Butler track wins three events, sets school record at Jacobs Invite

NORMAN, Okla. — The Butler track and field team had three first-place finishes and set a school record Saturday at the John Jacobs Invitational, which was held at the University of Oklahoma.

Sophomore Eli Hall-Thompson (men's 100-meter dash) and freshman Valeriya Kostiuk (women's high jump) each won their respective events, while the men's 4x100-relay team of Hall-Thompson, Quintaveon Poole, Xavier Atkins and Akeem Sirleaf had the top time of 40.12 seconds.

For the third time this season, sophomore Rachael Buzanowski reset her own school record in the women's pole vault, this time clearing 3.71 meters (12 feet, 2 inches) on her second attempt. Competing against NCAA Division I schools, Buzanowski placed eighth in the field, but ranks tied for second among NJCAA vaulters.

Despite running in lane 1 in the fastest heat, Hall-Thompson cruised to a personal-best 10.20-second performance in the 100. The time ranks him second nationally with teammate Xavier Atkins, who ran a 10.2 back on April 2 at the Hutch Night Relays.

Kostiuk won her fifth straight title in the high jump with a clearance of 1.76 meters (5 feet, 9 1/4 inches), edging out Nebraska-Omaha's Stephanie Ahrens. Kostiuk and Ahrens were the only two jumpers to clear 1.71, with Kostiuk going over the bar in her first attempt, while Ahrens needed two tries. At 1.76, Kostiuk secured the win in her second attempt and matched her season-best mark, while Ahrens failed all three attempts.

In the men's 4x100, Butler's first-place time of 40.12 seconds beat out runner-up Oral Roberts (40.69). The Grizzly men also placed third in the 4x400-meter relay, as the team of Emmanuel Mwewa, James Hambrick, Antonio Coleman and Poole ran 3:13.28.

Along with running the 4x100, Sirleaf also had one of the Grizzlies' three runner-up finishes on the day, as he took second in the men's 200-meter dash (21.18 seconds). Poole also had a fourth-place finish in the men's 400-meter dash (46.67), while Coleman (47.76) and Mwewa finished seventh and ninth, respectively.

In men's field events, freshman Landon Cuskelly had his second straight runner-up finish in the high jump, while sophomore Mohammed Abubakar was second in long jump. Freshman Elijah Smith also had a bronze finish in the triple jump.

Cuskelly cleared 2.17 meters (7 feet, 1 1/2 inches) on his third attempt, as he finished second to Eddie Wilcox of North Texas.

Abubakar, who had the third-best jump in preliminaries, had his top mark of 7.53 meters (24 feet, 8 1/2 inches) on his final attempt of the day. Fabian Edoki of South Plains had the best jump, winning the event at 7.60 meters.

Smith, who had his top jump of 14.79 meters (48 feet, 6 1/4 inches) on his first attempt in the triple jump, finished behind Oklahoma's Hayden McClain (16.10m) and Wichita State's Shazz Michael Lindo (15.37m).

Also with top-ten finishes for the Butler men were sophomores Shevon Blair (800-meter run, 1:55.31, eighth), Nolan Hesse (3,000-meter run, 9:14.24, 10th) and freshman Cameron Emery (100-meter dash, 10.66, eighth). Sophomore Kristina Vujanic also placed ninth in the women's 400-meter hurdles (1:03.82).

Next up for the Grizzlies will be the Region VI Outdoor Championships in Garden City. The three-day event begins on Thursday with multi events.