EMU Track & Field Claims Three Golds

Justin Odom started his senior season with a huge PR in the shot put. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Justin Odom started his senior season with a huge PR in the shot put. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Returning after the holiday break, the EMU track & field teams earned three individual wins at Sunday's Kaye and JJ Smith Invitational. The indoor meet was hosted by Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.

Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) had a fantastic day, highlighted by winning the mile. Alderfer pulled away from the field with a 31.6 on the last lap, winning by nearly seven seconds at 4:33.34.

Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) had a solid win in the 200m, crossing in 22.85.

Jansen Miller (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) had an impressive collegiate debut in the 800m, taking third in 2:03.09.

In the 4x800m relay, EMU's A team grabbed the silver. Alderfer, Dawson Woodruff (Fairfax Station, Va./James W. Robinson Jr.), Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) and Miller team up for a time of 8:20.23.

Justin Odom (Williamsburg, Va./Menchville) shot up to No. 7 in EMU history in the shot put, landing his PR at 12.70m. He was sixth overall at the meet.

Freshmen Tahira Bakare (Washington, DC/Archbishop Carroll) and Kendra Oguamena (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) exploded in the sprints. Oguamena broke her PR in the prelims at 8.28 and then topped it to finish second in the finals at 8.23. Bakare was fourth after the prelims, but then ran the No. 2 time in EMU history in the finals, winning in 8.12. Oguamena is now No. 3 all-time.

Classmate Ashlyn Eby (Annandale, Va./St. Paul VI Catholic) was second in the prelims of the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.86, just missing her PR. She settled to sixth in the finals at 10.21.

Cor'shauna Cunningham (Strasburg, Va./Warren County) bumped up her PR in the shot put, taking second with a distance of 11.14m.

The Royals now have a week off before heading to Salem, Va., for the Finn Pincus Invitational on Jan. 24 and 25.

Kaye & JJ Smith Invitational

Top 10 Finishes (overall finish):
200m: Alijah Johnson, 1st – 22.85
800m: Jansen Miller, 3rd – 2:03.09; Dawson Woodruff, 5th – 2:05.57; Isaac Andreas, 9th – 2:11.30
Mile: Isaac Alderfer, 1st – 4:33.34; Justice Allen, 9th – 4:51.72
3000m: Justice Allen, 6th – 9:35.36
4x400m relay: Alijah Johnson, Jansen Miller, Dawson Woodruff, Isaac Alderfer, 6th – 3:42.95; Shane Gray, Andrew Nord, Isaac Andreas, Meckias Abera, 9th – 4:00.26
4x800m relay: Isaac Alderfer, Dawson Woodruff, Justice Allen, Jansen Miller, 2nd – 8:20.23; Shane Gray, Andrew Nord, Isaac Andreas, Conrad Yoder, 4th – 9:15.39
Shot Put: Justin Odom, 6th – 12.70m

EMU Women
Top 10 Finishes (overall finish):
60m: Tahira Bakare, 1st – 8.12; Kendra Oguamena, 2nd – 8.23
60m hurdles: Ashlyn Eby, 6th – 10.21
Mile: Allison Shelly, 10th – 6:11.13
4x400m relay: Jordan Jones, Jasmine Shelton, Aaliyah Lawhorne, Cindi Boyer, 7th – 5:02.32
Shot Put: Cor'shauna Cunningham, 2nd – 11.14m
High Jump: Ashlyn Eby, 9th - 1.40m; Jordan Jones, 9th – 1.40m

Coach Bob Hepler said:
EMU Track & Field shook off massive chunks of rust after a six-week break. There were some surprising wins and some expected clunker performances. The meet was treated as an elaborate workout with the goal of preparing for the more important mid-February meets. Many of our athletes competed in three or even four events. We have a couple of easier practices early this week to work on technique, race strategies and to recover. Our next meet on January 24-25 at Roanoke should see some good progress.