The Tennessee Tech women’s track & field team finished eighth at the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Tennessee State University on the Ed temple Track last weekend. One of the key contributors, despite not winning any individual medals, was Saint Lucia’s Sharnique Leonce.
Eastern Illinois won the team title with 163 points, ahead of host Tennessee State (144.5). Austin Peay (81) was third, followed by Southeast Missouri (79), SIUE (72), Jacksonville State and Murray State (65), and Tech (59.5), the Golden Eagles beating out perennial power Eastern Kentucky (52), as well as Belmont (32) and Morehead State (5).
Sharnique was certainly busy over the weekend. She topped the Golden Eagles with a ninth-place finish in the 100m, missing by one place a spot in the finals with a time (12.20) that was just off her personal best (12.19). Morgan O’Neal had a PR of 12.53 with an 18th place showing, while Brittany McGee’s 12.74 for 22nd was also a PR.
Leonce posted personal-best performances in three of the four events in the Heptathlon Friday, but a fall during the 100m hurdles put her at a disadvantage. She was last in the event in 21.43 seconds, earning just 194 points. She bounced back to win two of the next three events, on the opening day.
In the High Jump, Sharnique went 1.72m to lead that event and earn 879 points. Her height was just a quarter inch off the school record. She also won the 200m dash in 24.53 seconds, her second PR which gave her 930 points. Her third PR came in the Shot Put with a toss of 9.87m for 521 points.
Eighth after her first four events, Sharnique picked up on the second day. In Long Jump, she cleared 5.27m for 634 points. She threw the javelin 27.01m for 420 points. And she ran the 800m in 2:33.58 for 649, ending sixth overall with a total of 4227. A hurdles performance even close to her PR would have given her the title, set a new school record, and taken her past 5000 points for the first time.
Sharnique also scored points in both relays, each of which placed third.