The Indoor Track & Field season kicked off with the Holiday Open on the Vince Brown Track in the Freeman Center. 16 schools and several post-collegiate athletes put on a good show and the Captains posted several outstanding performances - especially for the first meet of the year.
The annual December opener for the Indoor Track & Field season is an opportunity for the Cross Country squad to show off their fall fitness on the track, for the returning sprinters/hurdlers/jumpers/throwers to shake off a little competitive rust, and for the new freshmen to get their introduction as collegiate athletes. The Captains set the expectations for the rest of the 2011-12 season very high with 20 PRs and 6 new marks on the CNU All-Time Lists.
The long day started early with the Weight Throw competitions. With a squad heavy on youth in the throws (seven rookies), the two seniors showed the way with performances just shy of their lifetime bests - Jonathon Wade (Rocky Mount, VA) landed the 35 pound Weight at 12.90m/42-4 while Jill Raines (Jeffersonton, VA) opened her season at 10.46m/34-4. Wade finished his day with a 12.72m/41-8.75 toss in the Shot Put which added over two feet to his indoor PR.
The jumpers also had a nice day both in the vertical events and the horizontal. Sophomore High Jumper Jenna Elliott (Fredericksburg, VA) missed Nationals by 1cm last year both indoors and out. In her first meet of the new season, she cleared 1.62m/5-3.75 and had good jumps at 1.67m - last year's magic number. She had some company at those heights, too, as freshman Enuma Ezenwa (Herndon, VA) matched her elder teammate's clearances. For Ezenwa, that placed her name at #3 on the CNU All-Time List. Elliott also led the Captains in the Long Jump with a 4.67m/15-4 indoor PR. Three freshman Pole Vaulters started their climb up the CNU All-Time Lists. Caitlyn Pabst (East Patchogue, NY) was briefly on the list with a PR 2.45m/8-0.5 clearance before being knocked down to 11th after Kelsey Dolinger (Stafford, VA) slipped over a PR 2.60m/8-6.25 and Lauren Snell (Chesapeake, VA) cleared 2.75m/9-0.25 for #9 and #8 All-Time, respectively. Joseph Taylor (Prince George, VA) led the men with a good series of jumps topping out at 4.16m/13-7.75. Kwarteng Asare (Fairfax, VA) opened his season well with a 13.63m/44-8.75 effort in the Triple Jump.
On the track, the women collected three more All-Time Performances. The first came from an expected source - senior Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) stretched herself out to debut in the Mile and became CNU's 3rd fastest ever at 5:12.70. She followed up with a strong 3:48.1 leg (1200m) to open the Distance Medley Relay. Two sophomores were the story in the 3,000m as both Erin Rolaf (Woodbridge, VA) and Jessica McClelland (Stafford, VA) added their names to the CNU Top-10 List. Rolaf cruised through the first mile in 5:37 and nearly maintained the same pace through the final seven laps to finish in 10:41.31 - #5 in CNU History and better than 30 seconds faster than her outdoor PR. McClelland, who focused mostly on the 800m last year, held on for most of the first mile (her split was faster than her indoor Mile PR) and finished in 10:54.82 - good for #8 on the CNU List.
The men's distance corps earned more than a third of the team's PRs in their events and showed their depth with no less than five Distance Medley Relay squads. Junior Brian Huffman (Charlottesville, VA) finally cracked the 2 minute barrier indoors with a second place 1:59.60 PR. Rookie Samuel Martin (Rockville, MD) cruised a 4:31.58 Mile to lead the Captains and four PRs come in behind him, including one from fellow frosh Daniel Richard (Manassas, VA) at 4:40.25. In the 3k, Patrick Cunningham (Williamsburg, VA) (9:29.82) and Scott Wright (Oak Hill, VA) (9:48.88) both earned big PRs chasing rookie Donovan Lewin's (Cape Charles, VA) debut 9:13.36 - just 4 seconds out of the CNU Top-10.
In the relays, the upper-classmen held off the rookies in the men's Distance Medley Relay 10:59.37 to 11:06.70. In the shorter relays, the freshmen got the best of their elders. On the men's side, the younger quartet earned a slight edge - 3:32.91-3:34.26 - with fastest legs from Daulton Teaford (Boyce, VA) (52.7) and Robert Mayes (Culpeper, VA) (52.8). Nathan Joyce (Ft. Belvoir, VA) had the fastest split for the elders (52.6). The younger women took charge from the first leg - Caitlyn Pabst's 62.8 - and sealed it with Fredsal Walker's (Herndon, VA) 61.9 on the third leg. The rookies stopped the clock at 4:12.14.
The squad will return to action in the New Year at home once again for the Captain's Invitational & Combined Events on January 20th & 21st.