Eastern Michigan University’s men’s track and field team took part in the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind., with the University of Notre Dame as host.
The event took place on Feb. 7-8. In addition to 19th ranked Fighting Irish, the Eagles, who rank seventh, faced six institutions ranked in the top-15 of the weekly Great Lakes Regional poll.
The Green and White completed the first day with seven Eagles performing well enough in five events to meet or exceed the qualifying marks for the 2014 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb.28-Mar. 1.
In EMU’s first event of the evening, Solomon Ijah narrowly missed out on qualifying for the semifinals in the 60m hurdles preliminary round. Ijah lost by an astoundingly slim .002 seconds behind Western Kentucky’s Cyrus Johnson. Ijah also competed in the 60-meter dash prelims and had a heartbreaking miss on qualifying there as well.
The highlights of the field events were from Tyler Brown and Anthony Jones.
Brown took fifth in the long jump after he set yet another personal record in the event, leaping 7.34 meters/24-feet 1.00-inch. Brown now holds the third-place spot in the MAC standings.
Jones set a personal-best in the weight throw. His launch of 18.95 meters/62-feet 2.25 inches earned him a third-place finish.
All three harriers who competed in the 5000-meter run were quick enough to earn them a spot in the MAC Indoor Championships.
Willy Fink led the way for the Green and White, finishing runner-up behind Purdue’s Jake Waterman with a time of 14:18.70.
Also in the top-10 was Warren Witchell who took fifth.
Freshman Lahsene Bouchikhi rounded out the group of Eagles with a 17th place finish.
In the second day of competition at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 8, EMU finished strong with nine members qualifying for the MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The afternoon events began with redshirt junior Daryl Smith running a 4:09.75 mile, clinching a runner-up finish in the event. This run was one-of-two mile runs in the Meyo Invitational.
The second run, the “Meyo Mile”, has a long history of athletes running a sub-four minute time. Grzegorz Kalinowski was looking to be inducted into the elite group of five Eagles alum that are sub-four minute milers. Kalinowski narrowly missed out on this revered mark with a time of 4:00.91, earning him a fourth place finish.
Further spots were earned in the MAC meet at the end of the season, as a trio of Eagles placed in the top-20 in the 400m dash.
The pack was led by Cameron Bolton with a 13th place finish and a time of 48.38.
The 15th spot was captured by sophomore Mason Waynes, who finished with a personal best of 48.40. Rounding out the trio was sophomore Jason Ervin in the 19th spot.
On the field, the Green and White had a pair of fifth-place finishes.
Sophomore Travis Harris and freshman Javion Lee matched or exceeded their personal best records in their respective events. Harris launched the shot put 16.52 meters/54-feet 2.50 inches, beating out his previous mark of 53-feet 7.00 inches set just last week at the EMU Triangular on Feb. 1. Lee took home fifth place in the triple jump as he matched his personal-best mark of 14.58 meters/47-feet 10 inches.
The Eagles found continued success in the sprints as freshman Tyler Brown took sixth in the 200m dash with a time of 21.50. Both Brown and sophomore Jeff Elam earned qualifying marks for the upcoming conference meet as Elam dashed a personal best of 21.99.
The 4×400m relay team of Bolton, Ervin, Brown, and Waynes wrapped up the competition for EMU. The quartet took fifth in the relay with an impressive time of 3:12.46. This time is nearly three seconds faster than the 3:15.25 mark that currently leads the conference at the EMU Triangular, Feb. 1.
“We had a very solid team effort in many areas but also see the need for some development in some events,” EMU head coach John Goodridge said. “Anthony Jones and Travis Harris excelled in the Throws, Tyler Brown in the Long Jump and 200 as well as a great mile relay anchor. Greg Kalinowski in the mile, Max Babits in the Pole Vault and Willy Fink in the 5000 meters were certainly excellent results in a very competitive atmosphere at Notre Dame.”
The next competition for the Eagles will be in Allendale, for the Grand Valley State University “Big Meet”. This will be another two-day event being held on Feb. 14-15.
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