Marlins Prepare for ODAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan College track and field teams are preparing for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend with several key events to keep an eye on. The meet will be held at Lynchburg College.
100m - Men
Siaka Bafalie (11.68), Moises Gonzalez (12.16), and Armon Ardila (11.91) will all continue their season in the preliminaries of the 100m dash. Josephus Mitchell of Guilford (10.88) and Davonta Womack (10.89) of Bridgewater are the top two seeds.
100m – Women
The top time on the year belongs to Bridgewater's Amber Celen, who ran a 12.14 in March. Shakira Mills is seeded eighth in the event after posting a time of 12.76 in her most recent competition, the New Captains Classic, on April 15.
200m – Men
This event features three Marlins in the 18 runner field. Chrishaud Hawkins, seeded second, and Trey White, seeded fifth, can both push for an ODAC title in the event. Hawkins' time of 22.18 is fourth tenths off the pace of Womack from Bridgewater, while White is less than a second off the pace at 22.43. A.J. Ramirez rounds out the Marlins in the event, with a time of 23.07 to slot in at the 17th spot in the field.
200m – Women
Multiple Marlins are on the heat sheet for this 200m as well, with Tiffany Lennon and Mills set to compete. Lennon ran a 26.73 at the Commonwealth Duals to hold down the eighth spot, while Mills' mark of 27.15 at the New Captains Classic, puts her 12th in the 14 runner field.
400m – Men
The 400m has the potential to see a Marlin two-event champion as White is seeded second, behind Shenandoah's Ansel Borhauer. White ran a 49.53 at the Colonial Relays to position himself at the top of the heat sheet. Marquis Sivels also qualified for the 400m, running a 51.85 in his most recent meet on April 15.
400m – Women
Tiana Hughes (59.53) and Alyssa Willis (1:01.08) are seeded fourth and seventh respectively in the 400m. Dana Lee from Washington and Lee University is the early favorite in the event after running a 57.40 at a meet in March, followed by two runners from Roanoke who are within one second of her time.
800m - Men
Gavin Fry (2:01.53) and Dustin Ogburn (2:06.49) will represent the Marlins in the 800m. It could be a very competitive race to the finish with 10 runners posting sub-two minute times in the regular season.
800m – Women
Marissa Coombs will look to build on her indoor success in the outdoor 800m, seeding third with a time of 2:14.10. The field is chasing Eastern Mennonite's Hannah Chappell-Dick, whose time of 2:10.26, set in March, is nearly four seconds faster than the nearest competition.
1,500m - Men
Four Marlins will appear in the 1,500m as Philip Blevins, Michael Class, Keane Dye, and Andrew Werner will look to push the pace of the top seeds. Tyler Denlinger of EMU and Connor Maguder are separated by less than half a second as the top two seeds.
1,500m – Women
The 1,500m features a field of 17 runners, but the main competition will be between the top two, Chappell-Dick and Coombs. Chappell-Dick ran a time of 4:28.62 in the regular season, followed by Coombs' 4:31.47. The three seed in the 1,500m ran a 5:45.31, 14 seconds slower than Coombs' mark.
5,000m – Men
Trevor Maloney will compete for the Marlins in the 5,000m after running a 15:41.77 in the Marlins' most recent meet at the New Captains Classic. He is seeded 14th in a tight field that has runners seeded 10-15 separated by just 10 seconds. Lynchburg's Andrew Osborne holds the top time coming into the meet, breaking the tape in 15:01.15 at the Dr. Jack Toms Invitational. Washington and Lee's Mac Strehler is just six tenths off the pace.
10,000m – Men
Maloney will also compete in the 10,000m where he is seeded second. The field could spread out quickly in this event as Maloney's time of 33:18.39 is 24 seconds ahead of three-seed, Ben Stern of Lynchburg. Osborne is seeded first in this event as well with a time of 31:52.98, more than a minute faster than the rest of the field.
400m Hurdles – Men
Hawkins makes his second individual appearance at the ODAC Championships in the 400m hurdles. He is coming off a 56.66 second showing at the Colonial Relays, seeding him third in the event. Connor Faint of Eastern Mennonite is the early favorite as his time of 53.84 is nearly two seconds faster than second-seeded Brian Fuentes of Lynchburg.
400m Hurdles – Women
The women's field will feature just four runners that hit qualifying times with Kwonsha Washington competing after posting a time of 1:10.03 at the New Captains Classic. W&L's Kaleigh Hinton paces the event with a mark of 1:05.82.
3,000m Steeplechase – Men
Keane Dye will represent the men in the 3,000m steeplechase, as his time of 10:18.27 seeds him sixth of eight athletes. Harrison Toney (9:15.17) of Roanoke and Drew Smith (9:40.28) of Lynchburg are the only two with sub-10 minute times this season.
The men's team has the third fastest time in the ODAC this year with a 43.18, ran at the Colonial Relays. The women just edged out Roanoke for the top spot, breaking the tape in 49.36.
Both teams could compete for relay titles as the men have the second-best time this year (3:22.63) while the women control the best mark (4:00.93), nearly five seconds faster than Washington and Lee.
High Jump – Men
Eight men will compete in the high jump with Isaac Evans (Bridgewater) and Anthony Banks (Shenandoah) tied for the top spot with a 6' 2.75". Parker Pearman qualified in the eighth spot with a height of 5' 9.25".
High Jump – Women
Rolonda Taylor could compete for a title on the women's side after clearing 5' 2.5", tying with three other competitors for the second seed. Mara Briggs of Roanoke holds the top mark this season, 5' 4.5".
Pole Vault – Men
Cody Lichvar qualified for the pole vault his first year on campus after clearing 11' 11.75" at the Aggie Invitational. He's only behind two other ODAC competitors, the only two to clear 12 feet on the season.
Pole Vault – Women
Washington will appear in the pole vault for the women after post a 7' 6.5" mark at the New Captains Classic. Elizabeth Stanton of W&L is the early favorite over teammate Kaela Fiutak as her mark of 11' 7.75" is 17 inches higher.
Long Jump – Women
Taylor, Alizae Dollins, and Willis all qualify for the women's long jump. Taylor's length of 17' 8.25" seeds her third, while Dollins (16' 3.25") is eighth and Willis (15' 11.5") is 11th in the 11 athlete field. Bridgewater is the only other school with three qualified jumpers for the event.
Triple Jump – Men
Pearman will appear in the triple jump after leaping 41' 6.5" at the Commonwealth Duals. This could be a tightly contested event as all nine qualifiers are within three feet of each other.
Triple Jump – Women
Taylor and Dollins both qualified for the women's event, as Taylor (35' 3.25") is one of just three players to reach 35 feet. Kristen Trice is the top seed as the Bridgewater athlete's mark of 37' 6.5" is two feet farther than her nearest competitor.
Shot Put – Women
The best shot for an ODAC Championship could be Michelle Yates in the shot put. Her heave of 38' 9.5" at the Commonwealth Duals is three feet farther than the second-seeded Laura Allen of Shenandoah. Nikki Burns also qualified for the shot with a length of 32' 10.5".
Discus - Men
Wade Jernigan will compete in the discus throw as part of heat one while Brett Blakeney and Michael Romano of Lynchburg College set as the early favorites.
Discus – Women
Yates will compete in the 11 competitor field with a distance of 94' 6". The pack is chasing Katelyn Senger of Bridgewater, whose heave of 138' 8" is well in front of second place Hannah Glover of Shenandoah (115' 4").
Hammer – Women
Yates is the lone female to appear in three individual events, slotting into the final seed in the hammer with a mark of 105' 1". Morgan Smith (153' 8") and Danyelle McGrady (152' 8"), both of Shenandoah, are competing for the ODAC title.
Javelin - Men
Pearman worked his way into the javelin seeds to compete at the ODAC Championship. Dalton Hoppe from Lynchburg has a distance of more than three feet over the number two seed to set the pace.
Javelin – Women
Joining Yates amongst throwers seeded first, Burns holds the top spot in the javelin. Her distance of 132' 1" is 14 inches farther than Mary Kelly of Roanoke and five feet farther than the third-seeded athlete.