The hammer throwers put FIU's women into the lead going into Saturday's events at the Conference USA Track & Field Championships. Saturday, the jumpers got points while the throwers got disappointed.
Sophomore Phillicia Fluellen's long jump of 20 feet, 5 3/4 inches brought home eight points for second in the long jump behind Louisiana Tech junior Charla Craddock's 20-10 3/4 leap. In the high jump, junior Tikiera Relaford finished tied for fourth with Middle Tennessee State's Barbara Vilson at 5 feet, 7 1/4 inches. East Carolina senior Tynita Butts popped a 6-3 1/4 jump to take her fourth C-USA high jump title and join University of South Florida's 2002-05 shot put queen Chandra Brewer as the only four-time C-USA women's champions.
In the discus, hammer throw winner Kayla Padgett picked up another 10 points for East Carolina. But what allowed East Carolina to extend its lead was FIU recording zero points. Among the nine throws of sophomores Miriam Pierre, Alysha Lewis and Raqurra Ishmar, only Ishmar's final throw, 109 feet, 3 inches, counted as legal. That got her 22nd place. Sophomore Chelsea Goburne's 139-7 got her 12th, four spots out of the points.
FIU's relative strength is in the field events, a fact demonstrated by the women's track finalists limited to being Cam'ree Jackson in the 100 meters and sophomore Jaylaan Slaughter in the 400 hurdles.
Ditto for the men. Three quarters of an inch, 25-7 1/4 to 25-8, separated FIU senior Aubrey Smith from winner Cameron Hudson of East Carolina. Sophomore Marcus Ghent finished eighth with a leap of 24-1 1/2.
The men have nobody in Sunday's individual event track finals.