EMU's Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) and Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) got back into action on Monday at the SWAT Last Chance Meet in Swarthmore, Pa. The duo were trying to improve their national positioning in preparation for the 2018 NCAA National Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Royals track & field athletes had not participated in a competitive meet since the ODAC Championships on April 21.
The 400m hurdles featured three men who entered in the top 10 in the nation. Eastern Mennonite's Faint was the highest seed out of the trio, holding the No. 3 time, but last year's national champion, Anthony Salemo of Rowan University was also in the group.
As the race unfolded, Faint finished in third at Monday's meet, crossing in 53.32, and just behind another Rowan athlete, Chris Mesiano, in 53.02. Salemo showed his top form, winning in 51.78. It was his best time of the season and the new No. 2 finish in D-III.
Based on Salemo's result, Faint slides to No. 4 in the country with his PR of 51.89, set March 30 at the Montreat College Invitational. An All-American in the event last spring, Faint looks like a lock to make the field for next weekend's NCAA National Outdoor Championships.
In the jumps, Amoateng also saw a number of competitors he could face if he qualifies for nationals. EMU's junior landed his best effort at 13.79m (45ft-3in), taking eighth out of the 16 men at the meet. He still stands 11th in the nation with his PR of 14.71m from the George Mason Spring on April 14. The top 20 qualify for nationals.
Similar to Amoateng, most of the jumpers came short of their season bests at the meet. Ta'riq Thomas of Delaware Valley, who is currently No. 3 in the country, won the event in 14.80m.
Amoateng also participated in the long jump earlier in the day and was ninth out of 18 men at 6.72m (22ft-0.75in). He was just shy of his season best at 6.79m, also leaving him out of the national picture in the event where a distance of 7.20m is looking to be the range of the final qualifiers.
The final last chance meets wrap up during this week, with the NCAA announcing the list of national qualifiers Saturday morning. The National Championships are next Thursday through Saturday, May 24-26, in La Crosse, Wisc.