After being surprised by Methodist at the Indoor Championships, the Captain’s women recognized the Monarchs as heavy favorites for the Mason-Dixon Conference Outdoor Championships and also had to contend with a very strong squad from Penn State Behrend. 15 PRs, 5 All-Time Performances, and 3 National Qualifiers led to CNU’s runner-up finish even with only one event title among the 30 All-Conference finishes.
Captains Hold Off Behrend For Conference Runner-Up
Elliott Earns High Jump Title And One of Three National Qualifiers
Methodist arrived at the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Championships as heavy favorites led by the two fastest women in Division III with further depth speed events and the top seeds long distance races. Penn State-Behrend also arrived in Newport News with a very strong squad, especially in the middle distances, throws, and Pole Vault. The two rivals left few opportunities for the Captains to find their points, but a balanced attack that included 17 athletes earning 36 All-Conference certificates kept CNU in the trophies.
Jenna Elliott (Fredericksburg, VA) earned the first (and, surprisingly, the last) Conference Title of the weekend for the Captains. The rookie secured her victory with a clearance at 1.60m/5-3. Clearing the next height – 1.65m/5-5 – earned her a place on the Provisional Qualifiers List for the Div. III National Championships and improved her standing as CNU’s #2 All-Time High Jumper. The Captains secured three of the remaining five scoring places with Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) clearing 1.50m/4-11 for 3rd place and frosh Noel Bartley (Waynesboro, VA) and Jessica McClelland (Stafford, VA) each clearing 1.45m/4-9 for 5th and 6th, respectively.
Depth showed in the Long Jump on Friday evening, too. While Methodist’s national leader Ashlynn Chavis took the victory, Brittany Jacobs (Warrenton, VA) put her name high on the Div. III list with a 5.65m/18-6.25 PR for 2nd place. Hansen grabbed another bronze (5.27m/17-3.25), Cheria Jackson (Woodbridge, VA) finished 5th at 5.08m/16-7.75, and Elliott scored another point in 6th (4.88m/16-0).
In the Hammer Throw, both CNU throwers earned All-Conference honors. Jill Raines (Jeffersonton, VA) (32.77m/107-6) and Meara Goss (Dunn Loring, VA) (32.35m/106-1 PR) taking 3rd and 4th. Goss added a point to the cause the next day in the Discus (31.31m/102-8).
The short sprinters and hurdlers opened the track events with their preliminary races. Again, team depth showed in the hurdles as the Captains took half of the qualifying spots led by Jackson (16.10) and Jacobs (16.97 PR). Brittany Schanck (Leesburg, VA) (17.19) and Amanda Reap (White Post, VA) (17.44) also made the cut. Jackson returned to the blocks for the 100m heats and sped a PR 12.73 – just a lean faster than teammate Kristen Bell’s (Vienna, VA) PR 12.81. Both moved on to Saturday’s finals. Friday’s final event was the longest and freshman Ashley Doerner (Fairfax Station, VA), more accustomed to mid-distance races, soldiered around the track 25 times to earn a point for the Captains in the 10k (48:13.71).
Saturday’s events opened on the runways and again, the Blue & Silver claimed multiple scoring spots. Senior Brittany Jacobs led the field until the final round, but finished silver again with her first 11m jump of the outdoor season (11.01m/36-1.25). Caitlin Miller (Huntington, NY) claimed 6 team points in 3rd (10.72m/35-2) and Hansen picked up her third All-Conference honor with a 6th place 10.53m/34-6.5 effort.
On the track, Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA) improved her #4 standing on the CNU All-Time List in the Steeplechase with her runner-up 12:01.61 finish. Emily Whitby (Alexandria, VA) established herself at #6 on that list with her 6th place 13:56.57 PR. The 4x100m Relay squad lined up next and got the baton around the track in 51.47 seconds for 3rd place. The 1500m final was next on the schedule with Erin Rolaf (Woodbridge, VA) carrying the torch for the Captains. She ran a nine second PR to finish in 5:04.59 for 7th place.
The 100m Hurdlers picked up 12 points with a 3-4-5 finish. Jackson skipped to a PR 15.65, followed by big season breakthroughs from Schanck (15.97) and Reap (17.00). The slow heat of the 400m featured a ringer – Dira Hansen – who did not have a seed time entering the Championships. She time-trialed to a PR 57.56 (#10 on the CNU All-Time List) that held up for 2nd place. Kristen Bell ran in the fast heat and her 59.24 earned a 4th place finish.
After Cheria Jackson posted another PR for 5th in the 100m Dash (12.72), Jessica McClelland ran a great race in the 800m. The freshman charged in to the lead entering the home straight over Behrend’s heavily favored pair. The bold move came up just short as McClelland was out-leaned at the line, but earned a PR 2:23.80 which moved her onto the CNU All-Time List at #10. Dira Hansen followed in the next event – the 400m Hurdles – with a Nationals Provisional Qualifying finish in 63.02 in 2nd.
The late field events netted a 4-5 finish in the Pole Vault with Taryn Langley (Hopewell, VA) clearing 2.65m/8-8.25 and Amanda Reap’s PR 2.20m/7-2.5 along with a PR from Caitlin Miller in the Javelin (17.68m/58-0).
The Captain’s picked up their final points of the meet with Kristen Bell’s 6th place finish in the 200m (26.74) and the 4x400m Relay. Bell led off with a 60.2 and senior Michelle Stauffer (Fort Valley, VA) carried second with a 65.5 second lap. Cheria Jackson legged a 62.1 and gave the baton to Hansen to make the final chase. Her 57.3 held off Behrend with a 4:05.20 cumulative time.
The efforts proved just enough to stave off Penn State-Behrend 133-126 for the runner-up team finish behind Methodist’s 190 points.For complete CNU Results, check out the Results Page.