With mostly Division I schools from around the South and the Northeast, a select few Captains took advantage of deep, competitive fields at the Colonial Relays. The squad took two event wins, posted a School Record, a USATF Jr. National Championships Qualifier, and made a total of 8 changes to the CNU All-Time Lists.
While most of the team stayed in Newport News to play host to over 1,000 high school student-athletes at the HS Captain's Classic, a select group of CNU's top performers took a short trip up I-64 to Williamsburg for William & Mary's Colonial Relays. The group took full advantage of the strong, deep fields to post some outstanding early season marks.
After experiencing some soreness following his outdoor season debut, Richard Roethel (Farmingville, NY) focused on just one event at the Relays - his first favorite, the High Jump. Runner-up here last year, the junior was mostly looking to find some rhythm and it was hard to come by until late in his warm-ups when the bar had been raised to 7-0 by another competitor for a practice jump. Rather than waiting for the settings to be lowered, Roethel took his final warm-up jump at the high bar and only grazed it off with the hood of his sweatshirt. That seemed to lock in his rhythm and focus though it took two attempts to clear 2.01m and three for 2.06m. After clearing 2.11m/6-11 on his second attempt to secure the victory, he opted for 2.15m for an outright shot at the School Record. Even without the hoodie, the 7' (plus a half inch) bar would not stay on for him and Joseph Owens' record is safe for a little longer.
Another School Record attempt played out on the track where Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) looked to show her true form in the 800m. Seeded in to the second fastest section of the meet, the field helped carry her through a quik first 400m with Hansen holding on to the back of the pack. The pace held steady and the senior stayed strong through the second half of the race. She was rewarded with a 2:12.78 time - an outdoor PR and School Record by two seconds and one of the top times in Division III to date.
On the men's side, Nick Hedrick (Falls Church, VA) followed up his first sub-1:56 from a week ago with a 1:56.01. Fellow frosh mid-distance specialist Samuel Martin (Rockville, MD) moved back up to the 1500m and dropped his PR 10 seconds to 4:00.75 and #6 on the CNU All-Time List. Christopher Allen (Reston, VA) made is 5,000m debut a good one with a 15:24.03 - good enough for #9 in CNU History. Michael Hoy (Mechanicsville, VA) followed in 15:56.70 for his first outdoor 5k. At the other end of the spectrum, Daulton Teaford (Boyce, VA) opened his outdoor season with a 22.03 blast in the 200m - making him #10 on the CNU All-Time List. Jonathon Wade (Rocky Mount, VA) scared his lifetime best in the Hammer - his 41.92m/137-6 falling just over a foot short of his PR.
Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA) took a big slice out of her Steeplechase best, knocking it down 30 seconds to 11:31.65 (still remaining at #4 on the All-Time List, however). Erin Rolaf (Woodbridge, VA) legged out a 5:02.06 PR in the 1500m.
Friday's competition ended late at night with the 10k races. Karen Bumiller (Burke, VA) lowered her PR by over a minute to 39:35.29 and moved to #3 in CNU History. Donovan Lewin (Cape Charles, VA) was taking aim at the USATF Jr. National Championships qualifying mark of 32:45 in his debut. He locked on to pace early and held it deep in to the race. Teammate Aaron Zook (Harrisonburg, VA) had fallen off Lewin's pace, but when Lewin began to fade, Coach Barreau's spurred the sophomore on to help his freshman teammate hit his target and Zook came back to life. Lewin's final surge to the finish resulted in a 32:44.83 finish to earn a trip to Bloomington, IN this summer and rank #2 among CNU's 10k runners. Zook chased in to a 32:47.68 debut and the #3 spot on the List.
The final day of competition featured Kwarteng Asare's win in the Open section of the Triple Jump. His 14.48m/47-6.25 puts him in the picture for the Div. III National Championships. Christopher Comeau (Chesapeake, VA) added a few more inches to his outdoor Pole Vault best. At 4.05m/13-3.5, he is now on the CNU All-Time List at #10. Fredsal Walker (Herndon, VA) ran a 15.49 in the 100m Hurdles on Friday to qualify for Saturday's finals. Unfortunately, an early timing error cascaded in to a crash mid-race in the finals.
The Captains will return to full-strength competition on April 14th at the Johns Hopkins Invitational in Baltimore.