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  Bison put on an all-round dominating performance


Howard University sophomore Diana Effiom sets school record in the women’s weight throw for the third time this indoor (Photo Credit – Lawrence Johnson)

NEW YORK (January 10, 2020) – Howard University women’s track and field team won the 2020 HBCU Battle in New York City with an all-round dominating team performance.

HU produced 128 points while outscoring the runner-up, Delaware State, by over 120. The men also won, registering 121 points in their victory.

“This was the first big meet win that we’ve had as a staff,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver after today’s meet. “The kids really represented themselves and the University very well. We have come up short in the previous editions of this meet, but to finally bring home both trophies is a big boost for the group.”

Throwers Diana Effiom (Dallas) and Symone Marsh (Hillsborough, N.J.) led the way with an epic duel.

In her first attempt, Marsh broke Effiom’s school record in the women’s weight throw, tossing over 51 feet (15.69 meters), a mark the Dallas native set a week earlier. Moments later, Effiom reclaimed the throne on her final throw, launching over 53 feet (16.32 meters).

“Coach Danny Stokes has done an amazing job with the throwers this year,” Director Oliver added. “The back-and-forth battle between [Symone] Marsh and [Diana] Effiom was epic. It seemed like every throw was a school record attempt. What a battle between the two stars.”

Effiom won the event, thanks to her record-setting performance, while Marsh took third overall.

Fellow thrower Kaylah Clark (Miami) earned first-place in the shot put, throwing over 43 feet (13.11 meters).

Other notable performances in the field included junior Rachel Edler (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and sophomore Ja’Tae Joyner (Bowie, Md.) each qualifying for the 2020 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Indoor Championships in Landover, Md. Edler made the women’s triple jump with a hopping mark of 11.79 meters (38’8.25”) while Joyner reached in the long jump, leaping more than 18 feet (5.56 meters).

On the track, the 4×200 relay squad of seniors Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Uchechi Onuoha (Yardley, Pa.) and sophomores Kylan Rice(Smyrna, Ga.) and Jessica Wright (Durham, N.C.) claimed the top spot, clocking in at 1:42.66.

Individually, Ike and Onuoha won their respective races. Ike won in the women’s 400-meter dash (57.10) while Onouha placed first in the 60-meter hurdles (8.61).

Howard showed its dominance in the 200-meter dash with the top four finishers representing HU.

Third-year sprinter Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) won, recording a 24.71 time, followed by reigning MEAC Women’s Track Athlete of the WeekAmeenah Saalih (Willingboro, N.J.) at 24.72. Sophomore Kennedy Lewis (Atlanta; 25.08) and freshman De’ja Dade (Dallas; 25.11) rounded out the four. Additionally, all four Bison qualified for Landover.

Saalih also competed in the women’s 60-meter dash where she took first place. Newcomer Dasia Wilson (Philadelphia) also reached Landover with a qualifying time of 2:16.89 in the 800-meter run.

“Nine [personal bests] on the women [and eight personal bests on the men’s side], along with eight new MEAC qualifiers is a good haul this early in the season,” Director Oliver stated. “The student-athletes did an amazing job, and [I] couldn’t be happier.”

To view results from the 2020 HBCU Battle, please click here.

Next weekend (Jan. 17-18), the Bison are splitting among two meets.

A group travels to Blacksburg, Va., for a two-day meet at the Virginia Tech Invitational whereas the other group stays in the DMV area for a Saturday (Jan. 18) event in College Park, the Terrapin Invitational.

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.

(This story and pictures courtesy of Howard University Athletics)


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