Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Gomez, Gillis, Cowan, Alston, Botts, Newman Named A-10 Indoor Track & Field Performers of the Week

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – George Mason senior Rico Gomez and La Salle senior Nathan Gillis shared the Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Indoor Track & Field Track Performer of the Week accolades while Massachusetts’ Emilie Cowan was named Women’s Track Performer of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. La Salle junior Darian Alston and Rhode Island sophomore Molly Botts were named Men’s and Women’s Field Performers of the Week, respectively. VCU’s Jaekob Vollbrecht was named Men’s Rookie of the week and George Mason’s Kelly-Ann Downer was named Women’s Rookie of the Week. The awards are for performances from Feb. 4-10.

Gomez posted a pair of top-three finishes at the Spire Invitational over the weekend in Geneva, Ohio. He finished third in the 300-meter dash with a time of 33.75, which ranks third-fastest all-time at Mason and is currently the 16th fastest time in the nation. The sprinter form Upper Marlboro, Md., also anchored the 4x400-meter relay team that took second that finished in 3:07.50, which ranks 13th nationally.

Gillis set a new school record in the 800-meter run at Boston University's David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Saturday. The native of Oxford, UK, became the first-ever Explorer to run a sub-1:50 time with a mark of 1:49.49 for 10th place out of 269 finishers in the event.

Cowan shattered the UMass program record in the 200-meter dash at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Friday at the Boston University Track & Tennis Center. Not only did Cowan break the indoor 200 record, but her time also bested Pam Hughes' outdoor mark (24.38) from 1986. The senior from Maplewood, N.J., ran a blistering 24.27 seconds to fourth in the 200-meter dash, surpassing teammate Lindsay Witt's mark of 24.54 set last season. Also at the meet, in the 400-meter dash, Cowan placed third in 54.06 seconds.

Alston broke his own school record in the triple jump at the Fastrack National Invite on Friday, which he previously set earlier this season. The Downingtown, Pa., product leaped 15.15 meters for fourth place in the event while also winning the long jump with a mark of 6.89 meters.

Botts won the weight throw with a mark of 16.93 meters at the URI Coaches Invitational this past Saturday. Her mark in the throw is second in the conference.

Vollbrecht set a new personal best in the Shot Put last week, recording a toss of 17.13m. The throw won him the event and was more than a meter further than the second place finisher. The freshman from Spotsylvania, Va., also earned a top-5 finish in the Weight Throw after posting a throw of 15.41m.

Downer finished second in the 400-meter dash and as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team at the Spire Invitational over the weekend in Geneva, Ohio. Downer, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, placed second in the 400 with a time of 55.21, which ranks sixth in the Atlantic 10 this season and qualified her for the ECAC Championships. She also ran the third leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that took second in 3:42.28, also qualifying them for the ECAC Championships.

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