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OVC Women's Indoor Championships: Day 1

OVC Women's Indoor Championships: Day 1

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Behind a whopping four placers in the 5,000-meter race, the Belmont women's track and field team racked up enough points to jump into third place after the first day of the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Wednesday.

The Bruins have already scored 21 team points at the halfway point of the conference championship meet with 16 of those coming in the 5K alone. That's more than Belmont had during all of last year's OVC indoor championships combined.

The Belmont scoring squad was led by the best race of Kortney Schardt's (Lindenhurst, Ill.) career. The junior Bruin tore around Birmingham CrossPlex track to finish second in 17 minutes, 2.02 seconds and pick up eight team points. That was a personal-best time for Schardt by more than 20 seconds.

"A huge PR today for Kortney Schardt led the way in a fantastic race," Belmont Assistant Track Coach Kate Bucknam said. "Everyone else was right where they needed to be to pick up a ton of points for us."

Belmont senior Courtney Alama (Annadale, Minn.) checked in in fourth place at 17:31.17 while sophomore Claire Cheeseman (Brentwood, Tenn.) was seventh in 17:41.23 and junior Sierra Lax (Columbus, Ind.) took eighth in 17:47.08. Only the top eight finishers in each event earn points toward the team total.

Belmont's other five points on the day came in the form of a fourth-place relay team. The grouping of Halle Hausman (Johnson City, Tenn.), Caroline Pruitt (Allen, Texas), Ruth Wiggins (Memphis, Tenn.) and Taylor Cuneo (Lascassas, Tenn.) scored in the distance medley relay, finishing in 12:17.95.

Two Bruins also advanced through Wednesday's preliminaries on the track and will run in the finals on Thursday. Sophomore Payton Barlow (White House, Tenn.) won her heat in the 400 meters with a personal-best time of 56.52 seconds. Wiggins also qualified for the 800 finals with a season-best 2:14.59.

Action resumes Thursday at 9 a.m. with the heptathletes with rest of the competition getting under way at noon.

OVC Indoor Championships

Day 1 Belmont Results

Team Scores
1. Tennessee Tech, 41
2. SE Missouri, 31
3. Belmont 21
4. Tennessee State, 19.5
t-5. SIU Edwardsville, 19
t-5. Murray State, 19
7. Jacksonville State, 16
8. Eastern Kentucky, 11
9. Eastern Illinois, 9
10. Austin Peay, 4.5
11. Morehead State, 4

60m (prelims)
Abbie Whitehurst, sr., DNS

400m (prelims)
4. Payton Barlow, so., 56.52*

800m (prelims)
6. Ruth Wiggins, so., 2:14.59

2. Kortney Schardt, jr., 17:02.02*
4. Courtney Alama, sr., 17:31.17
7. Claire Cheeseman, so., 17:41.23*
8. Sierra Lax, jr., 17:47.08*

4. Belmont (Halle Hausman, Caroline Pruitt, Ruth Wiggins, Taylor Cuneo), 12:17.95

High jump
Jeanette Morley, so., NH

*Personal best