UNF Track team with notable team rankings in the NCAA Indoor Championships


The UNF Men and Women’s track The UNF Men and Women’s track team enjoyed a successful weekend in the Atlantic Sun Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, recording 5th and 2nd place finishes respectively.
The meet was held at ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center in Johnson City, Tenn., Feb. 18–19.
Head Coach Mark VanAlstyne was delighted with his team’s performances.
VanAlstyne said the women’s team is probably still a year away from being truly competitive, but they are looking forward to getting back there next year and taking a shot at winning it.
“Honestly, we had pretty high expectations for the girls,” he said. “We do some pretty in-depth projecting of points and it was bang on what we thought. It is absolutely a stepping stone for next year.”
Freshman Brianna Frazier excelled in her events and was named Most Outstanding Freshman Performer for her wins in the 200m and 400m on Saturday.
The Jacksonville native smashed the meet and school record by over a second with a career best of 54.26 in the 400m. Her 200m was also a personal best and school record as she crossed the line in just 24.13 seconds.
The 400m record replaces the previous school best, set by her mother in 1996.
VanAlstyne described Frazier’s performance as “phenomenal” and said the school is looking for last minute meets, so Frazier can improve on her time to make the national championships.
“Brianna is ranked 37th in the country right now, and about a half second out of 18th place, which would be good enough to get her into NCAA indoor national championship,” he said.
Other notable performances in the women’s events came from junior Christina King, who once again re-set the school pole vault record with a
3.7m clearance.
And sophomore Jasmine Jackson had a school-record-breaking jump of 5.89m in the long jump.
Junior Erin Nixon finished 2nd in the mile run and sophomore Shelby Kittrell was runner up in the 5,000m. The women also finished 2nd in the 4 by 400m relay with sophomore Jaybria Calcote, freshman Sharniece Supal, junior Ava Rivera and Frazier.
The men’s team impressed as they recorded their highest ever points total, highest team finish and most individual winners in a conference championship.
“It was a tremendous breakthrough for the men,” VanAlstyne said. “We carried 14 men to do battle with teams that are 3 and 4 times their size, and for us to be in the lead after day one, it was a fantastic performance.”
The men’s team just doesn’t have the numbers to field athletes in every event, said Alstyne, but he specifically praised their performances in the middle distances and the pole vault.
On the first day of play, the Ospreys won all available events — Pole Vault, 3,000m and the Distance Medley relay. David Shepherd was victorious in the pole vault with a vault of 4.75m,
Will Pearce won the 3,000m event with a  time of 8:24:01 and the Ospreys took home the gold for the grueling DMR race. Junior Cameron Dickerson, sophomore Aaron Tillman, sophomore James Post and senior Will Pearce finished first with a time of 10:07.41, which is a school record.
Dickerson took the gold on the second day of play in the mile race, with a personal-best time of 4:13.37 and was just two seconds off the meet record.
James Post was right behind him with a time of 4:13.89. Dickerson said he was happy that both himself and Post finished 1st and 2nd.
“This spring has been really tough for all of us I think,” he said. “We had a really rough winter, but have really got it together this spring. We just need to stick with what we’re doing for the rest of the season.”
With the outdoor season coming up, VanAlstyne has reflected on what has been a very physical indoor season.
The tracks are tighter, it is harder to run fast and the quality is not usually as good as it is outdoors, he said, but it’s a lot of fun.
“Indoors is kind of like roller derby,” he said. “Either way, it wets our appetite for outdoors, that’s for sure.”
The track team’s next meet is the UNF Spring Break Invite at Hodges Stadium March 4–5.