Munden's high jump victory highlights Tarleton's showing at UTA Invitational

TSU Sports Information
Tarleton State junior Gentrye Munden won the high jump on Saturday at the UTA Invitational, the first-ever individual first-place finish in the Division I era for Tarleton track and field. Munden, from Cleburne, cleared 5' 6" to seal the victory.

ARLINGTON – The first-ever individual first place finish in the Division I era for Tarleton track and field is officially in the books.

The accolade belongs to junior Gentrye Munden, who won the high jump on Saturday at the UTA Invitational to highlight Tarleton's collective showing at the two-day meet. Munden, from Cleburne Texas, cleared 5' 6" to seal the victory.

In doing so, she jumped, literally, to No. 2 on the Western Athletic Conference outdoor performance list in the event. The mark also constituted a three-inch personal record for Munden, who specializes in the high jump but also competes in sprints for the Texans.

Munden left little doubt as to who the best jumper at the meet was. Her starting mark of 4' 11.75" was higher than that of any other competitor and she did not scratch once on her climb to 5' 6".

Her performance means Tarleton now has two of the top-three performers in the WAC in the women's high jump. Emily Simon, who posted the second-best score in the heptathlon (4,870) in program history on Wednesday and Thursday at Angelo State, ranks third in the conference at 5' 3".

Munden's effort was the apex of a meet that featured a litany of Texan top-10 finishes and personal records. Tarleton recorded a combined 31 top-10 finishes in individual events and relays. The Texans cracked the top-three in six separate events against a small-but-competitive meet field, which included the likes of North Texas, Oral Roberts and Oklahoma Baptist in addition to host UTA. 

The meet's high point on the men's side came from sophomore Oscar Rodriguez. The Del Rio, Texas native competed in the discus throw for the first time collegiately and promptly uncorked a heave of 171' 8" to claim second place and the top spot in the event in the WAC. He is now less than four feet away from breaking the outdoor school record in the discus. Rodriguez also set a personal record of 156' 4" in the hammer throw on Friday at UTA to nab fourth place honors.

Tarleton staked its claim as possessing the as the conference's top women's 4x100m relay team to begin Saturday's slate of track events. The Texans' team of Jasmine McQuirter, Nyla Barlow, Reagan Gallagher and Hanna Dudley clocked a time of 46.92 and continues to rank No. 1 in the WAC. The quartet took third place at UTA and improved their season record by one-tenth of a second in just their second time competing together.

The Texans also demonstrated considerable progression in the women's 4x400m relay. Tarleton's relay team, which featured Anayah Copeland, Barlow, Alessa King and Danielle Thomas, came in at 3:54.33 to finish third at the meet and improve its time by nine seconds. The Texans now have the conference's third fastest 4x400m relay team in the outdoor season.

Anterius Brown and Maxon Newell each finished third in their respective events to deliver Tarleton's other pair of top-three performances. Brown crossed the finish line in 48.27 seconds in the 400m while Newell cleared 6' 0.75" in the high jump. 

Tarleton made a strong statement in the women's long jump to commence the field events. Three Texans placed inside the top-10. Freshmen Brianna Arline and Gallagher finished eighth and ninth, respectively, with jumps of 17' 8.75" and 17' 6" while Nakia Dunn, a sophomore, leapt 17' 5.25" to claim 10th place.

A trio of Texans also cracked the top-10 in the men's 400m hurdles. Junior Dahmir Pearson turned in Tarleton's top mark this season in the event with a time of 55.47 to snag fifth place. Freshman Brady Sisneroz finished one spot behind Pearson in 56.50. Sisneroz also set his third personal record in as many meets in the 110m hurdles, claiming fourth place in 15.10. Joining Pearson and Sisneroz was junior Joey Ortiz-Martinez, who was fifth in the 110m hurdles at 15.36 and crossed the finish line ninth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 57.93.

The Texans' distance crew delivered arguably their best collective effort in either the cross country or outdoor track and field season in the 1,500m. Four athletes delivered top-10 performances, highlighted by Kevin Baez's fifth place effort in the men's race with a time of 3:58.61. Imani Williams was the top performer on the women's side, as she finished seventh in 4:58.79. Dominick Vastlik and Jonnie Wilkinson took 10th in their respective races with times of 4:07.84 and 5:07.39.

Jenna Brazeal kickstarted her bid to break her third school record in the 800m. She turned in a time of 2:20.48 in her first event this season to place sixth and move to eighth on the WAC performance list. Brazeal reset indoor program records in the 800m and 1,000m during the 2020 season. King placed eighth in the event at 2:24.68.

Barlow finished fifth in the 200m dash in 24.94 while Dudley was seventh with a time of 25.05.

Brandon McKissick, who joined Brown in helping Tarleton's men's 4x400m relay team finish sixth at the Texas Relays on March 27, was seventh in the 400m at 49.02.

Jacob Bowers enjoyed his second top-10 effort in as many meets in the discus. He took sixth place with a throw of 141' 10. 

Sophomore Marshae Davis put forth the best performance of her Tarleton career. She finished sixth and set personal records in both the shot put (40' 2") and discus (128' 7").

Fellow freshman Benjamin Presley joined Newell in the high jump top-10, as he cleared 5' 10.75" in his first meet as a Texan to place seventh.

Up next for the Texans is a trip to the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex for the UNT Classic on Saturday.