Senior Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) saved her best for last. Running in her final collegiate mile race Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Indoor National Championships, Chappell-Dick passed two runners over the final lap to pull away to her second straight silver-medal finish on the big stage.
Along with the second-place finish, Chappell-Dick broke her own EMU and ODAC records with a time of 4:54.32.
Senior thrower Jeremy Heizer (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) finished 14th in the shot put, landing his best throw at 15.38m (50-5.50ft).
A record-setting performance
Chappell-Dick, meanwhile, beat her season best time of 4:59.10 by nearly five seconds, while also breaking the ODAC record of 4:56.37 which she set last year. She also finished second in the mile at the 2015 NCAA meet.
This is the fourth All-American award for Chappell-Dick, continuing a streak she started at last year’s meet. The senior finished third in the 1500m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last spring before coming in 17th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships earlier this fall.
After finishing second in her heat in Friday’s preliminaries with a time of 5:00.23, she sat in her seeded position of fourth for much of today’s finals in Grinnell, Iowa. Over the final lap, Chappell-Dick burst past two other women to take over second. She finished just ahead of MIT’s Maryann Gong, a friendly rival on the national stage, who took third in 4:54.67. Emily Gapinski pulled away over the final lap to win in 4:52.28.
Rising to new challenges
With his appearance on the national stage, Heizer closed out his senior season in impressive fashion. In just his third season ever of throwing, Heizer was also the ODAC Champion in the shot put and weight throw. In the shot put he threw an outstanding 15.81m (51-10.75ft) and improved his national standing to No. 25. Then in the weight throw he landed at 15.06m (49-5.25ft). Both PRs improved on his No. 2 spots in the EMU record books.
He qualified for the national meet at the Tufts Final Qualifying Meet in Medford, Mass., where he set yet another PR in shot put by throwing a 16.26m (53-4.25ft). This bumped Heizer up to No. 15 in the nation and gained him a spot in the NCAA Championships.
For an athete who entered EMU as a basketball player, Heizer’s performances in his second sport are remarkable. For the first two years of his career, Heizer was taught by former throwing coach Carissa Eichmeyer. This year however, he is being coached by first-year throwing coach Branden Vock.
Last week, Heizer and roommate Richard Robinson were named Co-Royals Athletes of the Week. “We’re roommates and we’re best friends, we’re like brothers,” Heizer said, after returning from the Tufts meet.
At the Tufts meet, Robinson narrowly missed qualifying for the national meet, completing preliminaries of the 60m hurdles in 8.30 seconds. He could not finish the final race due to stumbling on a hurdle. Robinson was ranked No. 19 nationally. The top 15 in the nation earned a spot at Nationals.
At the ODAC Championships, he broke the championship and overall conference records by running a career best time of 8.28 seconds in the finals. He is the repeating 60m hurdles champion after also winning the 110m hurdles from last spring’s outdoor season.
All three senior athletes will compete in outdoor track.