Alderfer breaks PR to key big day for EMU track & field
With Saturday’s Keydet Invitational in Lexington, being the first event for any EMU team in 10 months, the Royals were ready to go. Of the five races run by EMU athletes, one was a PR and the other four were easily within reaching distance. Given that track is a sport where times often peak late in the season, big possibilities are on the horizon.
Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) made a huge splash in his first race of the new year, destroying his PR in the mile. Running in the first heat of the event, Alderfer won the race by more than 17 seconds. His time of 4:16.80 was 9.40 seconds better than his previous best of 4:26.20. Tyler Denlinger set EMU’s record at 4:14.68 in 2017. Overall, Alderfer finished third at the meet in a field of 20 runners, many of whom were D-I athletes.
He followed that up with a good effort in the 800m, again taking third. Alderfer clocked in at 1:55.48, just 0.16 second off the winner and 0.51 off his EMU-record PR of 1:54.97.
Junior Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) won his heat of the 200m and was the top D-III finisher. His time of 23.03 put him fifth overall out of 12 runners. He was also the top D-III runner in the 60m with a time of 7.31. Johnson missed his PR by 0.03 and was tied for 10th overall.
Kendra Oguamena (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) had a great start to her second collegiate campaign. Running in the fastest heat of the 60m dash, Oguamena was just off her PR with a time of 8.26. Her previous best was 8.22. She was the lone D-III athlete in the 18-woman field.
“Kendra, Isaac and Alijah far exceeded expectations after not competing in 10 months and only having a few days of structured practice,” EMU coach Bob Hepler said. “Alijah and Kenda both came within .03 seconds of PRing in the 60. Isaac had a 10-second PR in the mile which put him No. 1 in the country by more than four seconds. He followed up with another strong performance in the 800. Third in both events against mostly D-I competition! Alijah finished our day with another solid 200 meters. Their hard work during the fall and Christmas break should be an inspiration to all EMU athletes.”
The Royals have next weekend off before heading to the Roanoke Invitational Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 30.
60m: Kendra Oguamena, 14th – 8.26 (only D-III)