The Methodist University Monarchs earned a surprise Conference Championship with a 15 point victory over the Captains. CNU’s women, however, scored 4 individual wins among 28 All-Conference performers. The Captains also posted 2 National Qualifiers, 5 All-Time performances, and 18 Personal Records. The multitude of strong performances moved the Captains to #1 in the South/Southeast Region in both the USTFCCCA Computer Rankings and the Dual Meet Rankings.
Women Upset By Methodist, Still Move To Top Regional Rankings
Hansen, Elliott Join National Lists
Heading in to the Mason-Dixon Conference Indoor Championships, the Captains knew that Methodist was going to present a challenge with their speed. The Monarchs had a few surprises up their sleeves, too, and they proved just enough to overcome CNU’s balance.
The first events of the day showed that both squads came ready to compete. In the Pole Vault, sophomores Kalee Hammerton (Royersford, PA) and Taryn Langley (Hopewell, VA) went 1-2 with Hammerton clearing a season-best 2.95m/9-8. In the Weight Throw, Jill Raines (Jeffersonton, VA) earned a point in 6th place with a PR 11.22m/36-9.75.
Methodist’s Ashlynn Chavis entered the meet as the top Long Jumper in Division III and reinforced that standing with a 5.83m/19-1.5 jump for the win. CNU’s own National Qualifier, Brittany Jacobs (Warrenton, VA) secured second with a game 5.43m/17-9.75. Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) (5.19m/17-0.5) and Cheria Jackson (Woodbridge, VA) (5.15m/16-10.75) took the next two spots. Frosh Caitlin Miller (Huntington, NY) returned to competition after a long injury absence with a PR 4.65m/15-3.25.
Jacobs and Jackson took leave from the Long Jump to run the preliminary round of the 55m Hurdles. Jacobs slipped to a huge PR 9.20 to earn a spot in finals. Jackson fell victim to the first of Methodist’s big surprises – a National Qualifying run from unseeded Brittanie Morris. Jackson ended up missing finals (top 6) by one spot with a 9.39 finish. Brittany Schanck (Leesburg, VA) ran a PR 9.65 but also finished outside of finals in 9th place. Jacobs went on to finish 6th. Jackson also had the 55m Dash prelims and semi-finals amidst the Hurdles and Long Jump. She fared better here with a PR 7.56 in the first round and another PR 7.49 to qualify for finals. Olivia Green (Fairfax, VA) also ran PRs – matching 7.67 runs in the first two rounds – and finished 10th. In the finals, Jackson finished 4th at 7.53.
Dira Hansen passed her final attempts in the Long Jump to focus on the High Jump. She cleared all of her heights on first attempts, topping out at 1.51m/4-11.5 and tying for 4th place. Rookie Jess McClelland (Stafford, VA) had to work a little harder for her clearances, but scaled the same height – an indoor PR by 2 ½ inches. Meanwhile, fellow first-year Jenna Elliott (Fredericksburg, VA) cleared through 1.56m on first attempts (1 cm below her indoor best). It took all three attempts to finally get over 1.61m/5-3.25, which left her in second place to York’s Laura Rowlands on misses. At 1.66m/5-5.25 – the Provisional National Qualifying Standard – Elliott again cleared on her third attempt and Rowlands couldn’t match, leaving Elliott to wear the gold. That performance also moves the freshman to #2 on CNU’s All-Time List.
Back on the track, Laurie Murphy (Louisa, VA) ran a smart race to run down Methodist’s hard-charging Kristy Zeiler for a 5:12.19 victory. That PR moves her to #2 in CNU History. Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA) was disappointed with her 6th place 5:30.30, but made amends later. Ashley Doerner (Fairfax Station, VA) made a huge drop to PR in 6:14.08.
Jacobs and Hansen returned to the jumps runway and again placed 2nd and 3rd. Jacobs bounced to a near-PR 10.90m/35-9.25 and Hansen landed a 10.71m/35-1.75. In the Shot Put, Christine Hood (Yorktown, VA) added nearly three feet to her best with an 8.62m/28-3.5, but the Captains were uncharacteristically shut out of points in the event.
Hansen then lined up for her first track event in the fast heat of the 400m. She chased Methodist’s Ruby Blackwell to a breakthrough PR 57.88 – a National Qualifier and #4 All-Time for CNU. Kristen Bell (Vienna, VA) placed 5th in 1:01.25. After the men’s races and the finals of the 55m Dash, Hansen was on the line again for the 800m final. As a heavy favorite in the longer race, she simply waited until the final lap to run away with the gold (2:22.96). Michelle Stauffer (Fort Valley, VA) grabbed 6th place in 2:30.68.
In the 200m, Cheria Jackson had her best performance of the day. With Methodist entering the meet claiming the top five times, Jackson was left to race the penultimate section of the timed finals. She left her competitors half a second in arrears, crossing the line in 26.46 seconds – a half-second PR and #10 on the CNU All-Time List. Methodist could only get two under that standard in the final section. Kristen Bell and Olivia Green also earned significant PRs at 27.26 and 28.22, respectively.
The last individual race gave Jade Zaharoff her chance for redemption and she took it. Zaharoff rolled steady splits throughout the 5,000m race and made a 14 second PR 19:03.71 look easy, finishing 4th. That time improved her standing as CNU’s #6 All-Time in the event. While Laurie Murphy gamely tried to overcome flu-like symptoms to double back from the Mile, she was unable to finish. Zaharoff finished her day with an anchor run on the Distance Medley Relay, cruising the 1600m leg in 5:33.7 on short rest.
In between, the Captains and the Methodist Monarchs put on another great battle in the 4x400m Relay. Kristen Bell opened with a 62.8 leg followed by Michelle Stauffer’s 64.1. Cheria Jackson pulled up on the Monarchs with her fastest indoor split by 3 seconds – 61.1 – and turned the baton over to Dira Hansen. Hansen pulled the Captains to a season best 4:05.53, but could not quite catch Methodist.
In the final scoring, Methodist totaled 138 points to CNU’s 123. Salisbury was third at 55 points. Dira Hansen was the meet’s overall top scorer, contributing 35 points. Brittany Jacobs was the #2 field event scorer with her 16 point contribution.
The multitude of season bests moved the Captains to #1 in the South/Southeast Region in both the USTFCCCA Computer Rankings and the Dual Meet Rankings.
For complete CNU Results, check out the Results Page.