MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – After a record-breaking career leading the Belmont University volleyball team, Arianna Person has found a new use for her vertical leaping ability with the Bruins indoor track and field program.
Person (Lenexa, Kan.) made her collegiate high jump debut Saturday, shaking off nerves and rust to finish fifth at the Middle Tennessee State Invitational at Murfressboro, Tenn. She jumped 1.53 meters (5 feet, 0.25 inches) in her first high jump competition in nearly seven years.
She cleared the bar on her very first shot at 1.48 meters, her first successful attempt using a bar in either practice or competition this winter.
"I have never been so shocked in my entire life," she said. "It was like, 'Oh, I guess I can jump. Well, I've got one down so I can stop freaking out now.'"
Belmont Associate Head Track Coach Cameron Harvey recruited Person, Belmont volleyball's all-time leader in kills with 1,680, following the conclusion of her final season on the court this past fall. A runner and long jumper in high school, Person said Harvey approached her with a new event in mind this year, even though Person hadn't high jumped since her freshman year at St. James Academy in Kansas.
"She has lots of pop and she's just learning how to use it," Harvey explained. "We're going to keep jumping her and see how high she goes. The top eight score at the conference meet so I don't need her to win, I just think she can come in and contribute to the team and score some points for us."
Person adds to the stable of high jumpers for the Belmont women. Junior Hannah Beth Moorhouse (Morristown, Tenn.) and freshman Jeanette Morley (Elmhurst, Ill.) tied for second at the MTSU meet at 1.58 meters.
Other top-five finishers included senior Alexa Yatauro (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the mile and freshman Anna Arrick (St. Charles, Ill.) in the 800. Both set personal bests in their respective events, Yatauro's coming at 5:20.94 and Arrick's at 2:26.77.
The Belmont men's team had another big day in the throwing events. Junior Stephen Gibson (Tuscola, Ill.) won the weight throw while three Bruins finished in the top four of the shot put.
"We're definitely starting to turn the heat up," said Assistant Track Coach Joe Frye, who coaches the throwers. "The guys are starting to look better and their rhythm is getting a lot more consistent. Even though this was a pretty low-key meet, I saw another preview of what they're capable of.
Gibson's 17.51-meter throw in the weight is his second best ever. Corey Claiborne (Alpharetta, Ga.), who was also third in the weight at 15.41, finished runner-up in the shot put at 16.20. Gibson was third at 14.69 with freshman Cal Widener (Elmhurst, Ill.) fourth at 14.04.
Senior Anthony Didion (LaPorte, Ind.) also ran to fourth in the mile in 4:20.67.
Belmont has just one meet remaining before the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships. The Bruins will compete at the Marshall Chipotle Invitational in Huntington, W.Va., next week.
|Shot put||Shot put|
|2. Karly Hibbard, jr.||12.82m||2. Corey Claiborne, jr.||16.20m|
|5. Alyssa Andersen, sr.||11.60m||3. Stephen Gibson, jr.||14.69m|
|4. Cal Widener, fr.||14.04m|
|High jump||10. Ryan Sheldon, fr.||11.94m*|
|t-2. Hannah Beth Moorhouse, jr.||1.58m||13. Drake Mitchell, so.||10.62m*|
|t-2. Jeanette Morley, fr.||1.58m||14. Ryan Lipe, jr.||10.47m|
|5. Arianna Person, sr.||1.53m|
|-- Kelsey Kay Herring, fr.||NH||Weight throw|
|1. Stephen Gibson, jr.||17.51m|
|Weight throw||3. Corey Claiborne, jr.||15.41m|
|4. Alyssa Andersen, sr.||15.65m||7. Cal Widener, fr.||12.81m|
|8. Ryan Sheldon, fr.||11.71m|
|Mile||12. Chris Bordiuk, jr.||10.87m|
|5. Alexa Yatauro, sr.||5:20.94*|
|8. Mallory Young, jr.||5:28.68||Mile|
|9. Lauren Denemark, so.||5:30.88||4. Anthony Didion, sr.||4:20.67|
|10. Maria Brauer, so.||5:33.73||6. Taylor Vroon, fr.||4:24.78|
|8. Jackson Vroon, fr.||4:32.92|
|5. Anna Arrick, fr.||2:26.77*||400 meters|
|8. Caroline Daniel, fr.||2:29.30||10. Kaden Kieffer, so.||51.99|
|9. Gabrielle Yatauro, sr.||2:31.75||-- Khristian Vickers, fr.||NT|
|-- Timothy Cody, fr.||NT|
|9. Seth Randall, so.||6.68*|
|10. Hayden Stover, fr.||6.70*|
|16. Jared DeVore, fr.||6.92*|
|6. Sean Carroll, fr.||2:00.37*|
|7. Ben Williams, so.||2:01.45|
|15. Seth Randall, so.||23.06*|
|17. Jared DeVore, fr.||23.20|
|23. Timothy Cody, fr.||24.21*|