Eastern Michigan University men’s track and field team had two athletes compete in the 87th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Tex.
Senior pole vaulter Max Babits and junior decathlete Solomon Ijah competed March 26-March 28 at the University of Texas’s Mike A. Myers Stadium. Ijah finished sixth overall in the grueling decathlon and Babits finished seventh in the pole vault.
After the first day of events, Ijah stood in third place overall with 3,974 points, in a field of 21 athletes. Ijah set personal records in his first three events. He took seventh in the 100m dash with a 10.93 second finish, less than half a second behind the top finisher. He notched another seventh-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 6.95 meters (22 feet, 9.75 inches).
Ijah took runner up in the shot put with a throw of 14.52 meters (47 feet, 5.75 inches), with a mark that was over four feet farther than the next competitor.
He came within one centimeter of his outdoor personal-best mark in the high jump, clearing 1.90 meters (6 feet, 2.75 inches). He bowed out of the competition and passed on his remaining jumps, finishing tied for sixth overall.
In the final event, the 400m dash, Ijah crossed the finish line in 51.66 seconds.
The EMU junior was one of just 15 to complete in the entire decathlon. He finished his second day with a personal-best score of 7,312 points. Ijah finished sixth overall.
The decathlete had his strongest showing in the 110m hurdles, taking fifth in 15.11 seconds.Despite a 13th place finish in the pole vault, Ijah beat his outdoor personal-best mark with a vault of 4.20 meters (13 feet, 9.25 inches), adding on nearly eight inches to his previous best height.
Ijah’s other personal record came in the javelin throw with a 59.15 meter (194 foot) launch. He now holds seventh place in school history.
The junior wrapped up the decathlon with the 1500m run, just shy of his personal best with a time of 4:53.67.
During the event portion of the 2014 Texas Relays, Max Babits set an EMU record in the outdoor pole vault. He cleared 5.35 meters (17 feet, 6.50 inches) and took a seventh place finish. Babits’ vault broke a school record that had stood for 23 years. Babits became the first Eagle to pass the 18-foot mark in the indoor pole vault with a clearance of 5.51 meters (18 feet, 1 inch).
“Max and his Coach/Dad Bob have put a lot of time and effort into Max’s development so it is very special for Max to become not only an EMU School Record holder but an All-American as well,” EMU coach John Goodridge said.