This past weekend at the Navy Invitational, the AU men’s and women’s track teams set numerous personal best times, including three Eagles qualifying for the NCAA regional meet at the end of the season.
The men’s side was paced by seniors Dustin Emrani and Brendan Fennell, as well as sophomore Carlos Jamieson, who were able to run well enough to post an NCAA-qualifying time in their respective events.
Emrani, the 2007 PL 800 meter indoor champion, ran a 52-second 400 meter split before cruising home with a 1:49.70, a few hundredths of a second off of his personal best time.
“Dustin was going to give a regional standard effort no matter the weather,” Coach Matt Centrowitz told AUEagles.com. “Even if he had to run 1:55 in a windstorm. He took the lead from the gun and led the whole way. He looked very strong the last 100 meters.”
Fellow Eagle, senior Awit Johannes, finished third in the event with a time of 1:54.20, the tenth fastest time in school history. It was the first time that Johannes had competed in the 800 meter race this season.
In the 1500 meter event, Fennell and Jamieson worked together to push themselves toward qualifying times. Fennell controlled most of the race before Jamieson passed him on the final turn. Fennell would fight back the lead down the homestretch to take the race with a time of 3:45.80; a step ahead of Jamieson’s 3:46.10. The two finished with the third and fourth fastest times in AU history.
Also finishing with personal best times for the men were senior Alex Caudana and freshman Dan King, who had the seventh and ninth fastest times in school history in the 400 meter race. The two finished third and fourth in the event with times of 50.2 and 50.7 seconds respectively.
Junior Cathleen Ford led the way for the women’s team with a second place finish in the 1500 meter race with a time of 4:45.03. Freshman Greta Wicklund and junior Kate Lilley finished fifth and sixth respectively with times of 4:48.90 and 4:49.53. These three times were good enough to place sixth, seventh and eighth on the AU all-time record book.
“Those three ran really well,” Centrowitz said. “It was a little overcrowded with so many girls in the race. The experience they gained will be invaluable to their development.”
Rounding out the day for the Eagles was freshman Mercedes Ball, who finished sixth in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:22.63, good enough for sixth place in the race and ninth all-time at AU.
The Eagles will look to build on their success when they next travel to Annapolis for the Maryland Invitational next Saturday.