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Fosam, Michael-Khensu shine at CMU Invitational - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Fosam, Michael-Khensu shine at CMU Invitational

Jabari+Michael-Khensu+runs+the+lead+leg+of+Pitt%27s+stadium+record-setting+41.52-second+4x100m+relay.+Anna+Bongardino+%7C+Staff+Photographer
Jabari Michael-Khensu runs the lead leg of Pitt's stadium record-setting 41.52-second 4x100m relay. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

Jabari Michael-Khensu runs the lead leg of Pitt's stadium record-setting 41.52-second 4x100m relay. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

Jabari Michael-Khensu runs the lead leg of Pitt's stadium record-setting 41.52-second 4x100m relay. Anna Bongardino | Staff Photographer

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

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On a warm Friday and Saturday at Carnegie Mellon University’s Gesling Stadium, the Pitt track and field team finally got to compete close to home in its second meet of the outdoor season.

The Panthers must have enjoyed the familiar setting, as multiple stadium records fell at the CMU Invitational over the weekend.

The meet kicked off with the hammer throw Friday, where Pitt junior Andin Fosam crushed the competition — something she’s made a habit of this season. The Panthers then set three more stadium records in the sprinting events Saturday.

Fosam threw for a personal-best and school-record 61.67 meters in the hammer throw, smashing the previous record set by Amanda Walker in 2005 of 58.57m. With that throw Fosam also destroyed her previous Gesling Stadium record of 51.50m, which she set last year.

Although Fosam had a great showing Friday, she said she still could have done better.

“I’m proud, but I think not satisfied. My throw didn’t feel the best and I know there’s way more in there, but I’m definitely very happy,” Fosam said.

Fosam, a native of Robbinsville, New Jersey, who was born in London, was a standout performer for the Panthers on the indoor circuit this year. She clearly isn’t affected by the switch to the outdoor season, as she now ranks second in both the ACC and the region, and seventh in the entire country in the hammer throw after Friday’s event.

Pitt throwing coach Brent Shelby has been pleased with Fosam’s performances so far, especially since she is on track for nationals with her school-record throw. Still, he believes there is more work to do for her to become the best she can be.

“We try not to put too many numbers on things,” Shelby said. “Throwing is a training sport. Lots of reps … so the goal is better technique and the marks will come with that.”

Pitt head coach Alonzo Webb was also excited about her performance, but said she still needs to work on the mental aspect to compete against the best.

“I think she is a type-A personality and sometimes that is not to her benefit because she wants to do something 100 percent correct every single time, which is not going to happen in athletics,” Webb said.

One of Fosam’s biggest challenges has been overcoming the size difference she faces at nearly every meet. Fosam is generally much smaller than her competitors, but her technique allows her to make up for it.

“I’ll go to a meet and wind up next to these girls and they’re towering over me. They’re two times the width of me,” Fosam said. “It’s definitely technique that gets you there because I know I’m not as strong or as big as them by any means.”

She’s made drastic improvements from last season, during which she said she was trying to power through her throws instead of focusing on her technique.

“I’ve been working pretty hard in the weight room and my whole body has gotten stronger, which has made a lot of the positions easier and moving the ball faster a lot easier,” Fosam said.

While Fosam competed Friday, the rest of the Panthers competed Saturday and had several record-breaking performances of their own. Both the men’s 4x100m and the women’s 4x400m team set stadium records, and first-year sprinter Jabari Michael-Khensu was part of two record-setting runs.

Michael-Khensu, sophomore Ken Brosier, junior Jamaree Murray and senior Chris Spadaro led the Panthers’ 4×100 team to a Gesling Stadium-record time of 41.52. The women’s 4×400 team — comprised of juniors Quadaisha Newkirk and Laila Ismail and first-year sprinters Jordan Bourgeois and Danielle Leaks — also achieved a stadium record with a time of 3.49.52.

Competing in just his second collegiate meet, Michael-Khensu may have been Pitt’s most impressive sprinter of the day. He posted a time of 21.52 in the 200m to set his second stadium record of the day.

The Panthers will be splitting up to travel to three different meets across the country next weekend. Pitt will be going to two meets in California — the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco Distance Carnival — both of which will take place March 31 and April 1. The Panthers will also attend the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Florida, from March 30 to April 1.

Fosam will be able to see how she stacks up against tough competition from across the country at the Florida Relays.

“It’s always a very big meet and I know I didn’t go last year, so I’m really excited to see who’s going to be there and to test myself against better competition,” Fosam said.

Shelby said as long as Fosam continues to improve, so will the level of her competition.

“There is always an exercise in psychology to some extent to get yourself ready for those meets, especially when there’s the press involved,” Shelby said. “When you’re trying to be the best, regionals and nationals, that comes with the territory and it will be a good test for her.”

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Fosam, Michael-Khensu shine at CMU Invitational