Thomas takes title on day two of Darius Dixon Memorial
Thomas takes title on day two of Darius Dixon Memorial
Saturday, February 11, 2023

Malachi Thomas wins high jump in Lynchburg; mid and long distance squads continue improving in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. & LYNCHBURG, Va. (Feb. 11, 2023) – In the final day of competition before the Southern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Buccaneers completed their split-squad weekend at Vanderbilt and Liberty with a number of convincing performances.

Malachi Thomas (Chilhowie, Va.) headlined the performances for the squad competing at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational at Liberty University. Thomas placed first in the high jump – marking his first collegiate gold medal – clearing the bar with a personal best mark of 2.08 meters (6ft 9.75in), earning the title of meet champion. Thomas cleared his first three heights to start the event, while he missed his first attempt at 2.03m before clearing the mark on his second jump, which then set a personal best for the Buccaneer. However, Thomas had new heights in sight as he cleared his second attempt at the 2.11m level, giving him the win in the field event. Thomas’ previous personal best of 2.01 meters (6ft 5in).

Over seven hours away, at the Music City Challenge at Vanderbilt University, the Bucs long and mid-distance squads set a number of seasonal and personal bests on Saturday.

In the women’s 3000 meters, freshman Chanelle Kruger (Johannesburg, South Africa) finished seventh among 56 competitors with a personal best time of 9:51.81 in the unseeded section of the event. Her teammate Kiera Snyder (Clyde, Mich.)  finished 19th in the seeded section with a time of 9:37.75, slightly off her personal best of 9:34.23.

The women’s mid-distance squad also saw improvements. Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) led the 800-meter group with a time of 2:09.65 in the seeded sections, while her teammates Julia Karsten (Old Hickory Tenn.) and Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), posted times of 2:15.35 and 2:16.24 in the unseeded sections of the event.

On the men’s side, Phelani Maduwa (Parys, Free State, South Africa) led the 800-meter squad, setting an indoor personal best of 1:49.91, placing 19th in the seeded section of the event. His teammate Miguel Parrilla (Knoxville, Tenn.)  finished 22nd, also setting an indoor personal best of 1:50.33. In the unseeded sections, Joshua Krasfur (Fort Collins, Colo.) finished ninth among 83 competitors with an all-time personal best time of 1:51.26.

Brayden Hamblen (Rock Falls, Ill.) and Evan Guzman (Franklin, Tenn.) led the Buccaneer men in the long-distance events. Both competed in the 3000 meters, Hamblen finishing 11th in the seeded section crossing the line at  8:09.22, and Guzman placing ninth in the unseeded section with a time of 8:18.42.

The Bucs will have next weekend off as they prepare for the Southern Conference Indoor Championships, which will be held in the VMI Corps Physical Training Facility at Virginia Military Institute from February 25-26.

For more information on Buccaneer men’s and women’s track and field, visit