RALEIGH, N.C. – Junior Kortney Schardt kicked off the first of two days of track and field competition this weekend with a banner performance for the Belmont women's team at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C.
Schardt (Lindenhurst, Ill.), one of just four female Bruin runners competing at the prestigious distance and relay race event, obliterated her personal best in the 5,000-meter run Friday evening. Schardt broke the 17-minute barrier for the first time in her career to finish in 16:57.44.
The time was actually more than 35 seconds better than Schardt's previous career best on an outdoor track, the 17:35 she ran at last year's Raleigh Relays. She ran a 17:02.02 on an indoor track on her way to second place at the OVC Indoor Championships in February.
Showing the depth of the entries in Friday's race, Schardt's blazing-fast time still only garnered her 51st place out of 145 finishers.
Sophomore Ruth Wiggins (Memphis, Tenn.) was the lone Bruin competing in the 1,500 meters, finishing 150th in 4:55.59.
The rest of the Belmont women's squad was in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Friday for the Joey Haines Invitational. Only one event on the first day of that meet featured Bruins in competition.
Sophomore and reigning OVC Female Field Athlete of the Week Jessica Mattsson (Tierp, Sweden) took sixth place in the hammer throw. Her throw of 53.80 (176-6) meters surpassed the 53.65 she threw last week at Vanderbilt's meet, which was the best toss in the conference this season at the time.
Belmont will return to action Saturday for the conclusion of the Joey Haines Invitational at Southeast Missouri's track.
150. Ruth Wiggins, so. – 4:55.59
at Joey Haines Invitational
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
6. Jessica Mattsson, so. – 53.80m (176-6)