EMU's men stood out at this weekend's Finn Pincus Invitational hosted by Roanoke College in Salem, Va. The indoor track & field teams earned six top-10 finishes in a huge field of participants. The men also earned three of the four new EMU Record Book Top-10s.
Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) earned a pair of top-9 individual finishes, including in the 400m where he was the top D-III finisher. Johnson broke his indoor PR with a time of 51.58 and was fifth overall.
Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) also had two top-notch individual runs. He took seven seconds off his PR in the mile, coming in eighth overall in 4:26.20, No. 4 in EMU history. Alderfer was then third overall in the 800m with a PR time of 2:00.06. He also jumped to No. 6 all-time at EMU in the event.
Jansen Miller (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) also pegged a couple of PRs. He took a second off his 800m time in 2:02.04, and was EMU's top finished in the 1000m, taking eighth in 2:41.51.
Those three men joined Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) to notch one of the top times in school history in the distance medley relay. Alderfer ran a thrilling final 1600m leg in 4:22.77, making up seven seconds and nearly catching a team from Milligan. The Royals were fifth overall in 10:48.00, while Milligan held on to fourth in 10:47.73.
After making a move to No. 3 in the EMU record books in the 60m dash last time out, Kendra Oguamena (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) jumped in the 200m book this time. The freshman ran her PR of 28.33 to jump to No. 8 all-time at Eastern Mennonite.
Ashlyn Eby (Annandale, Va./St. Paul VI Catholic) finished 13th in the 60m hurdles with a time of 10.02. She was sixth among D-III runners and the top freshman.
A number of the women's other top athletes were held out of competition due to injuries.
Next Saturday, a select crew of EMU track & field athletes will make the return trip to Salem for the Roanoke Invitational Challenge.
Finn Pincus Invitational
Top 20 Finishes:
200m: Alijah Johnson, 9th – 22.92
400m: Alijah Johnson, 5th – 51.58 (indoor PR)
600m: Shane Gray, 19th – 1:37.19 (PR)
800m: Isaac Alderfer, 3rd – 2:00.06 (PR); Jansen Miller, 11th – 2:02.04 (PR)
1000m: Jansen Miller, 8th – 2:41.51 (PR); Dawson Woodruff, 12th – 2:46.67 (PR); Shane Gray, 18th – 2:59.95 (PR); Andrew Nord, 19th – 3:01.79 (PR)
Mile: Isaac Alderfer, 8th – 4:26.20 (PR)
Distance medley relay: Justice Allen, Alijah Johnson, Jansen Miller, Isaac Alderfer, 5th – 10:48.00
Coach Bob Hepler said:
EMU's young track & field athletes continue to improve. The performances of sophomore Alijah Johnson and Isaac Alderfer, a freshman in athletic status, were the highlight. Alderfer, coming off a nearly two-year break from track, continued to work back towards his previous form with a 4:22 split in the 1600 meter leg of the DMR; a solid performance in the mile; and a very fatigued third place performance in the 800. Johnson joined Alderfer in the DMR by running the 400 meter leg, then running a personal best in the indoor 400, before finishing the meet in the 200. These two athletes are good students who work hard at their sports. They should be placed under glass and admired.