The outdoor season started just up the road from campus at William & Mary. Madison Bloxom (Parksley, VA) opened her first full season in the Javelin with her first landing over 100’ (32.27m/105-10) to highlight 17 team PRs.
30 more team PRs helped the Captains sweep the Commonwealth Duals – multi-dual competition with Washington & Lee and Virginia Wesleyan. The “metric milers” took care of 10 of those PRs in the men’s and women’s 1500m races.
Back in Williamsburg for the Colonial Relays, Jessica McClelland (Stafford, VA) upped the ante with a School Record in the 1500m and led off another School Record in the Distance Medley Relay. The men also claimed top spot on CNU’s DMR list.
The following weekend’s most memorable event could have been the tire blow-out on one of the team buses heading down to North Carolina A&T. Logan Harrington (Montpelier, VA) changed that with a powerful victory in the 800m – a big 2:13.99 PR to put her in the hunt for a Nationals berth. For good measure, she cranked out a 57.7 split on the 4x4 and rushed Jennifer Westerholm (Stafford, VA) to her first sub-60 split. More was coming…
As with the indoor season, the team stayed home for a final conference tune-up: The New Captains Classic & Combined Events. As with the indoor season, the Captains demonstrated their readiness – this time with 71 team PRs. The Decathletes and Heptathletes earned a large share of them and Richard Roethel (Farmingville, NY) cobbled together an impressive 6723 point total in his first competition of the outdoor season. That was plenty to get him in to the National Championships. Westerholm put herself in the Heptathlon picture with a big PR 4230. The distance group packed 6 men under 15:40 in the 5k with 5 more crossing the line over the next 60 seconds.
The CAC Outdoor Championships followed much the same script as the Indoor Championships – a dominant win for the women and a runner-up finish for the men – though this time much closer to Salisbury. Harrington earned Rookie of the Year honors for her Conference Record in the 800m, runner-up finish in the 1500m (also under the old Meet Record), and a 56.6 anchor on the CAC Record 4x400m Relay. Robert Mayes (Culpeper, VA) (400m) and Samuel Martin (Rockville, MD) (1500m) etched their names on the CAC Record Board for the men. Dominique Torres (Chesapeake, VA) swept the horizontal jumps and his Triple Jump earned him another Nationals berth.
Each of the Final Qualifier meets that followed resulted in a National Qualifying performance for the Captains. At the Virginia Challenge, Leah Richardson (Dinwiddie, VA), Westerholm, Enuma Ezenwa (Herndon, VA), and Harrington ran alone out front of their heat to a 3:51.55 finish in the 4x400m Relay. Testing out the National Championships site at Ohio Wesleyan University, Ezenwa (4491 SR) and Westerholm (4461 CNU #2) both earned berths in the Heptathlon. Jessica McClelland got hers at the Swarthmore Last Chance with a 1500m School Record 4:33.40. Finally, at the Salisbury Elite Final Qualifier, Harrington added the 800m to her Nationals agenda with a 2:12.92.
Day 1 at the National Championships saw Roethel battle through his first five events and hold 2nd in the Decathlon at the mid-way point. Ezenwa had a best ever score for her first four events and Westerholm was also on a solid pace. McClelland ran a smart round and earned a place in the 1500m Finals. The women’s 4x4 field turned out to be the deepest in Div. III history as the Captains posted the fastest ever 10th place time – 3:48.91. On Day 2, Roethel finished strong and claimed his second National Title – first in the Decathlon with a School Record 7086 point total. Ezenwa finished 16th and Westerholm 19th, each with their second best Heptathlon scores ever. Harrington shaved her 800m PR down once again to 2:12.83 and finished her season 17th in the Nation. McClelland wrapped up her career with an 11th place finish in the 1500m finals while Torres turned in a clutch 3rd-attempt 14.89m/48-10.25 in the Triple Jump that held up for the runner-up spot and elevated the men’s team score to 18 points – good enough for 14th place over-all.