Vasquez takes first in 800 meters at Boston Moon Invite

By Shawna O’Neal, Chattanooga, TN–The UTC Running Mocs traveled to Nashville to participate in the Boston Moon Invite Sun., April 15 where senior Josh Vasquez, Johnson City, Tenn., dominated for the day.
“The meet was primarily a tune up meet for the championship this weekend,” head coach Bill Gautier said. “Josh was definitely the highlight of the day. We are really counting on him fro the Southern Conference meet.”
He won the men’s 800-meter title with a time of 1:55.66. Vasquez beat Morehouse’s Karlton Mitchell by only .10 seconds. Two other Mocs partook in the race. Teammates John Gilpin, a sophomore from Nashville and Patrick O’Brien, a freshman from Chattanooga, finished in eighth and 13th respectively. Gilpin finished with a season-best time of 1:59.45 and O’Brien completed the event with a time of 2:04.36. It was his first 800-meter race of the season.
For the women’s 800-meter event, Ambria Reese, a freshman from Memphis, landed an eighth place finish with a season-best time of 2:26.23. Also competing in the race was Jessica Philpott, a freshman from Manchester, Tenn., ended the event at the 2:30.53 mark getting her a 13th place finish.
Vasquez also led the men’s 4X400 meter relay team to a top time of 3:16.58, just short of the school record by less than two seconds.
Dezerick Frazier, a freshman from Goodlettsville, Tenn., started the event off for Chattanooga with Blake Olson, a sophomore from Pleasant View, Tenn., running the second leg of the race. Drew Harris, a freshman from Adams, Tenn., followed Olson as Vasquez crossed the finish line for the Mocs.
Gautier said that Frazier had a great meet for the day.
“Dez had a great freshman year,” he said. “He has improved more than I hoped he would. It resulted in him having a great match.”
Frazier also came in second in the men’s 400-meter dash. He landed a time of 49.45, only .20 seconds behind first place Tennessee State’s Michael Johnson.
Harris and Drew Austell, a freshman from Eads, Tenn., also participated in the race. Harris finished in 14th with a total time of 52.67 and Austell in 24th and a 55.04 time.
Gabby Cader, a sophomore from Cleveland, Tenn., finished in seventh place for the women’s 400-meter dash. She was the only runner to participate in the event for UTC.
Also coming in second place, but for the 1,500-meter event, was Nathan Wanuch, a sophomore from Mississauga, Ontario. He finished with a season-best time of 4:02.41. Teammate Mark Cole, McKenzie, Tenn., came in third place right behind Wanuch finishing in a time of 4:05.43.  The race was O’Brien’s second event for the day. He placed ninth with a total time of 4:19.75.
In the women’s 1,500-meter race, Keeley Stewart, a freshman from Winchester, Tenn., took a fourth place finish at a time of 5:00.74.
Olson was the only runner to compete in the 400-meter hurdles for Chattanooga. He finished with a time of 57.31.
But there were two contestants in the women’s 400-meter hurdle competition.
Samantha Pulido took second place with a PR time of 1:07.68. Nearly three seconds after, fellow runner Ashley Hall, a senior from Memphis, took third place with a final time of 1:10.93, a season-best.
For the women’s high jump event, Taylor Pannell, a freshman from Chattanooga, placed in second with a height of 1.52 meters (4’-11.75”)
Chattanooga will travel to Cullowhee, N.C., where they will participate in the Southern Conference Outdoor Championship Sat. April 21.
Gautier said they are hoping for some championships.

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