Athletic departments across the country were thrust into an unprecedented state of chaos in the first half of 2021. Due to the COVID pandemic, most fall sports were postponed until the time traditionally reserved for just spring sports. With winter sports finishing their runs at the beginning of the semester, most schools had every single team playing simultaneously.
With so many events happening at once, it has been hard to keep up with everything. I have put together a four-part series recapping the extra busy spring sports seasons for Belmont, Lipscomb, Tennessee State, and Vanderbilt.
Part one, featuring Belmont's spring recap, can be found here.
For part two we’ll take a look at the Tigers, with the semester culminating with a track and field star's trek to Oregon for the NCAA National Championships.
It was a tough season on the diamond for TSU. The Tigers went 9-33 with a 5-26 conference record and didn’t make the OVC Tournament.
Intra-Nashville: L vs Belmont 5-2, L vs Belmont 7-0, L at Belmont 12-0, Lost at Belmont 8-0, L at Lipscomb 3-2
The Tigers ran at only two meets in what was an extremely shortened season. At the OVC Championship, TSU placed last in both the men’s and women’s races.
The Tigers had a tough go in the OVC Championship three-day event, finishing 11th out of 11 teams. But they were able to close out the season on a positive note, placing fifth at the 2021 PGA Works Collegiate Championship, an annual tournament featuring golf programs from HBCUs, Hispanic-Seriving Institutions, and Minority-Serving Institutions from across the country.
The men’s tennis squad went winless over their 12-game schedule, only managing not to get swept twice.
Intra-Nashville: L vs Lipscomb 6-0, L at Lipscomb 7-0, L at Vanderbilt 7-0, L vs Belmont 7-0,
TSU finished the abbreviated season with a 1-7 record through non-conference play, but had to cancel the entirety of the OVC slate, having their season end prematurely in February.
Track and Field
The big highlight of TSU’s spring season came at the track and field East Region Preliminaries where senior R’Lazon Brumfield earned first place in the triple jump with a career-best leap of 16.44m.
At the National Championships Brumfield placed 14th out of 24 jumpers with a 15.79m mark on his final try, earning a Second-Team All-American honor. He was the highest-ranking athlete in the event from a mid-major conference.
As a team, the Tigers earned 10 medals at the OVC Championships, with the men’s squad placing fourth overall and the women taking ninth. Brumfield’s gold in the triple jump (16.09m) was followed by a fair of titles from LaMarco Petty in the 100m dash (10.63 seconds) and the 200m dash (21.33 seconds).
The Tigers played a conference-only slate, compiling a 4-12 record in OVC play. Gina Rivera Ortiz earned a spot on the All-Conference Second-Team, the program’s first Alll-Conference honor since 2018.
Middle blocker Aria Holmes was also named one of 68 recipients of the 2020-21 Academic Momentum Award, the only student-athlete from the OVC or the state of Tennessee chosen.
Intra-Nashville: L at Belmont 3-1, L at Belmont 3-0
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