AZUSA, Calif. – The deep and talented field at the Bryan Clay Invitational brought out the best in the Belmont track and field team on Friday. The nationally renowned meet in Southern California featured some blazing fast times by the Bruins on the track.
Junior Kortney Schardt (Lindenhurst, Ill.) led the way with a personal-best time in the women's 5,000 meters. Schardt finished the 5K in 16:51.87, which extends her own lead in the event among Ohio Valley Conference athletes. No other OVC woman has broken the 17-minute barrier this season.
In fact, her Bryan Clay time marked her second straight meet with a PR in the event. She ran a 16:57.44 at the Raleigh Relays a few weeks ago in North Carolina. Her time Friday was good enough for second place in her heat and 63rd overall out of the whopping 243 finishers in the 5,000 meters.
Schardt wasn't the only Belmont runner with a personal best in the event though. Sophomore Claire Cheeseman (Brentwood, Tenn.) also posted a PR in 17:34.32. She and senior Courtney Alama (Annadale, Minn.) ran the whole race together in stride before Cheeseman pulled slightly ahead in the homestretch. Alama crossed the finish line in 17:36.58. Junior Sierra Lax finished in 17:55.71 as well.
On the men's side, junior Kaleb McLeod (Soperton, Ga.) ran his first 5,000 meters of the season and clocked a respectable 14:55.93 He was 17th in his heat in an overall field of more than 230 runners total.
Junior Declan McManus (Worcestershire, Ga.) finished the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:24.00 to place 53rd out of 105 racers. McManus set the Belmont school record of 8:57.62 at last year's Bryan Clay Invitational.
Senior Karly Hibbard (Edmonds, Wash.) will compete in the women's javelin and shot put events on Friday at the Bryan Clay Invitational while the rest of the Bruins are in Atlanta, Ga., for the Georgia Tech Invitational this weekend.
BELMONT MEN'S RESULTS
17. Kaleb McLeod, jr. – 14:55.93
53. Declan McManus, jr. – 9:24.00
BELMONT WOMEN'S RESULTS
2. Kortney Schardt, jr. – 16:51.87*
8. Sierra Lax, jr. – 17:55.71
11. Claire Cheeseman, so. – 17:34.32*
12. Courtney Alama, sr. – 17:36.58