Eastern Mennonite University's track team made its outdoor debut at the Washington & Lee Carnival in Lexington, Va., this weekend. The Royals took a small crew to this two-day meet, with some strong showings from its freshmen.
The distance crew started out competition on Friday night, with four runners competing in the 1500 meter run. Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) ran a 4:26, followed by Derrick Chirinos (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) in 4:29, and Charles Thornton (Hamilton, Va./Loudoun Valley) in 4:43.
Laurie Serrell (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) ran a PR of 5:03. Her time earned her 10th place out of 44 runners in the women's race.
On Saturday, the sprinters had to deal with some strong headwinds in the 100 meter dash. EMU had a strong pack of women: Tajah Miller (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) in 13.72, Ania Summers (Stevens City, Va./Sherando) in 13.94, Danielle Spears (Herndon, Va./South Lakes) in 14.41, and Kiana Childress (Palmyra, Va./Fluvanna County) in 14.48.
In her first race in an EMU uniform, freshman Michaela Chowning (Urbanna, Va./Middlesex) took second place in the 400 meter dash with a career best of 1:00.30.
Associate Coach Camodeca said this was the highlight of the day.
"I was quite honestly shocked how well she did," he said. "I was a bit worried I over-seeded her. Really proud of her to come out and compete the way she did, especially coming off an injury that required her to miss the entire indoor season."
Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) also ran the 400 meter dash, claiming 10th place with his time of 51.25.
"Alijah ran an amazing impressive time in the 400m, which should give him the confidence he has been looking for in that race," said Coach Camodeca.
EMU track & field will be back in competition next weekend, March 22-23, at the Jack Toms Alumni Invitational in Lynchburg, Va.
-- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern