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Branch earns gold in Sun Belt Indoor triple jump; App State 4×400, Atwater break program records

By Katherine Jamtgaard for App State Sports. BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The App State women’s track and field team closed out competition at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships on Feb. 21, with two broken program records and a gold medal for Jada Branch in the women’s triple jump. In the team standings, the Mountaineers took 11th with 29.5 points.

The 4×400-meter relay team of seniors Jelonnie Smith and Jada Branch, graduate student Hunter Robinson, and senior Mariah Atwater set a new program record with a time of 3:43.42, finishing fourth in the race. The quartet had set the previous record, 3:46.87, at this season’s VMI Winter Classic on Jan. 27-28.

Atwater also set a new program record and personal best in the women’s 400 meters after stopping the clock at 55.24, edging past the previous record of 55.25, which was set in 2020 by Jessica Dixon. Atwater finished fourth in Tuesday’s race.

Branch garnered gold in the women’s triple jump with a personal best leap of 12.85m (42′ 2″), which places her third in the App State all-time list.

Freshman Ava Studney tied for seventh with Louisiana’s Cameron Martinez in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 3.69m (12′ 1.25″).

Monday Rewind

In the women’s weight throw, sophomore Graysen Arnold finished fifth with a toss of 18.00m (59′ 0.75″), which moved her to sixth in the App State all-time list for the event. The distance medley relay team composed of sophomore Alexis Svoboda, Jelonnie Smith, freshman Addison Ollendick-Smith, and junior Jasmine Donohue clocked a time of 12:07.72 to finish sixth overall.

Women’s Team Standings | Final
1. Arkansas State – 106.5 points
2. Coastal Carolina – 76.5 points
3. Texas State – 73 points
4. South Alabama – 58 points
5. Georgia Southern – 56 points
6. Louisiana – 55.5 points
7. James Madison – 48 points
7. Marshall – 48 points
9. Southern Miss – 47 points
10. ULM – 46 points
11. App State – 29.5 points
12. Troy – 16 points
13. Georgia State – 2 points

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