Sending a large contingent to the Liberty Twilight Qualifier in Lynchburg on Wednesday, EMU's track & field teams had several great performances, including a number of PRs and three new school records.
Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam (Charlotte Court House, Va./Randolph Henry) torched the EMU 100m record, winning his heat by running 10.85 seconds. He broke Leroy Dutton's 35-year-old record of 10.94 seconds. Abdus-Salaam was the top D-III runner in the 29-man field.
The men's 4x100m team of Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot), Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook), Hunter Sampson (Salem, Va./Salem) and Abdus-Salaam broke their own school mark by running in 42.12 seconds and finishing third overall. The foursome ran a 42.41 at the ODAC Championships a weekend-and-a-half ago.
Senior Jared Nisly (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) re-broke the 3000m steeplechase record he set at the ODAC meet. He ran his second-ever sub-10:00 time, crossing in 9:38.01. Nisly already owned the EMU mark at 9:47.69.
"Jared ran a very solid race," said Director of Track & Field Isaac Bryan, who coaches the middle and long distance runners. "He had a consistent pace and a very good finish - Jared is having a great finish in his last season."
While not breaking a record, Amoateng soared to a personal best in the triple jump and likely punched his ticket to nationals with a jump of 14.66m (48ft 1.25in). Amoateng moves to No. 8 in the nation with his PR, clearing his previous best by 0.42m (1ft 4.50in). Michael Allen set the school record at 14.85m (48ft 8.75in) in 2010. Darious Stover (Fort Carson, Colo./Mesa Ridge) also jumped in the event and landed at 12.20m (40ft 0.50in).
Then in the long jump, Amoateng hit the sand at 6.38m (20ft 11.25in). Stover came in at 6.20m (20ft 4.25in).
Oksana Kittrell (Bedford, Va./Liberty) finished second in the women's triple jump by jumping a season's best 11.04m (36ft 2.75in). She also landed at 5.06m (16ft 7.25in) in the long jump.
Chloe Roach (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) narrowly missed the school record in the women's 200m by running 25.43 seconds. Lorenda Abbott owns Eastern Mennonite's best time at 25.42 from 2000.
Jamel Howard (Leesburg, Va./Tuscarora) finished third and improved his personal best in the high jump by jumping 1.99m (6ft 6.25in), moving him into a tie for No. 33 in the nation. Howard and two other men each cleared the same height atop the leaderboard, but Howard settled for third at the meet based on jumps.
Tajah Miller (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) ran 12.33 in the women's 100m.
Brittany Williams (King George, Va./King George) ran 1:01.48 in the 400m
Steven Anhold (Churchville, Va./Fort Defiance) ran in the 5000m and clocked a time of 17:12.95.
Head Track & Field Coach Brian Simpson said he was very pleased with this meet.
"We're sitting in a great position and our performances are improving at the right time of the season," he explained. "We will spend this week tightening up a few areas so that we can continue to improve as we move closer to nationals."
The Royals will send middle distance runners Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) and Alec Thibodeaux (Mount Sidney, Va./Fort Defiance) to the Hokie Twilight at Virginia Tech on Thursday. Then it's a break until the SWAT Last Chance Meet on May 15, hosted by Swarthmore College.