Sophomore Hannah Chappell-Dick (right) is EMU's first national track & field participant since 2010. (Photo by Wayne Gehman)

Chappell-Dick officially in the national field

Sophomore Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Oh./Bluffton) will represent Eastern Mennonite University at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships later this week.  She qualified in the 800m, coming in with the 10th seed out of 22 qualifiers with her school-record time of 2:11.89.

This is the second national event for Chappell-Dick, as she also went to nationals this past fall in cross country.

The national track meet is this Thursday through Saturday, hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University at Selby Stadium and the George Gauthier Track in Delaware, Oh.  It will also be a homecoming of sorts for the Ohio native, as she runs at the meet less than 80 miles from her hometown.

The 800m preliminaries will be on Friday, with the finals Saturday afternoon.

EMU track coach Jason Lewkowicz said he is excited for Chappell-Dick to go to nationals as she wraps up an up-and-down year.

“Coming off of a solid cross country season, which culminated in her first NCAA cross country championship appearance, Hannah had high hopes for qualifying for NCAAs in both indoor and outdoor track,” said Lewkowicz.  “After coming down with mono over Christmas break, all of that became very uncertain.  However, since getting cleared to train in late February, Hannah has worked very hard to regain her form and has definitely earned her place at the NCAA meet.”

Lewkowicz said his runner will be a good ambassador on the nation scene.

“She is very talented and hard-working and I know she will represent EMU well at the NCAA meet,” he said.  “I know we both feel very blessed that God has opened up this door for her and, regardless of the outcome, the primary goal will be to honor Him through her efforts on the track.”

Chappell-Dick is one of 17 men and women from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference to qualify for nationals.  She is Lewkowicz’s first national qualifier in track in his three years at EMU, and the school’s first qualifier since Michael Allen in the triple jump in 2010.  She is the first woman to go since Michelle Leaman in the 100m hurdles in 2008.

Click here to see the official championships page which includes a schedule of events, stadium information and links to live results and video.

Men’s senior high jumper Jordan King (Dalton, Oh./Central Christian) was also hoping to earn a trip to nationals, but he just missed the field of 20 jumpers.  King finished No. 25 in the nation with his best jump of 2.04m (6-8.25ft), with the final jumpers qualifying at 2.06m (6-9ft).  Freshman Alec Thibodeaux (Staunton, Va./Fort Defiance) made large improvements late in the season, but his best time of 1:53.43 was about 1.6 seconds from the final qualifier in the men’s 800m.

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