On a cold and windy weekend that resembled winter more than spring, the Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted the EMU Twilight Invitational at Olds/Marshall Track on Friday and Saturday.
Senior Terefe Ejigu, sophomore Cameron Bolton, junior Grzegorz Kalinowski and freshman Matthew Williams traveled to Walnut, Calif., for the Mount Sac Relays, and as a result, did not take part in this weekend’s meet.
EMU’s best performance of those relays came from Kalinowski, who finished fourth in the 1,500-meter run with a 3 minute, 46.10 second finish.
Prior to the start of the invitational, seniors Ejigu, James Hughes, Jay Saunders, Morgan Churchwell, Courtney Calka, Tatijana Jacobson, Lauren Lunsford, Meghan Powers, Rachel Quaintance and Asia Rawls were honored, as this would be their final home meet.
“It was nice too see everyone including my dad come out,” Churchwell said. “Being able to run with everybody again was nice, so it felt like a normal meet and I did not think about the fact that this would be my last home meet. I guess [realization] will hit me once I get back home.”
At the invitational, freshmen Jeff Elam and Jason Ervin finished first and second in the 400 dash with times of 49.57 and 50.08, respectively.
Elam placed second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 53.62. Sophomore Darrell Butler finished
right behind Elam at 53.76.
Sophomore Solomon Ijah finished third in the 100 dash with a time of 10.86 seconds.
In the 800 run, freshman Scott Bradley placed third coming in at 1:55.33.
Freshman Travis Harris finished third in the shot put with a throw of 15.48 meters.
In the 4×400 relay, Ijah, Ervin, junior Chris Scott and sophomore Fontaine Holland captured first in 3:22.56, while the quartet of sophomore Levi Selvig, freshmen Khalil Boussi, Mason Waynes and
redshirt freshman David Papenhagen finished third with a time of 3:28.31.
On the women’s side, sophomore Victoria Voronko won in the 1,500 run with a time of 4:30.24, which is a personal best.
“It was a really great time for [Voronko],” EMU women’s track and field coach Sue Parks said. “I did not think she could put together that type of performance given the weather conditions. She was able to run at the pace she wanted and that is what you have got to do.”
Sophomore Danielle Clark stole the show on senior day with three victories: The 200 dash with a time of 24.40, which qualified her for the Mid-American Conference championships; the 100 dash in 12.33 seconds; and the 4×100 with freshmen Aaliyah McKinney, Vanessa Clerveaux and Morgan Yeadon in 46.84 seconds.
In the high jump, Jacobson leaped a personal best, 1.76 meters, giving her the victory.
Junior Tiara Oates won the long jump competition with a leap of 5.56 meters.
In the 800 run, Churchwell crossed the finish line third in 2:16.02.
In the triple jump, freshman Makeda DeBardelaben placed second with 11.34 while freshman Laila Foster finished right behind with 11.02.
The quartet of Clark, Rawls, McKinney and Yeadon crossed the line third in the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:55.79.
Athletes from Adrian College, Concordia University, the University of Detroit Mercy, Hillsdale, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Macomb Community College, Marygrove College, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University were represented in the event.
Some of the men’s team will travel to the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., Thursday, while the other members make the trip to Mount Pleasant, Mich. for the Central Michigan University Invitational on Saturday. A portion of the women’s team will be in Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays from Thursday to Saturday, while the others will go to Hillsdale, Mich. for the Hillsdale Gina Relays on Friday and Saturday.
Ejigu will be competing in the 10,000-meter race at the Penn Relays.
“A few years ago, [Ejigu] won the 5,000-meter race there, and we are looking forward to his effort there,” EMU men’s track and field coach John Goodridge said.