The EMU track teams made a nice soft entry into the spring outdoor season on Saturday at the Roanoke College Invitational. The men took a number of individual first places and won the meet, while the women finished a comfortable third out of the five teams.
Richard Robinson (Broadway, VA/Broadway) took second in the 100m hurdles while also charting the No. 5 run in EMU history. His time of 15.82 in the finals got him a silver behind the winning time of 15.53 from Ben Martindell of Bridgewater.
Jonathan Bush (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) won the 400m hurdles in his first try at the event. He crossed the finish in 58.34, ahead of Martindell at 59.02.
In the 100m dash, Rich McBride (Syracuse, NY/East Syracuse Minoa) showed the biggest improvement between his preliminary and his finals time, taking second at 11.47. He just missed the gold to RC’s Trevor Hunt at 11.43. He also won the 200m dash, ahead of teammate Michael Allen (Fork Union, VA/Louisa County). McBride broke the tape in 23.28, followed by Allen at 23.56.
Philip Watson (Philadelphia, PA/La Salle) won the 400m by nearly a half second, clocking in at 51.47.
Dan Nafziger (Harrisonburg, VA/Harrisonburg) took the gold in the 1500m run, finishing six seconds ahead of teammate Jesse Parker (Wichita, KS/Wichita East). Nafziger’s winning time was 4:17.04, while Parker came in at 4:23.00. Phillip Martin (Mount Joy, PA/Donegal) took sixth place in 4:35.61.
Nafziger and Parker also highlight the 800m. Nafziger took fourth with a time of 2:04.70 while Parker also pointed, getting sixth in 2:10.98.
In the relays, the EMU team in the 4x100m took second and charted the No. 7 time in EMU history. The squad of Robinson, Allen, Watson and McBride crossed in 44.04, just behind Bridgewater’s foursome in 43.73.
The 4x400m team didn’t set an EMU time, but did manage to win the event at the meet. Bush, Robinson, Londen Wheeler (Nelson, VA/Nelson County) and Watson combined for a time of 3:31.92, winning by more than three seconds.
In the field events, Drew Vrolijk (Harrisonburg, VA/Eastern Mennonite) and Jordan King (Dalton, OH/Central Christian) were in a group of four men who each had a best jump of 1.82m. Vrolijk ended up second based on jumps, while King settled for fourth.
Allen won the long jump and took second in the triple jump. In the long jump, the senior landed at 6.63m, while in the triple he measured at 12.22m.
Aaron Sloan (Ooltewah, TN/McCallie School) led the way in the throws. He won the javelin with a fling of 47.40m, the No. 7 distance in the EMU record books. Sloan took third in the hammer throw with the No. 6 measurement in EMU history at 32.15m. Then in the shot put he just missed gold, getting second in 11.29m, behind the winning throw of 11.54m.
The Royals grabbed 152 points for the team win, ahead of host Roanoke at 142.
On the women’s side, Chafin Brumfield (Harrisonburg, VA/Spotswood) and Jolee Paden (St. Joseph, IL/St. Joseph-Odgen) had big days in the middle distances. Brumfield won the 800m run in 2:30.35, with Paden taken second in 2:32.77. Hannah Patterson (Puyallup, WA/Mountainview International) was fourth in 2:44.27 while Saralyn Mast (Gap, PA/Lancaster Mennonite) took sixth in 2:48.99.
Paden then won the 1500m by 4.51 seconds. Her time of 5:05.15 earned the gold and the No. 8 spot in the program records. Brumfield also grabbed a No. 8 all-time spot in the 400m. She finished third at the meet in 1:03.19.
Becca Borg (Gig Harbor, WA/Peninsula) approached the EMU record in the javelin, taking third place at the Roanoke meet in the process. Borg speared at 30.18m, which was second in EMU history only to Connie Steiner’s throw of 33.08m in 2004.
Alyssa Bane (Strasburg, VA/Strasburg) also earned points in the throws. She just missed her PR in the hammer throw, taking fifth at 31.18m. In the discus, the sophomore landed at 28.14m, good for sixth place.
The Lady Royals finished with 48 points, taking third place at the meet, ahead of Hood College with 38. Host Roanoke easily won with 243 points.
The Eastern Mennonite track teams are busy next weekend, participating in two meets. A group of athletes will go to Lexington on Friday and Saturday for the VMI-W&L Carnival. Another group will also participate in the Jopson Invitational in nearby Bridgewater.