Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar/CMU Athletics
Junior Shawntoreah Turk battles EMU's Asia Rawls to claim the women's 500m dash at Friday's Holiday Eagle Meet in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Turk Blazes to Nation-Best 500m in Season Opener

YPSILANTI, Mich. - Despite competing in just the 2012-13 season opener, a number of student-athletes on the men’s and women’s track and field teams showed mid-season form at the Eagle Holiday Meet Friday evening at Eastern Michigan’s Bowen Fieldhouse.

Junior sprinter Shawntoreah Turk garnered a pair of impressive first-place performances for a women’s team that finished second overall with 92 points, including a nation-best time in the 500m dash, while senior thrower Alex Rose scored a win and a runner-up finish to lead the men to a second-place team finish with 90 points. Neither team was at full strength, missing most of the throwers and distance runners.

Turk won the 500m dash in a tentative nation-best 1:13.55, according to's most recent results, beating out Asia Rawls, EMU’s school record holder in the event, by three-tenths of a second. She was just a half-second away from breaking the fastest time in Bowen Fieldhouse history, held since 1985.

As of midnight on Saturday, Dec. 8, Turk's time - not yet listed on TFRRS, as results from other meets may not also be - bests Notre Dame's Megan Yanik's 1:13.60.

For an encore in the 4x400m relay, Turk brought her team back on the anchor leg from approximately a five-meter deficit behind EMU to claim the relay with a time of 3:53.36, more than a second faster than the runner-up Eagles. Sophomores Ravyn Baxter and Bridget Doughty and junior Kelsey Ritter teamed with Turk for the victory.

Rose, an outdoor All-American in 2011, won the shot put with a mark of 54-08.75 and finished second in the weight throw - an event in which Rose had not previously competed - with a heave of 53-01. 

“We had some solid performances and some very competitive performances, and that's exactly what we wanted in this opening meet,” director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. “We're heading home knowing that we did some good things together as a group, knowing that we have to work on maintaining what we showed today and improving upon it heading into mid-January.”

Senior Kayla Brindley finished runner-up in the women’s shot put with a mark of 41-0.5. Rose and Brindley were the only two throwers who competed for the Chippewas, and only three distance runners suited up for the Chippewas.

Sophomore Dee Smith set a new career-best en route to winning the men’s long jump with a mark of 23-00.75. Freshman Craig Mauldin finished runner-up in 21-06.75, and also third in the triple jump.

On the women’s side, freshman Shaya Wilkerson won the women’s triple jump with a mark of 38-03.5 in her first collegiate competition.

Junior sprinter Ross Parsons crossed the line second in the 60m dash, clocking in at 6.95, just barely edging out teammate junior Ryan Brooks who finished with an identical 6.95 mark. Parsons and Brooks teamed with juniors Clay Holman and Parker Scott to form the runner-up 4x400m relay team.

Freshman Matt Mueller finished runner-up in his first collegiate high jump competition with a mark of 6-05.75. Fellow freshman Micaela Conter finished runner-up in the women’s pole vault competition, clearing a height of 11-11.75.

The Chippewa triumvirate of juniors Samantha Stein and Megan Heffner and freshman Marsielle McBeam finished tied for second in the women’s high jump with a height of 5-05.

The Chippewas are on competition hiatus until the CMU Open on Friday, Jan. 11 at the Jack Skoog Indoor Track Bay.