in 3:44.57, an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships. It is the best time so far this season by a Division II team and is the only automatic qualifying time by any team in Division II.

The Blue Tigers had a second unit competing in that race, with the team of Marcia Harrison, Dereka Kelly, Juneille Barker and Willomena Williams claiming fifth in 3:53.17.

Hylton also won the 400-meter dash in 55.86, a provisional qualifying time that is the third-fastest in Division II this year. In the same race, Keane took sixth in 57.54.

Yanique Ellington provided Lincoln’s other win in that meet, taking first in the 60-meter dash in 7.54.

Janae Johnson, who placed sixth in that same 60-meter dash (7.79), had Lincoln’s best finish in the 200-meter dash, taking third in 25.27. She was followed in the latter race by Keane (fifth, 25.42) and Bailey (sixth, 25.46).

Twishana Williams took second in the mile in 4:57.23, which is a provisional qualifier for nationals and the seventh-fastest time this season in Division II. She also placed fourth in the 3,000-meter run (10:02.94).

In the 800-meter run, Monique Thompson took third in 2:13.13, the eighth-best time in Division II.

The Blue Tigers also posted three of the top six times in the 60-meter hurdles, led by Barker, who finished third in 8.49, the seventh-fastest time in Division II. Ladonna Richards took fifth (8.61), while Shakeisha Miller placed sixth (8.65).

Miller also took sixth in the long jump (5.43 meters), while Nickeisha Beaumont was right behind in seventh (5.33 meters).

In the triple jump, Daniele Newman took third (12.04 meters) and Jonelle Campbell finished fourth (11.94 meters).

The highlight of the Hoosier Hills meet came was in the distance medley, where Lincoln earned its first provisional time of the season for that event. Thompson, Palmer, Willomena Williams and Twishana Williams won the race in 11:54.10.

Also at that meet, Johnson won the 200 in 24.55, the 10th-fastest time in Division II. Hylton finished fifth (24.79) in the same event.

The Lincoln men attended just the Wilt Invitational, but they still posted several top finishes.

Michael Ashley had the best performance of the day for Lincoln, taking second place in the 400-meter dash with a provisional qualifying time of 48.84, the ninth-best in the country in Division II.

Ashley later teamed with Jermaine Blake, Roger Blake and Winston Edwards in the 4x400-meter relay to take third (3:18.02). Roger Blake also took eighth in the 400-meter dash (49.76).

Lincoln had three top-five finishes in the field events. Orneldo Thomas was third in the long jump (6.62 meters), Darrah Hunter was fourth in the high jump (1.93 meters) and Owen Smith was fifth in the triple jump (13.50 meters).

Lincoln two third-place results in the middle distances, from Jermaine Blake in the 800-meter run (1:54.21) and Neville Daley in the 600-meter run (1:23.61).

Also for Lincoln, Romone Hill took fifth place in the 60-meter dash (6.90).

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