NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jessica Mattsson wasn't afforded the luxury of a campus visit during her recruitment to Belmont University. Coming from Tierp, Sweden, the trip just wasn't in the cards, but she's been happy with her blind decision.
That goes double for the Bruins.
Mattsson, a freshman for the Belmont women's track and field team, broke the school record in the hammer throw Friday in just her second college meet. After getting close a week ago, Mattsson threw 53.77 meters (176-5.25) at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational to eclipse the program's all-time mark.
"The practices have felt good, more stable than before, so when the practice throws turned out better than last meet, I felt like I could have a good throw," said Mattsson, who surpassed the 53.67 that former Bruin Josie Hardin threw just last year. "It was a smooth one, no bumps along the way or anything."
Mattsson arrived in Nashville just after the New Year, but did not compete during the indoor track season while acclimating to her new environment. It was not only her first step on the Belmont campus but her first time in the United States, she said.
Instead of competing, she spent the past three months practicing for her outdoor season event speciality: the hammer throw. Her personal best is 55.98 meters while throwing in Sweden.
"I knew she was getting more consistent during practice and I'm glad she was able to bring it tonight," said Belmont Assistant Track Coach Joe Frye, who works with the throwers. "She's got a really strong competitive mindset and is a real pleasure to coach."
Senior teammate Alyssa Andersen (Oswego, Ill.) was also sixth in the hammer at 48.88 meters (160-4.75).
In the 5,000-meter race, senior Hannah Denton (Burns, Tenn.) and freshman Maria Brauer (Oakford, Ill.) ran together to finish sixth and seventh, respectively. Denton crossed in 18:32.68, pulling away slightly on the final lap from Brauer's 18:40.95.
Day 2 of the Black & Gold Invitational resumes at 10 a.m. at Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Nearly live results can be found HERE.
BELMONT WOMEN'S RESULTS
3. Jessica Mattsson, fr. — 53.77m (176-5.25)^
6. Alyssa Andersen, sr. — 48.88m (160-4.75)
9. Kelsey Kay Herring, fr. — 9.02m (29-7.25)
-- Karly Hibbard, jr. — NM
29. Lauren Denemark, so. — 5:00.01
6. Hannah Denton, sr. — 18:32.68
7. Maria Brauer, fr. — 18:40.95