The Eastern Michigan University men’s track and field team opened its outdoor season at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, March 28-29, hosted by the University of Cincinnati.
20 members from the green and white met with athletes from numerous institutions, including seven schools on the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason rankings.
Four Eagles took part in the hammer throw. Leading the way for the team was junior Keith Williams, who broke both a personal record and the EMU record, with a throw of 57.91 meters (190 feet).
Williams, with a second place finish, added nearly 40 feet to his personal best.
“Keith Williams highlighted the Cincinnati Nikoloff Invitational, establishing a new EMU Record in the Hammer Throw,” EMU coach John Goodridge said. “He and Coach Manz have worked very hard together to yield this result in our opening meet of the season.”
Also setting personal records were sophomore Anthony Jones and junior Andrew Wentz, who took fifth and eighth place, respectively, in the hammer throw.
Jones threw for a distance of 54.23 meters (177 feet, 11 inches), earning him a spot in the all-time top-10 performance list, with a ninth spot in program history. Wentz launched for 51.23 meters (168 feet, 1 inch).
Sophomore Jeff Elam had the top individual finish for the Eagles in the 400m hurdles with a time of 55.66 seconds, for second place.
Also landing in the top 10 were junior Levi Selvig and sophomore Mason Waynes with times of 58.07 and 59.33, respectively.
Elam also competed in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.69, behind Selvig (15.39) and sophomore Bryce Lindsey (14.90) who took fifth. Elam also participated in the winning 4×100m relay along with Lindsey, sophomore Wayne Blanchard, and freshman Mike Griffin. The group of sprinters won by a slim margin in 42.47.
The only other top-three finish for EMU was sophomore Scott Bradley, who took third in the 800m in 1:56.70.
Sophomore Zach Waldron competed in several events, including the 400m dash, 110m hurdles, discus throw and javelin throw. Each of these events were firsts for Waldron in his career at EMU, as his niche lies primarily in the high jump.
Sophomore classmate James O’Shea took Waldron’s place and recorded a personal best of 1.93 meters (6 feet 4.00 inches), adding over three inches to his outdoor record.
Junior Aaron Dewberry made his outdoor debut in the long jump and leapt for a distance of 6.02 meters (19 feet, 9.00 inches) for a seventh place finish. Freshman jumper Antwan Persons jumped 5.45 meters (17 feet, 10.75 inches) to round out the top-10 finishes in the event.
The EMU throwers also took part in the shot put and discus throw. Sophomore Travis Harris led the squad in both events, throwing 15.43 meters (50 feet, 7.50 inches) in the shot put to place fourth and 41.59 meters (136 feet, 5 inches) in the discuss throw to place eighth.
Earning the spot directly behind Harris in both events was freshman Quinn Levering. He came just an inch and a half short of his green and white counterpart in the shot put and was less than three feet off his mark in the discus throw.
The Eagles will compete next on Saturday, April 5 when they head to Michigan State University in East Lansing to take part in the Spartan Invitational.