XULA freshman posts fastest 400m of the year in NAIA

Shalysa Wray shaves six tenths of a second off the season best mark in the NAIA.

Courtesy: Xavier University of Louisiana

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Xavier University of Louisiana freshman Shalysa Wray sprinted to the top of the NAIA’s 2019 season list Saturday when she ran 400 meters in a school-record 55.27 seconds at the Southern Miss Invitational track and field meet.

It was the second consecutive meet that Wray broke the school record at this distance. Her previous mark was 56.57 seconds at the Louisiana Classics March 16.

Wray entered the meet No. 2 in the NAIA this season in the 400 and surpassed the 55.87 of another freshman, Namiah Simpson of Southeastern (Fla.), who posted her time March 22.

Wray placed third in the 400 and won the 200 with a NAIA B-qualifying mark of 24.81 seconds. Wray has qualified for the national meet in four events: the 200, 400, 400 relay and 1,600 relay.

XULA got second-place finishes from Alexis Milton in the women’s 200 (25.15), Shane Buchanan in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase (9:46.13) and Edward Angel in the men’s high jump (1.93 meters/6 feet, 4 inches). Finishing fourth were Shane Buchanan in the 1,500 (4:06.29) and Ireyon Keith in the women’s long jump (5.25 meters/17 feet, 2 3/4 inches).

There was no team scoring. Other schools competing included Belhaven, Dillard, Jackson State, Lane, Louisiana College, Loyola (N.O.), Mississippi College, Mississippi Valley, South Alabama, Southeastern Louisiana, Southern, Southern Miss, Spring Hill and William Carey.

It was XULA’s third meet of the outdoor season. The Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets will compete next Saturday in the McNeese Spring Time Classic at Lake Charles, La.

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