Track & Field gets off to fast start at Mountain T’s Invite

Track & Field gets off to fast start at Mountain T’s Invite

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Chancise Watkins picked up right where he left off last season and fired off a top-ten NCAA Division III indoor time in the 200 meters at the Moutain T's Invitational, hosted by the Northern Arizona University on Jan. 30-31.

Watkins was the only Division III runner in the invite portion of the 200 meters and finished fourth with a raw time of 21.89 seconds. That would have been the fastest in the country so far this season, but adjusted for track size and altitude, Watkins checks in tied for eighth in Division III at 22.41.

James Francis notched a pair of top-ten performances, including a school record in the high jump. He cleared a height of 6-03.5, which was good for seventh overall. He came in fifth in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 3 inches (6.78m). Francis's long jump currently ranks 29th in the nation.

Freshman Josh Francis, the younger brother of James, also turned in a record-breaking performance. He set the new La Verne standard in the 400 meters with a time of 52.57 and finished 24th. He was solid in the 200 meters as well, finishing 19th in the open portion with a time of 22.77.

Outdoor men's 100 meters record holder Nick Gonsalves clocked a 7.09 in the 60 meters.

Jacob Lopez went 43-00.5 (13.12m) in the triple jump to finish eighth and added a pair of top-20 finishes in the long jump (19-07.5, 5.98m) and the 60 meter hurdles (9.14).

Tiahna Gillon broke a pair of school records in the 200 meters and the 60 meters. The sophomore came in 15th in the open portion of the 200 meters at 26.10 and finished the 60 meters in 8.02 seconds to finish 27th.

Nasjua Palmer finished 11th in the women's long jump with a leap of 15-03.5 (4.66m). Emily Biker (13-07, 4.14m) and Jessica Reeves (13-03.25, 4.04m) finished 17th and 18th, respectively.

Alexa Smith finished the 400 meters in a school-record time of 1:01.98 seconds and finished 22nd.

The Leopards will get one more shot at improving their times and qualifying for the indoor national championships at the Run for the Dream Invitational on Feb. 16.

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