Three EMU Freshmen Set to Take on National Competition
Provided by EMU
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) - Three freshmen members of the Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team will compete against the nation's best athletes in their age group at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 19-23. Jeff Elam (Latrobe, Pa.-Greater Latrobe Senior), Jason Ervin (Farmington Hill, Mich.-Farmington) and Anthony Jones (Sandusky, Ohio-Sandusky) will be in action at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
All three EMU athletes will compete Friday, June 21. Jones will be the first Eagle to take on the field in the hammer throw beginning at 1 p.m.. Ervin will take the track at 2:15 p.m. in the 400-meter dash while his teammate, Elam, will run in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles at 3:25 p.m.. While Jones will already participate in the finals, Ervin and Elam will look to qualify for the finals in their respective races.
"This is a great opportunity for these young men to see competition at a national level and represent their school proudly," noted EMU Men's Track and Field Assistant Coach Steven Manz.
Top track and field athletes from across the nation, ages 16-19, will converge on "Track Central USA" for the 2013 junior championships with hopes of earning a spot to compete for Team USA in Medellin, Colombia, Aug. 23-25. For the three Eagles, all 19 years-old, it will be their last opportunity to participate at the junior level.
Elam put together four top-five finishes in the 400-meter hurdles during his debut season at EMU. The Latrobe, Pa. native took second on his home track, Olds/Marshall Track, at the EMU Twilight, April 19-20. He ran a career-best 52.87 in the prelims at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, May 9-11, en route to a sixth-place finish in the finals with a time of 53.19.
Claiming a victory in both the indoor as well as the outdoor campaign, Ervin also took runner-up in a pair of 400-meter dash races in his freshman season. In the first event of his collegiate career, the Farmington Hill, Mich. native flew past the competition in 49.00 at the Eagle Holiday Meet, Dec. 7. He also won the Toledo Invitational, May 3, crossing the finish line in 48.15. Like Elam, Ervin's personal record came in the prelims at the MAC Outdoor Championships where his time of 47.99 qualified him for the finals, leading to a seventh-place showing.
Elam and Ervin earned First Team All-MAC accolades during the indoor season. At the MAC Indoor Championships on Bob Parks Track, Feb. 22-23, the duo represented half of the 4x400-meter relay team that not only won an individual conference title, but also clinched the Eagles' 14th indoor team conference championship in the past 18 seasons.
Jones improved throughout his freshman year in the hammer throw. His best finish on the podium came at the Lyle Bennett Open, April 26, with a fourth-place toss of 163-feet 3-inches (49.77 meters). Jones set a career-best in his final meet of the season, throwing the hammer 172-feet 8-inches (52.64 meters) at the MAC Outdoor Championships for seventh place.