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June 15, 2024 1:37 am

Burnette, Faison hit NCAA marks at the Trojan Relays

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive men’s track and field program registered two NCAA provisional marks and four event victories April 15, while multiple athletes improved their qualifying marks at the Trojan Relays, hosted at Ray McDonald Sr. Sports Complex.

Senior Justen Burnette claimed first place in the 200 meters after crossing the line in 20.86 seconds to improve his NCAA standard in the event. A native of Winston-Salem, he now holds the ninth-best time in the NCAA Division II in the 200 meters. Burnette has the fastest times in the 100m and 200m in the Conference Carolinas this outdoor season. Additionally, he placed second overall in the 100 meters with a time of 10.55 seconds.

In the hammer throw, the Trojans featured three individuals in the top five, including the event winner. Sophomore Alex Smith-Fort’e finished in first place following a toss of 55.69 meters to improve his league qualifying mark and move into second all-time at UMO in the event. Smith-Fort’e also holds the top distance in the hammer throw in the Southeast Region. Fellow sophomore Israel Long improved his conference championship mark after placing second overall with a distance of 52.22 meters, which ranks third all-time at Mount Olive. Senior Joshua Faison finished in fourth and enhanced his conference standard with a toss of 51.16 meters, which sits sixth in UMO history.

Additionally, Faison secured a pair of event victories in the shot put and discus. He earned medalist honors in the shot put after reaching 16.52 meters in a field of 27 competitors. Faison also placed first with a distance of 55.39 meters in the discus. He currently holds the top mark in both events in the Southeast Region.

Senior Jordan Martin finished fourth overall in the 110-meter hurdles finals and improved his league qualifying time after crossing the line in 15.11 seconds, which is the fourth-best time in school history.

In the 400 meters, sophomore Andrew Nixon enhanced his conference standard and placed third with a time of 48.97 seconds, which is tied for sixth all-time at UMO. Junior Jontavus Walker also improved his league mark in the event with a time of 49.34 seconds, the 10th-fastest mark in program history.

Junior Kamden Johnson qualified for the league championship in the high jump for the first time this season after clearing 1.81 meters to finish fourth overall. In the long jump, freshman Josh Manning improved his conference mark with a distance of 6.74 meters to place fifth overall, while sophomore Demonte Lavender finished sixth with a mark of 6.69 meters to qualify for the league championship. Additionally, Lavender enhanced his distance in the triple jump with a mark of 14.18 meters, which ranks sixth all-time at Mount Olive.

Junior QuVontre Harper matched his season-best time in the 100 meters after posting a mark of 10.82 seconds while also hitting the conference standard in the 200 meters after crossing the line in 22.14 seconds. Fellow junior Nathanael Bierly improved his league qualifying time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a mark of 10 minutes, 15.84 seconds, to take second place in the event.

Senior Gavin Cuthbertson finished sixth overall and enhanced his time in the 400-meter hurdles after crossing the line in 58.07 seconds.

Fellow senior Dorian Tolbert made an improvement to his conference standard in the shot put following a toss of 13.79 meters. In the discus, sophomore Nicholas Cloud finished among the top 10 and enhanced his league mark with a toss of 42.98 meters, which moves him to seventh all-time at UMO in the event. Fellow sophomore Tyrese Lavender also reached the conference mark with a distance of 41.73 meters, which ties for eighth in program history.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics