Seniors Jeremy Heizer (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) and Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) are each heading to Nationals. Heizer earned his first-ever trip to the big stage, while Chappell-Dick is going for the fourth time in track & field and sixth overall.
Heizer claimed the final spot in the 15-man shot put field with his PR of 16.26m (53-4.25ft). He landed the distance this past Friday at a last chance meet hosted by Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He has continued to improve all year, however, breaking his season best mark each of his last three meets.
The trip to Grinnell, Iowa, for this year's NCAA Indoor National Championships is helping to put a well-defined sparkle to the jewel of Heizer's story of throwing. The 6-5 230-pound senior originally came to Eastern Mennonite to play basketball. He gave that up after one season and was talked into trying something new - throwing for the EMU track team. In just three years, Heizer has learned the throwing events, earned three different ODAC Championships, been named ODAC Athlete of the Meet, and now gone to Nationals.
Grinnell College is hosting this year's national meet, which is this Friday and Saturday. The shot put event will be Saturday afternoon, with the top nine moving into the finals. The top eight individuals will then earn All-America status.
With her qualification, Chappell-Dick gets a chance to repeat as an All-American in the mile. Her best time this season of 4:59.10 put her ninth in the 17-woman field. Last year the three-time All-American was fourth heading into the national meet before running a 4:56.81 in the finals to take the silver medal.
The preliminaries of the mile are Friday at 1:45pm. The top three runners from each of the two heats earn a spot in finals, as well as the next four fastest times for a field of 10. The finals will be Saturday at 1:40pm.
Chappell-Dick went to nationals in the outdoor 800m in 2014 before placing third in the outdoor 1500m last year. She also went the national cross country meet as a sophomore and senior.