Looking for one final chance to qualify for next weekend's NCAA National Championships, EMU sent four athletes to the Mideast Invitational on Thursday. Both men running broke school records.
In his final race, senior Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) not only lowered his PR in the 800m, he took down a 12-year old school record. He shaved 0.44 seconds of his previous best race, crossing in 1:52.75. Luke Yoder had owned the EMU record of 1:52.92 since 2005. Denlinger's time moved him up to No. 43 in the nation.
Sophomore Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam (Charlotte Court House, Va./Randolph Henry) broke his own 100m record with a time of :10.80 seconds. He finished first among collegiate athletes at the meet. Since running an :11.20 on the wet day of finals at the ODAC Championships on April 22, Abdus-Salaam has run three straight races better than Leroy Dutton's EMU record of :10.94 from 1982.
On the women's side, Eastern Mennonite's Hannah Nichols (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) had an incredible effort in the 800m. Just two weeks after getting out of a walking boot from an injury that derailed a month of her season, Nichols broke her PR with a time of 2:12.34, more than a second better than her previous best. An All-American in the distance from the indoor season, the freshman made a big jump to No. 27 in the nation. With the top 22 earning a trip to Nationals, Nichols will need a handful of women ahead of her to elect not to go in the event.
Tajah Miller (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) was the only other Royal to participate. She finished third overall in the 100m, staking a time of :12.61 seconds.
Neither Connor Faint (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) nor Grant Amoateng (Bristow, Va./Patriot) participated at the Mideast Invitational. Both appear locked in for Nationals. Faint is No. 5 in the nation in the 400m hurdles with his PR of :52.33 seconds. Amoateng landed a triple jump of 14.66m (48ft 1.25in) two weeks ago and is No. 14.
The national qualifiers will be announced on Saturday. The 2017 NCAA Outdoor National Championships are next week Thursday through Saturday in Geneva, Ohio.