Royals At ODAC Championships, Highlighted By Amoateng Gold

Grant Amoateng won his second straight ODAC Indoor Triple Jump title. (photo by Mark Robertson)
Grant Amoateng won his second straight ODAC Indoor Triple Jump title. (photo by Mark Robertson)

Eastern Mennonite University's track and field team made its debut ODAC Championships appearance under its new coaching staff.

"Coach Cam [Associate Coach Erick Camodeca] and I were talking," said Head Coach Bob Hepler, "and it's really fun and exciting and yet very humbling to basically start a program over from scratch….you know I really just appreciate all the people that have stuck through all the turmoil from the past few years to get where we are today."

The EMU women came in 8th as a team at Sunday's meet; the men's team tied for 8th.

Field events started out the day in Roanoke College's Cregger Arena.

Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) gave a highlight with a top podium finish in the triple jump. The senior hit 14.30m (46' 11") to claim first place, earning his second straight indoor ODAC title. Amoateng's indoor PR also jumped him to No. 16 in the nation. The top 20 qualify for Nationals on March 8-9. Eli Roeschley (Harrisonburg, Va.Turner Ashby) jumped 12.86m (42' 2.25"), earning 10th place.

Amoateng also earned fifth in the long jump with his leap of 6.68m (21' 11"), with Roeschley hitting a mark of 6.05m (19' 10.4").

Wade Banks (Basye, Va./Stonewall Jackson) cleared 1.86m (6' 1.25") in the high jump to claim 8th place.

Toni Doss (Damascus, Va./Holston) threw in two events: weight throw, where she heaved 9.50m (31' 2") and shot put, a PR of 10.50m (34' 5.5").

The women's distance medley relay (DMR) was the first event on the track. EMU's team of Abigail Shelly (Collinsville, Miss./West Lauderdale), Megan Good (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite), Laurie Serrell (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg), and Elizabeth Nisly (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) came in third, earning the only points of the day for the women's team. They ran a combined time of 13:33.56 for the 4000m event, earning All-ODAC Third Team honors for the foursome.

Ania Summers (Stevens City, Va./Sherando) represented EMU women's sprints in the 60 meter dash (8.58).

Coy Jimenez (Edinburg, Va./Central) also ran the 60 meter dash, coming in with a time of 7.30.

Shelly and Good bounced back from their DMR to run in the open mile race. They ran 5:52 and 6:11, respectively.

Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) had a big-time PR in the mile, earning 4:35 and 8th place. Derrick Chirinos (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) also ran the mile, coming in with a time of 5:01.

Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) ended his indoor season with a PR; his was in the 400 meter dash. He ran a 52.48.

Serrell and Shelly ran the 800, coming in at 2:34 and 2:40.

Johnson finished 7th in the 200 with his time of 23.15. Jimenez ran the 200 as well, coming in with a time of 23.43.

Allen ran again the the 3K, the second-to-last event of the night. He ran a 9:24.08, just a hair slower than his PR.

The men's 4x400 meter relay closed out the night. EMU's team, comprised of Johnson, Jimenez, Chirinos, and Ivan Harris (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania), put in a strong showing. They earned 7th place with their combined time of 3:41.60.

"There were lots of great fun things," said Coach Hepler, "and I'll definitely remember this group of athletes just for their purity. They were out here and loving the sport and they're still here despite all the turmoil of the past. And I'm looking forward to outdoor season now."

--- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern