The Eastern Mennonite University track and field teams competed at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships, April 18-19, 2014, at Roanoke College.
Women’s track and field
Sophomore Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) highlighted the Eastern Mennonite University track & field women at the ODAC Championships as she won two individual titles and broke a record. Roanoke College hosted the conference’s title meet in Salem, Va.
Chappell-Dick claimed a pair of gold medals with the resulting All-ODAC First Team status. In the 1500m, Chappell-Dick had a huge PR to break the ODAC Championships record. The sophomore crossed in 4:38.61, out-pacing rival Annalise Madison of Washington and Lee by a full second. Both runners broke the meet record of 4:43.08, set by All-American Carmen Graves in 2012. It was also an EMU record for Chappell-Dick, who easily broke her own mark of 4:47.12 from last spring.
Chappell-Dick and Madison went head-to-head again in the 800m, with Chappell-Dick again coming out on top. She ran off her EMU record time, but still cleared the field by three seconds with a time of 2:18.31. Teammate Juni Schirch (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) had a great race and PRed in 2:25.23. She finished eighth and just missed pointing by a mere nine-tenths of a second.
In the javelin, Becca Borg (Gig Harbor, Wash./Peninsula) just missed All-ODAC honors with a fourth-place finish. Borg’s best spear landed at 29.32m to just edge out W&L’s Leigh Dannhauser on her final effort.
The 4x400m relay team grabbed sixth, as Hannah Patterson (Puyallup, Wash./Mountainview International), Schirch, Lanae Kreider (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) and Chappell-Dick combined to time at 4:27.36.
Alyssa Bane (Strasburg, Va./Strasburg) snuck a point in the discus, finishing sixth at 31.45m.
Senior Krista Rittenhouse (Mt. Pleasant, Pa./Mt. Pleasant Area) finished her career well, setting her PR in the 5000m with a time of 19:29.20. Similar to Schirch, Rittenhouse finished eighth, with the top six in each event earning points to the team total.
The Royals totaled 26 points to finished seventh out of nine teams at the meet. Roanoke won the team title with 150.33 points.
Men’s track and field
It was almost expected, but the Eastern Mennonite University men’s track & field team made a clean sweep of the high jump medals at the 2014 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship meet. Roanoke hosted the two-day event in Salem, Va., on Friday and Saturday.
EMU entered the ODAC Championships with three of the top four heights in the high jump during the season. They made it a top-three sweep. Jordan King (Dalton, Ohio/Central Christian) earned his fourth consecutive indoor and outdoor title, as the senior had no problem in clearing 2.04m (6-8.25ft) to win the meet and set a new EMU record. Quentin Moore (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) had the most surprising finish, claiming the silver at 2.02m (6-7.5ft). Moore recently joined the team after the completion of the men’s volleyball season a few weeks ago. Sophomore Drew Vrolijk (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) was third at 1.91m (6-3.25ft). All three claim All-ODAC status, and each also have a shot at qualifying for the national meet.
Rashan Winters (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) just claimed a spot in the finals of the 400m dash, standing sixth after the preliminaries with a time of :50.41. The freshman then set his PR in the finals, finishing fourth with a time of :50.20.
Jared Nisly (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) took points in the 3000m steeplechase, earning fifth with a time of 10:19.7.
The 4x400m relay team of Jonathan Bush (Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts), Winters, Alec Thibodeaux (Staunton, Va./Fort Defiance) and Philip Watson(Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle) was fifth as well, combining for a time of 3:25.08 and a photo finish ahead of Roanoke’s time of 3:25.13.
Thibodeaux and Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./ Christopher Dock) continued their season-long efforts at pushing each other in the 800m. Thibodeaux crossed sixth to grab the final point toward the team total, timing at 1:57.88. He was just three-tenths of a second from jumping into fourth place. Denlinger then took seventh place in 1:58.33.
Ryan Gehman (Millersville, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) set his PR by more than seven seconds in the 5000m run, crossing in 15:26.11 to take sixth place. Classmate Jacob Landis (Sterling, Ill./Sterling) was one position behind him with a time of 15:37.21.
Azariah Cox (Lynchburg, Va./Heritage) and Richard Robinson (Broadway, Va./Broadway) each qualified for the finals of 110m hurdles, with Cox grabbing sixth place in :16.07.
Jordan Leaman (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) was one spot from pointing in the 10,000m run, crossing seventh in 34:22.97.
Jeremy Heizer (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) topped his PR on three different efforts in the shot put, and finished eighth with his best heave at 12.38m (40-7.4ft). He also destroyed his PR in the discus, landing at 34.12m (111-11.3ft).
Eastern Mennonite finished seventh in a very tight grouping in the men’s team standings. EMU had 35 points, but was within three points of fourth-place Roanoke at 38. Virginia Wesleyan was fifth with 37 while Shenandoah was sixth at 36.
This was the final meet of the year for most of the Royals, although a few athletes will stick around in efforts to prepare for a potential trip to the NCAA National Championships, which are May 22-24 in Delaware, Ohio. The first meet scheduled as part of that stretch run is the Liberty Twilight Qualifier on Wednesday, April 30.