RC’s Graves named Athlete of the Week after meet in Ohio

SALEM – The Roanoke College men’s and women’s Track & Field squads competed in the Marietta (Ohio) College Open last Saturday with nine colleges competing from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Maroons recorded nine first-place and eight second place finishes at the meet.  

Leading the women with a pair of top finishes were junior Carmen Graves, junior Meagan Tolley, and freshman Hope Flomo. Graves had a dominating performance in the 500M (1:18), winning by a margin of 3.5 seconds over second place. She also won the long jump with a jump of 16’7.25.” 

Also performing well in the jumps was Gabe Giersch, who won the high jump with a leap of 4’11.75.”  The Maroons took first and second in the triple jump behind season best performances by Tolley (34’11”) and Brittany Cornett (34’4.25”). In addition to her triple jump victory, Tolley also took fourth-place in the long jump. 

Flomo started the day of with a victory in the 55M (7.50) dash. Freshman teammate Esther Prempeh was not far behind, crossing the finish line in second with a time of 7.62. Flomo completed her day with a second place finish in the 300M (43.43). Jessica Mejia followed closely behind with a time of 44.81 to take second place.               

Leigha Schimmoeller led the way for the distance events by taking first in the 3000M run with as time of 11:48. Also placing in the distance events was Shannin Miksek, with a third place finish in the mile. 

Roanoke hurdles had a solid day in advancing three of the seven competitors to the final heat. Sarah Witt was edged by less than a hundredth of a second to take second. Her time of 9.12 is a season best.  Tolley took third with a season best time of 9.41. Samantha Clowser had six throws in the weight throw over 12-meters (39’4”). Her best was 12.50 meters (41′) good for fourth place.    

Colton Linton led the male sprinters with several strong races. The senior won the 300M by over a second in 37.46 and also placed sixth in the finals of the 55-meter dash(6.80). Sophomore Tucker Cunningham raced to a 3rd place finish in the 300 (38.89 seconds) and had two impressive races in the hurdles. In the trials of the 55 hurdles, Cunningham ran 8.14, and then ran 8.07 to take first in the finals. Chase Board claimed fourth in the 300 meters (39.47).    

Junior Jed Curtis also scored in the 55M hurdles.  Crossing the line in 8.39 in the trials, Curtis advanced to the finals and placed third in 8.28. In the final event of the day, Curtis leaped 5’11.5” for second in the high jump. 

In the mid-distance events, Caleb Bledsoe experienced his first college victory.  The freshman won the 500 meters in 1:09.48, while his teammate Board crossed the line in third, two seconds later. Bledsoe and Board joined Cunningham and Linton for the 4 X 400 meter relay in the final track race of the day. The maroon quartet placed second (3:34), with Bledsoe recording the fastest split.

The Maroons had several strong performances in the distance races.  AJ Bernstein raced well in his first mile of the season; his 4:32 placed him second, only a few seconds off his indoor best. Tim Smith also had a runner-up finish in the 5000 meters, crossing the line in 15:54.

For her efforts, junior Graves was named ODAC Athlete of the Week in Women’s Indoor Track. It is the second time she has recieved this weekly honor for indoor track and field.

The Maroons will return to action on January 18th, as they travel to Lynchburg to compete in the Hornet Challenge at Lynchburg College. That meet is scheduled to begin at 5:30 pm.