Junior Isabel Saridakis became the first-ever Emory All-American in the pole vault on Thursday as the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships got underway at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Saridakis set a new personal-best mark as she finished fifth overall in the event with a height of 3.90m. Her finals mark topped her previous school record mark of 3.83m she registered at the UAA Championships in April as she became the first All-American, man or woman, to reach the podium in the event.
In addition to Saridakis, the Eagles advanced to the finals in all four track events the team competed in on the afternoon.
The 4x100m Relay consisting of seniors Dilys Osei, Dani Bland, sophomore Rebekah Bondi and freshman Hannah Lansberry began the day on a high note, posting the fastest qualifying time as they clocked in with a school-record time of 46.55. Their time breezed past the previous school record of 46.87 set by Jasmine McCullough, Alix Dyer, Lauren Attiah, Debora Adjibaba at the 2012 NCAA Championships. They'll enter Saturday's finals with a seed time more than half a second over the rest of the nine-team field.
Bland and Osei each advanced to the finals of their respective individual events on the afternoon with Osei recording the third fastest preliminary time in the 400m Hurdles at 1:01.66 and Bland reaching the 200m Dash finals following her 24.81 time which was the eighth-best time in the 21-person field.
The 4x400m Relay of Bland, Osei, Lansberry and senior Ariana Newhouse rounded out the first day of competition with the second fastest preliminary time at 3:49.01. They will be seeded behind Nebraska Wesleyan's top time of 3:47.60 entering Saturday's final.
Friday's slate of action features Bland and Bondi in the 100m Dash prelims at 3:30pm and on the men's side, freshman Brett Henshey competing in the finals of the high jump at 2:00pm and sophomore Liam Fost in the 400m Dash prelims at 3:15pm.