With just two weeks left until the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships, the men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio Friday and Saturday.
Leading the way for the men’s team was Terefe Ejigu, who finished the 5,000-meter run in 14 minutes, 5.73 seconds to take first.
The Eagles also made short work of the men’s heptathlon. Solomon Ijah finished second, Levi Selvig finished third and David Papenhagen finished fourth.
The men’s team also managed a slew of runner-up finishes, with Tyler Ross taking second in a very close 600. He finished just 0.036 seconds behind the first-place runner with a time of 1:19.40.
Also finishing second was Grzegorz Kalinowski, who not only came within .029 of first place, but also came just short of breaking a four-minute mile with a time of 4:00.29 seconds.
The last of the runner ups was Donald Scott in the triple jump. He managed to leap 49 feet, 1.74 inches in the finals.
Finishing third for the men’s team was the distance medley team of Ian Hancke, Darrell Butler, Scott Bradley and Cameron Trinh, with a time of 10:02.29.
Other notable performances for the men’s team were Max Babits in the pole vault. He vaulted 16 feet 6.75 inches for a fourth-place finish. The 4×400 relay team of Jason Ervin, Cameron Bolton, Jeff Elam and Chris Scott managed a sixth-place finish with a time of 3:12.62.
“We certainly had some performances that we’re very pleased with,” coach John Goodridge said. “Grzegorz Kalinowski coming so close to breaking a sub four-minute mile was certainly very, very exciting, and, likewise, we were pleased with our 400-meter group, with their efforts either individually or on the 4×400 relay. Ian Hancke ran a very encouraging lead-off leg on the distance medley relay.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team was split over the weekend. A small portion of the team travelled to the SPIRE Invitational while the majority went to the Grand Valley State University Big Meet.
With a limited team at the SPIRE Invitational, the most notable performance for the women’s team was Vanessa Clerveaux, who took fifth in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.32 seconds.
The women’s team had three runners in the 3,000. Finishing ninth and setting a new EMU record in the process was Victoria Voronko with a time of 9:23.33, 9.28 seconds faster than the previous record set by Carrie Gould in 1999. Morgan Churchwell placed 22nd at 9:49.38, and Kayla Pfund came in 29th with a time of 9:54.91.
In the 400 dash, Asia Rawls ran a time of 56.48 to finish 24th. The last EMU competitor at the SPIRE Invitational was Marina Manjon-Rivadulla, who finished 20th with a time of 2:09.59 in the 800.
In the Grand Valley State Invitational Big Meet, the women’s team achieved limited success.
The Eagles had a pair of fifth-place finishers. Kate Wolanin took fifth in the pentathlon and the 4×400 relay team of Danielle Clark, Aaliyah McKinney, Morgan Yeadon and Latipha Cross finished fifth with a time of 3:49.35 seconds.
Finishing eighth in the 600 was Rebecca Quaintance, with a time of 1:38.90.
The women’s team also had other notable performances: Rachel Quaintance finished 11th in the 3,000 with a time of 9:59.79, and Tiara Oates leaped 16 feet 9.25 inches in the long jump.
The Eagles had the 11th and 12th-place finishers in the weight throw: Lydia Gomez-Diaz had a throw of 48 feet 4 inches and Adrienne Waisner tossed it 47 feet 6.5 inches.
In the 200 dash, Yeadon raced to a time of 24.97 seconds and a 12th-place finish.
Both the men’s and women’s teams are off until Feb. 16 when they take the short trip to Ann Arbor for the Silverston Invitational.
The week after that, the Eagles host the MAC championships at Bob Parks Track.