Even without sending their full teams to the Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., over the weekend, EMU’s indoor track and field teams defended their regional status. Both the men and the women were ranked at No. 7 in the D-III South/Southeast Region in the season’s first listings earlier this week.
Freshman distance runner Kat Lehman (Dover, Ohio/Dover) cemented her status as an elite athlete, breaking EMU’s record in the 5000m and taking second place overall at the mostly D-I meet. Lehman roasted the track to a finish of 17:43.77, finishing in between a pair of runners from the University of North Carolina. She destroyed her own EMU record of 18:10.40, set in December.
Classmate Mary Eldridge (Gig Harbor, Wash./Peninsula) broke her personal record in the event, crossing in 20:15.98 to also grab the No. 8 spot in EMU’s history books.
In the 4x400m relay, the women’s foursome of Brittany Williams (King George, Va./King George), Maya McKinsey (Virginia Beach, Va./Tallwood), Chafin Brumfield (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) and Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) timed the No. 3 effort in program history at 4:20.40.
Chappell-Dick was the top D-III finisher in the mile run, taking a time of 5:16.47. Juni Schirch (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) clocked a season best in the 800m at 2:36.34, narrowly missing the ODAC qualifying time by 0.05 seconds. And Williams broke her PR in the 400m, timing at 1:04.62.
Oksana Kittrell (Bedford, Va./Liberty) landed a nice effort in the triple jump, measuring at 10.44m (34-3.00ft). Also in the field, Alyssa Bane (Strasburg, Va./Strasburg) had a best toss of 13.02m (42-8.75ft) in the weight throw.
For the Eastern Mennonite men, Jeremy Heizer (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) had a monster toss in the shot put. His best heave of 14.00m (45-11.25ft) was not only the top D-III distance at the meet, but also put him third in EMU history and with the second-best throw in the ODAC this season. He was also solid in the weight throw, landing at 11.93m (39-1.75ft)
Ryan Gehman (Millersville, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) punched an ODAC ticket in the 5000m, but more importantly earned the No. 2 time in the EMU record books. His time of 15:49.48 was only behind cross country teammate Jacob Landis‘ 15:41.94, a record set last year.
In the 800m run, sophomore Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock) earned the third-best finish in EMU history with a time of 1:57.01. Alec Thibodeaux (Staunton, Va./Fore Defiance) wasn’t far behind as he landed at No. 4 in the EMU books at 1:57.77.
The duo also ran in the mile. Denlinger again crossed first in 4:31.19 to take seventh in program history, while Thibodeaux had his season best run at 4:35.20.
Philip Watson (Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle) earned a trip to the ODAC Championships in the 200m, timing at 23.90. In the 400m, EMU had two men qualify for ODACs, highlighted by Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) PRing in 52.07. Jonathan Bush (Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) had a finish of 53.11.
Richard Robinson (Broadway, Va./Broadway) continued his road back in the 60m hurdles with a season best time of 8.79.
Then in the 4x400m relay, the Royals had a foursome cross in 3:30.16, which was just a tenth of a second behind a team from ODAC rival Washington and Lee. Devantae Dews (Lynchburg, Va./E.C. Glass), Bush, Denlinger and Faint combined for the No. 7 time in EMU history.
And a foursome also landed in No. 7 in the distance medley relay, as Steven Anhold(Churchville, Va./Fort Defiance), Londen Wheeler (Nelson, Va./Nelson County), Crendel Fuller (Richmond, Va./Huguenot) and Jared Nisly (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) clocked at 11:08.35.
Drew Vrolijk (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) kept in his ODAC-leading shape by clearing 1.92m (6-3.5ft) in the high jump.
Eastern Mennonite’s teams are back in action next weekend, participating at the DuCharme Invitational in Carlisle, Pa., on Saturday.