Members of the Emory University Track and Field program enjoyed a terrific start to the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships Friday afternoon, advancing to the finals in four events while setting four school records in the process. The track and field national championships are being held at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.
Senior Max Brown was the first Eagle to advance to Saturday, qualifying for the finals in the men's mile. Brown put forth an impressive effort in heat two of the event as he led the pack for the majority of the race before being over taken by Ramapo's Jeremy Hernandez in the closing laps. Brown finished with a school-record time of 4:11.55 and will have the second fastest seed time in Saturday's final. His time broke Rob Leventhal's previous top mark of 4:11.66, set at the 2007 UAA Championships.
Senior Gabrielle Stravach equally turned in a dominating performance in the women's mile, pacing all runners for nearly the entirety of the first heat before finishing third just behind Ohio Northern's Emily Richards and Bethel's Annika Halverson. Stravach finished with the third fastest time in the preliminaries at 4:54.78, smashing her previous program record of 4:57.04.
After just missing the cut for the finals in the 60m Dash, junior Dani Bland bounced back strong in the 200m Dash. Bland posted the first-ever indoor time under the 25-seconds mark in program history, finishing at 24.85 for the fifth fastest preliminary time. Her new program record bested Debora Adjibaba's previous top time of 25.06, set at the 2014 NCAA Championships. Earlier in the afternoon, Bland narrowly missed advancing to the 60m Dash finals by .05 seconds, finishing 13th with a time of 7.78.
And in the 4x400m Relay, the Eagles rounded out the afternoon with authority as Bland, junior Dilys Osei, sophomore Kaitlyn Leonard and senior Erica Goldman threw down the fastest preliminary mark at 3:49.63. Their time was the only mark under 3:50.00 in the field and eclipsed the previous school record of 3:51.35, set at the 2016 UAA Championships.
Saturday's championship slate for the Eagles begins with the men's and women's Mile at 2:50 PM, followed by the 200m Dash at 4:15 PM and the 4x400m relay to close things out at 5:20 PM. All times listed are in Central Standard Time.