Emory’s track and field team sent a number of athletes to the VertKlasse Meeting held at High Point University (N.C.) this past weekend. This type of event is unique given that it tends to put a small number of top level athletes against each other. Despite the high level of competition, several Eagles still managed to shine. Head Coach John Curtin said that the event, the first away event of the outdoor track season, offered its fair share of obstacles.

“Not only was this our first away meet of the season, but it was a long trip as well,” Curtin said. “The conditions, especially the wind, made it a really tough event to run well at. Some events we did better than others in, and those tended to be the ones earlier in the day, when the weather was better.”

On the women’s side, senior Julie Williamson placed ninth in the 800m run with a time of 2:13.99. Her time was the sixth fastest in Emory’s history. Sophomore Gabrielle Stravach also competed in the 800m and finished 14th overall. Several other Eagles also posted season-best marks including freshmen Abigail Hotaling and Paris Wagner and sophomore Valerie Linck. Hotaling placed seventh overall in the 3,000m Steeplechase thanks to her 11:26.72 time. Wagner’s throw of 34.04m in the discus earned her 27th place, and Linck finished 26th with a distance of 11.44m in the shot put. Freshman Amanda Martin placed fourth in the 5,000m run with a time of 18:06.30. Freshman Dani Bland ran the best 100m dash for Emory, earning 16th place with a time of 12.30. While Curtin was impressed with all his athletes, but especially so with Hotaling’s.

“Given all the things working against runners at this meet, to run a 12-second personal best is fantastic,” Curtin said. “She ran very well and smart, but most of all she hurdled extremely well.”

Senior Lukas Mees headlined a solid effort on the men’s side. Mees posted the third fastest time in Emory history in the 3,000m Steeplechase, 9:18.37, which was good enough for third overall. Sophomore Shane Sullivan ran Emory’s fastest 5,000m this season, with a time of 14:54.34. Sullivan placed fifth in the event. Sophomore Max Brown finished fifth in the 1,500m with a time of 3:59.47. Other notable performances included junior Ian McIsaac’s 16th place finish in the 800m (1:56.75) and sophomore Benjamin Rogin’s 11th and 12th place finishes in the 110m hurdles (15.52) and the 400m hurdles (57.78), respectively. Senior Spencer Koh posted Emory’s season-best distance in the javelin throw (49.97m). Junior Kyle Veator placed 20th in the long jump with a distance of 6.28m, and senior Jack Seigel posted a distance of 44.04m in the discus, which was good enough for 19th.

The Eagles will get back to work when they compete at the Berry Field Day Invitational at Berry College (Ga.) on Saturday, April 9.

“The meet this weekend is really the last chance these kids have to show us something before we choose our UAA [University Athletic Association] travel teams,” Curtin said. “It’s a smaller meet with smaller schools, so we’re really looking for our team to come out perform and well.”

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Special Projects Editor | Jacob Durst is a Goizueta Business School junior from Dallas, Texas double majoring in business and political science. He has been a big sports fan as long as he can remember, and his teams are the Houston Rockets, Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys. He also wants to throw out there that Sports is the best section.