BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Belmont women's track and field team recorded its best ever finish at the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday with a sixth-place finish.
Belmont logged 56 team points to finish sixth at the 12-team OVC championship meet at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Belmont's previous best OVC indoor finish was seventh (45 points) in 2014. The Bruins joined the OVC for the 2012-12 season.
"The girls did phenomenal," said Belmont Assistant Track Coach Kate Bucknam. "They set themselves up to do well on Day 2 and capitalized on it. I'm very happy for our women and excited to see them trending in the right direction as we look toward outdoor season."
Belmont grabbed four silver finishes on Thursday. Senior Karly Hibbard (Edmonds, Wash.) not only took second in the shot put, she did so with a school-record breaking performance. Her throw of 13.94 meters (45 feet, 9 inches) broke her own school mark, which she set at last year's OVC Championships.
Sophomore Payton Barlow (White House, Tenn.) also set a school record in the 400, finishing the race in 55.95 seconds to take fourth and rack up a few points for the team.
Sophomore Ruth Wiggins (Memphis, Tenn.) ran to second in the 800 meters in 2:19.54 and Belmont's 4x400-meter relay team also placed second. The four-some of Barlow, Caroline Pruitt (Allen, Texas), Katrina Quigley (Nashville, Tenn.) and Annelise Doerr (Fountain Valley, Calif.) finished the 1,600-meter race in 3:54.72.
Then there was the Bruins' distance crew, which rounded out a spectacular OVC showing in the 3,000 Thursday. Junior Kortney Schardt (Lindenhurst, Ill.) picked up her second silver of the meet in 9:55.21 and sophomore Halle Hausman (Johnson City, Tenn.) was fifth in 10:09.50. Sophomore Claire Cheeseman (Brentwood, Tenn.) just missed scoring team points with her ninth-place finish in 10:17.51. All three ran personal-best times.
Only the top eight in each event score.
"I knew the distance squad was capable of what they did and they stepped up and got it done," Bucknam said. "Nothing really more a coach can ask for."
Belmont will now turn its attention to the outdoor season, which begins March 22 at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational.
OVC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Tennessee Tech, 119
2. Murray State, 107.5
3. Tennessee State, 98.5
4. SE Missouri, 76.5
5. Austin Peay, 68.5
6. Belmont, 56
7. Eastern Kentucky, 43
8. SIU Edwardsville, 39
9. Eastern Illinois, 27
10. Jacksonville State, 25
11. Morehead State, 9
12. UT Martin
4. Payton Barlow, so., 55.95*^
2. Ruth Wiggins, 2:19.54
19. Taylor Cuneo, fr., 5:20.42
2. Kortney Schardt, jr., 9:55.21*
5. Halle Hausman, so., 10:09.50*
9. Claire Cheeseman, so., 10:17.51*
-- Courtney Alama, sr., DNS
2. Karly Hibbard, sr., 13.94m (45-9)*^
11. Maeve Carei, fr., 2.97m (9-9)