EMU - Women’s Track and Field Opens Season with Big Victory at GVSU Holiday Open

EMU - Women’s Track and Field Opens Season with Big Victory at GVSU Holiday Open

Provided by EMU

ALLENDALE, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team opened its 2015-16 season with a big win at the Grand Valley State University Holiday Open, Dec. 4, in Allendale, Mich. The Eagles came out on top overall with 133.5 points, well ahead of second-place Mid-American Conference opponent Bowling Green. The team was highlighted by junior Alsu Bogdanova (Kazan, Russia - Lyceum #83), who in her first track and field meet for the Green and White, blazed through the 5000-meter run and managed to turn in the fastest time in program history.

Overall, the team took home top-honors in three events on the day. Bogdanova's new EMU record in the 5000m clocked in at a time of 16:24.72, besting the previous record set by sophomore Jordann McDermitt (Davison, Mich. - Davison). Bogdanova's time was nearly three seconds quicker than the previous record. With her new spot in the record books, she not only jumped McDermitt, but also fellow Russian Victoria Voronko, who maintains the third spot at 16:28.60. Bogdanova looks to be an early MAC contendor in the event, as she would have won the 5000m last year by a whopping 22 seconds. McDermitt would have also broken her own record, as she turned in a personal best 16:25.92. A number of Eagles turned in career bests on the day, in addition to many freshmen opening the lid on their EMU careers.

The Eagles began the day with the 60m dash, as freshman Jessica Harris and seniors Aaliyah McKinney (South Bend, Ind. - John Adams), and Morgan Yeadon (Indianapolis, Ind. - Pike) qualified to the finals. There, Harris nabbed the silver, as she crossed the finish line in 7.66. After the 60m dash, Yeadon turned in a top performance in the 200m dash, as she claimed second-place honors with a time of 24.95, which was a personal best. Additionally, Harris took the bronze by posting a mark of 25.11. The Eagles had a very good day overall in the 200m, as everyone that ran in the event dash set a personal record.

McKinney then ran in the 300m for the first time in her career, taking top honors with a time of 40.11 and narrowly edging out the second-place finisher by nearly a quarter of a second. From there, the team then ran in the 400m dash, with sophomore Jasmine Jones (Greensburg, Pa. - Hempfield Area), junior Khadesha James, and senior Iesha Hardiman (Santa Clara, Calif. - Adrian Wilcox) taking home fifth, seventh, and ninth-place honors, respectively. Jones also set a new personal record, beating her previous best by nearly a second. Junior Dayna Hurd (Carson, Calif. - Carson) and sophomore Chante Roberts (Lansing, Mich. / Waverly) turned in top-five times in the 600m run, with Hurd taking second in 1:38.97 and Roberts placing fourth with a time of 1:42.01, marking the first time that she has run the 600m.

The lone Eagle finisher in the 800m run was sophomore Rebekah Branham (Circleville, Ohio - Circleville), who took 11th with a time of 2:21.08. In the mile, all three Eagle runners had career bests, as sophomores Jenna Wyns (Londerzeel, Belgium / Sportschol KA2) and Claire Mesa (Rockford, Ill. - Rockford Lutheran), as well as senior Rebecca Quaintance (White Lake, Mich. / Walled Lake Northern) took fourth, sixth, and eighth-places, respectively. Wyns crossed the finish line in 4:55.79, with Mesa clocking in at 5:03.93 and Quaintance shortly thereafter. Moving to the 3000m run, senior Sofie Gallein (Gits, Belgium - University of Leuven) took fifth-place honors with a time of 9:42.93. In the 5000m, Bogdanova set the new program standard with a time of 16:24.72, with McDermitt just behind her at 16:25.92. Sophomore Danielle Bentzley (Birmingham, Mich. - Seaholm) and senior Amy Frauhammer (Saline, Mich. - Saline) also ran in the race, taking 20th and 22nd, respectively.

The Green and White had three individuals qualify to the 60m hurdles finals, as freshman Ayanna O'Neal (Cincinnati, Ohio - Withrow University), senior Maya Carter (Racine, Wis. - Case), and sophomore Tifani Byrd (Toms River, N.J. / Toms River North) all turned in very good performances. O'Neal took home the gold with a time of 8.70, while Carter nabbed third in 8.82, a new personal record. The Eagles also took home top-honors in the 4x400m relay, with the team of Carter, Jones, James, and Hardiman crossing the finish line in 3:53.04, less than a second ahead of the next team.

Junior Kristina Coyne (Pittsburgh, Pa. - Chartiers Valley) led the Green and White in the high jump, as she took third with a mark of 1.68 meters/5 feet 6 inches, setting a new personal best. The duo of senior Ellie Braidic (Pandora, Ohio - Pandora-Gilboa) and junior Janina Pollatz (Grandville, Mich. - Grand Rapids Christian) nabbed both third-place and fifth-place with marks of 3.90 meters/12 feet 9.5 inches and 3.70 meters/ 12 feet 1.5 inches. Braidic's mark currently sits at the seventh-best in program history, jumping Pollatz's previous mark of 12 feet 8.75 inches.

The long jump was highlighted by sophomore Dace Dreimane (Ventspils, Latvia - Ventspils Gymnasium No. 1), who placed fourth with a mark of 5.52 meters/ 18 feet 1.5 inches. Rounding out the events for the Eagles was the weight throw, with freshman Jada Taylor beginning her EMU career with a bang. She posted a mark of 14.83 meters/ 48 feet 8 inches, which moves her into sixth all-time in the EMU program. Taylor looks to be a strong asset for the Eagles this season after getting off to a great start.

"I think that it was a solid start to our season," remarked Head Coach Sue Parks. "We looked good in some areas and rusty in some areas, which is typical for this time of the year. But it was great to see everyone out there competing and we hope to use these performances as a starting point to build on for the rest of the season. We know what we need to work on now and that will help us prepare for the rest of the season. It will be great to get in six weeks of solid work before our next competition."

The team's next meet does not come until Jan. 15 when the Eagles will return to Allendale for the Eubanks Open. Following their second trip to Grand Valley, the Eagles will host the EMU Triangular, Jan. 23.

EMU Individual Results (* signifies a personal record, # denotes EMU record, Q is a finals qualifying mark)

60m Dash prelims

2. McKinney, Aaliyah 7.67Q

5. Yeadon, Morgan 7.75Q

6. Harris, Jessica 7.77Q

23. Baker, Sundasia 8.06*

60m Dash

2. Harris, Jessica 7.66*

4. McKinney, Aaliyah 7.70

5. Yeadon, Morgan 7.71

200m Dash

2. Yeadon, Morgan 24.95*

3. Harris, Jessica 25.11*

14. O'Neal, Ayanna 26.39*

16. Baker, Sundasia 26.66*

27. Byrd, Tifani 27.42*

33. Uy, Natalie 27.84*

300m Dash

1. McKinney, Aaliyah 40.11*

400m Dash

5. Jones, Jasmine 57.40*

7. James, Khadesha 57.72*

9. Hardiman, Iesha 57.92

18. Burrell, Emiesha 1:00.02*

600m Run

2. Hurd, Dayna 1:38.97

4. Roberts, Chante 1:42.01*

800m Run

11. Branham, Rebekah 2:21.08

Mile Run

4. Wyns, Jenna 4:55.79*

6. Mesa, Claire 5:03.93*

8. Quaintance, Rebecca 5:12.20*

3000m Run

5. Gallein, Sofie 9:42.93

22. Aldrich, Anna 10:37.21

25. Wallace, Leah 11:22.72*

5000m Run

3. Bogdanova, Alsu 16:24.72*#

5. McDermitt, Jordann 16:25.92*

20, Bentzley, Danielle 17:36.81*

22. Frauhammer, Amy 17:43.86

60m Hurdles prelims

2. O'Neal, Ayanna 8.80Q

4. Carter, Maya 8.93Q

6. Byrd, Tifani 9.01Q

11. Uy, Natalie 9.22

14. Carr, Rebekah 9.53*

60m Hurdles finals

1. O'Neal, Ayanna 8.70*

3. Carter, Maya 8.82*

7. Byrd, Tifani 9.03

4x400m Relay

1. Carter, Jones, James, Hardiman 3:53.04

7. Hurd, Burrell, Carr, Branham 4:01.83

High Jump

3. Coyne, Kristina 1.68m/5-06.00*

17. Carr, Rebekah 1.50m/4-11.00*

Pole Vault

3. Braidic, Ellie 3.90m/12-09.50

5. Pollatz, Janina 3.70m/12-01.50

Long Jump

4. Dreimane, Dace 5.52m/18-01.50

13. Pollatz, Janina 5.08m/16-08.00

15. Daniels, Alexis 4.91m/16-01.50*

18. Coyne, Kristina 4.83m/15-10.25

24. Threatt, Tericka 4.18m/13-08.75

Weight Throw

15. Taylor, Jada 14.83m/48-08.00*

27. Briggs, Reagan 12.76m/41-10.50