Howard Women Track & Field Program Off to Strong Start

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Howard University women’s track & field team shined in their season opening meets in North Carolina. Friday (March 12), HU took part in the Wendy’s Navy Seahawk Invitational and Saturday (March 13) competed in the Wendy’s Teal Seahawk Invitational. Both events were held by UNC Wilmington.

In the two days, HU won 14 events while setting new school marks.

“From the first event Friday to the curtain dropped on Saturday, our women showed out,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “We won eight events Friday and another six on Saturday. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”

Senior Destiny Stanford (Woolwich Township, N.J.) headlined the weekend, setting two school records in her victories: 1500-meter run (4:35.14) and 5000-meter run (17:18.54).

“Destiny Stanford was surely a showstopper,” Oliver stated. “She blitzed two school records in her wins this weekend. It’s great to see her back running better than ever, she’s going to have an outstanding 2021 campaign.”

Her training partner Melanie White (Orlando, Fla.) also scored two monster personal bests that saw her crack the top five all-time performance list.

White and sophomore Dasia Wilson (Philadelphia) each won the 800-meter event. Wilson won Friday with a 2:23.35 mark and the Florida native earned a victory Saturday, clocking in at 2:11.94.

In the hurdles, Kaya-Rae Dunbar (Burtonsville, Md.) started her collegiate career with back-to-back wins in the 100-meter hurdles, recording 14.03 and 14.16, respectively, while junior Jessica Wright (Durham, N.C.) returned to the track after 23 months away with a huge personal best in the 400-meter hurdles (1:01.46).

“I have extremely high expectations for Kaya during her time at Howard,” Oliver expressed. “Also, Jessica Wright will be vying for a spot at the NCAA First Round by the end of the season. We are still down several important members of our squad, so I look forward to adding them back into the mix going forward.”

Other noteworthy performances on the track included wins in the 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay and senior Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana) taking first in the 400-meter dash (55.72).

In field competition, junior Diana Effiom (Dallas) ended her weekend owning three of the top five hammer throw distances in school history while collecting a win.

Other notable performances in the field included junior Ja’Tae Joyner (Bowie, Md.) winning the long jump (5.74m; 18.8 feet) and sophomore Symone Marsh (Hillsborough, N.J.) claiming first in the shot put (11.40m; 37.4 feet).

On March 25-27, the Bison travel to Raleigh, N.C. for the Raleigh Relays.

Courtesy of Howard University Athletics

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