By Howard University Athletics
COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 8, 2020) – Philadelphia natives Jessika Gbai and Dasia Wilson led the way for Howard University Women’s Track & Field at the South Carolina Invitational with record-setting performances. The two-day event (Feb. 7-8) saw tremendous efforts across the board
“Our women really put on a show,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “Everyone who touched the track ran a new personal best. We didn’t take home any individual wins, but the exposure to this type of environment a few weeks out from the [Mid-Eastern Athletic] conference championships is invaluable. Things are definitely trending upwards.”
Gbai and Wilson reset their own school records in their respective events. Gbai broke the women’s 200-meter dash with a 24.14 time while Wilson shattered the 800-meter run (2:10.09), a mark she set a week ago.
“She’s having a great freshman campaign,” Director Oliver on Wilson. “Her performance [in the 800-meter run] ranks No. 2 in the MEAC this season [and] she also qualified for the 400-meter dash.”
Other notable qualifiers included seniors Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Uchechi Onuoha (Yardley, Pa.) advancing to Landover in the women’s 200-meter dash, clocking in at 25.10 and 25.18, respectively.
Friday (Feb. 7), Ike (55.18), junior Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana/56.16) and sophomore Jessica Wright (Durham, N.C./56.25) all performed well in the women’s 400-meter dash, each placing top 10 in the conference.
The weekend wrapped up with the 4×400 relay where HU had a pair of teams finish third and fifth, respectively, a dramatic improvement in recent outings.
“The highlight for us this weekend was definitely the 4×400 relay,” Director Oliver expressed. “Last year, we struggled to break 3:55 indoors. [But] today, we had teams go 3:41 and 3:43. It always feels great when you have a 4×4 [team] that can put on a show [and] we now have eight women who we can rely upon to do a job.”
The team of Gbai, Ike, Scott and Wright ran a third-place time of 3:41.15 while Onuoha, Wilson, junior Ameenah Saalih (Willingboro, N.J.) and newcomer De’ja Dade (Dallas) took fifth overall, producing a 3:43.38 mark.
To view results from the 2020 South Carolina Invitational, please click here.
On Feb. 14-15, HU travels to Lynchburg, Va., for the Darius Dixon Invitational, hosted by Liberty. The final tune-up before championship season.
“With the [Mid-Eastern Athletic] conference meet at the end of this month, we should see a marked improvement over previous editions,” Director Oliver ended. “We’re really looking forward to it.”