Royals Run Two Races

Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam is making a splash as a jumper and sprinter in his freshman season. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam is making a splash as a jumper and sprinter in his freshman season. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU's track teams had a busy weekend, with events in two different locations on two different days. The majority of the team went to the Roanoke Invitational on Saturday, where men finished fourth as a team and the women came in seventh.

The Royals started with the weekend with two athletes running at the elite Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va., on Friday.

Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./Christopher Dock) took more than four seconds off his season best in the 800m, crossing in 1:54.56.  He finished third in the event out of 90 runners.

Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) ran a 4:28.62 in the 1500m. She finished ninth in the championship flight and was just one second off her PR.

Alec Thibodeaux (Mount Sidney, Va./Fort Defiance) ran a late-night 1500m, and he broke his PR in his first effort of the outdoor season. The junior took 10th place at the meet with a time 4:00.25, which also put him fourth in EMU history.

Then everyone headed to Salem, Va., on Saturday for the Roanoke Invitational.

Tajah Miller (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) had a big-time performance in the 100m dash. She vaulted to No. 2 in EMU's record books with a time of 12.24 in the preliminaries. Although running a 12.96 in the final to take second at the meet, the freshman is also second in the ODAC this season.

Miller also took over fourth in the EMU books in the 200m dash with a time of 26.67.

Mary Eldridge (Gig Harbor, Wash./Peninsula) had nearly a 10-second PR in the 3000m steeplechase, completing the course in 12:48.84. She was second at the meet.

Brittany Williams (King George, Va./King George) ran an outdoor PR in the 800m, taking fifth overall in 2:30.90.

Rachel Sturm (Denton, Md./North Caroline) had a solid PR in the pole vault, clearing 2.37m (7-9.25ft). Oksana Kittrell (Bedford, Va./Liberty) picked up fourth place in the long jump, hitting the sand pit at 4.93m (16-2.25ft).

In the discus, senior Becca Borg (Gig Harbor, Wash./Peninsula) broke her best by more than two meters. Her toss landed at 32.30m (106-0ft).

The women's 4x100m relay squad took third place at the meet and fourth in EMU history. Makora Nyagwegwe (East Norriton, Pa./Christopher Dock), Miller, Jazmane Overby (Hanover, Va./Caroline), and Kittrell teamed up for a time of 51.58.

Then in the 4x400m relay, Juni Schirch (Goshen, Ind./Goshen), Chappell-Dick, Maria Yoder(Manheim, Pa./Hempfield) and Williams also had a top-ten EMU time, clocking at 4:12.70 to finish second at the meet.

For the men, freshman Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam (Charlotte Court House, Va./Randolph Henry) punched a ticket to the ODAC Championships in the 100m dash. He ran an 11.40 in the prelims before trimming down to 11.38 to take fourth place in the finals.

The Royals had three point-earners in the 400m, headlined by Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook), normally a hurdler, who ended up winning the race in 50.06 to land at No. 5 in the EMU history books. Terry Dotson (Appomattox, Va./Appomattox) timed at 52.05, while Philip Watson (Philadelphia, Pa./La Salle) finished in 52.48.

Faint also finished fourth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 17.31.

In the 3000m steeplechase, Jared Nisly (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) placed third overall in 10:34.47. Thibodeaux ran in the 5000m and punched an ODAC ticket with a time of 16:07.98.

The 4x400m relay team of Dotson, Ivan Harris (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania), Londen Wheeler (Nelson, Va./Nelson County) and Watson earned the bronze finish with a time of 3:34.54.

In the field events, Abdus-Salaam landed third in the long jump with a leap of 6.56m (21-6.25ft). Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) was just back in fourth, with his best leap of 6.22m (20-5ft). Amoateng then took third overall in the triple jump, landing a jump at 13.04m (42-9.5ft) to come in No. 9 in the program books.

Senior Jeremy Heizer (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) broke his outdoor PR again in the shot put, this time inching past 16m at 16.01m (52-6.5ft). He again improves his spot at No. 2 in EMU history.

Next Saturday is the Mason Invite hosted by George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.