Redshirt junior Dy’Air McCormick broke her own school record in the 200-meter dash at the Liberty Open on Feb. 5 in Lynchburg, VA. Photo/Lillian Marino

By: Zachary C. Young, Editor-in-Chief

At the Liberty Open the UNCP Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams performed well, seeing 17 athletes set indoor personal best records in their events, including two 3rd place finishes by shot putters Bennie Oxendine in the men’s shot put with a distance of 13.75 meters and Lillian Marino in the women’s shot put with a distance of 11.64.

Dy’Air McCormick set a new indoor personal best and school record in the women’s 200 meter dash with a time of 25.33. McCormick’s performance was good enough for sixth place. This is the third time McCormick has broken the school record in the women’s 200 dash. First in the 2020 season, and then broke her own record a second time Jan. 29 of this year (25.40).

McCormick called breaking her own record in back-to-back weekends “a blessing.” However, hours of training go into the success that is a result from just a 25 second sprint.

“We have a workout sent to us Sunday night that provides our workout for the week and we have hard days, days we work on acceleration and recovery days. I also take advantage of our athletic training room, which is needed to have a successful upcoming race,” McCormick said.

McCormick said her personal goal for the season is to qualify for nationals in either indoor or outdoor track and field, as well as attempting to break the outdoor record for the 100 and 200 dash.

“This is my last year of undergrad, and I would love to accomplish more before I leave Pembroke. The team goal, well for the girl’s side, of course it’s a three-peat year,” McCormick said.

Top 10 finishers for the Braves included: Jaidin Thomas with a fifth place finish in the 60 dash with a time of 7.04, DeMarr Harvey finished set an indoor personal best in the 200 dash with a time of 22.11 finishing sixth. The men’s 4×400 relay time also finished sixth with a time of 3:27.33.

Other Braves who recorded indoor personal bests were Deshaun Cox in the 60 hurdles with a time of 9.54, Brace Osewe in the men’s 60 hurdles with a time of 8.66, Gabe Blackwelder in the men’s mile run with a time of 4:52.07, Ervin Almanzar in the men’s 400 dash with a time of 51.57, Wyatt Kuhnemann in the men’s 400 dash with a time of 51.60, Jaidin Thomas in the men’s 200 dash with a time of 22.84, Jamal Stephens in the men’s 200 dash with a time of 22.85, Norman Junker in the men’s 3000 run with a time of 8:56.46, Alec Valle in the men’s 3000 run with a time of 9:18.43, Bennie Oxendine in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 12.72, Cole Thomas in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 4.55, Reece Hicks in the women’s 400 dash with a time of 1:04.03, Jaqueeta Moise in the women’s 400 dash with a time of 1:07.41 and Jackline Kosgei in the women’s 800 run with a time of 2:32.32.

Junker had battled COVID two weeks ago and felt confident after setting his indoor personal best.

“This was a quite controlled race to see where the body is after that covid infection 2 weeks ago. I’m motivated for the future since I know that I have way more in the tank,” said Junker. The Braves will compete again at the Champion College Team Challenge in Winston-Salem on Feb. 10 and at the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Missouri on Feb. 11-12.