Thank you Duncan and Johnson for 4 great years as Rams


Elite Member
Feb 10, 2009

Johnson breaks school record, captures title in the long jump

TOWSON, Md. – Going out with a bang would be one way to describe it. Another way would be phenomenal.

Either way it was a special weekend for seniors Verniece Johnson (Mineral, Va.) and Natalie Duncan (Alexandria, Va.) with spotlight performances at this past weekend’s Colonial Athletic Association Championships to highlight the Virginia Commonwealth University women’s track & field team’s stay at the event.

“I’m very proud of the way our seniors performed this weekend,” Head Coach Jon Riley said. “We’re trying to build a strong program here and they showed the younger athletes exactly how you step up when it comes to conference championships.”

Johnson was the busiest and most productive Ram, scoring 19 of the team’s 36 points. Her biggest performance came in Friday’s long jump where she captured the individual title and broke the school record with a leap of 20’ 3 ½”. The old school record was set by Gabrielle DeShong in 2000 (20’ 2 ½”).

The veteran’s weekend continued with an eighth-place showing in the triple jump and helped guide both the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays to fifth place finishes.

Also running on the 4x100 relay squad was junior Whitney Key (Goochland, Va.), sophomore K’yana Hill (Richmond, Va.) and freshman Jazlynn Finney (Leesburg, Va.).

Key and Johnson teamed with sophomore Cassandra Thondique (Norfolk, Va.) and freshman Rachel Montague (Marlton, N.J.) on the 4x400 meter relay.

Duncan stepped up and nearly broke a school record herself in the shot put with a heave of 43’ 4 ½”, just eight inches off the record. Her toss was good enough for fourth place and five points for the Black & Gold.

Sophomore Quina Fortune (New Orleans, La.) shined brightly in her first CAA Championship with a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.26, good for six points.

Redshirt freshman Allison Morris (Langhorne, Pa.) tallied two points in the high jump, clearing a mark of 5’ 3”.

The freshman duo of Julia Anyaugo (Washington, D.C.) and Samantha Mosley (Farmville, Va.) combined for four points in the discus throw, finishing sixth and eighth respectively.

“Obviously, I’m not pleased with where we finished,” Riley said. “But our seniors definitely set the precedent on how to step up when it comes to these types of meets. That’s how this program is going to make strides in the coming years.”

The Rams have only a few days off before heading north to take part in the Penn Relays, which begin on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia.