Duo Repeats as Top ODAC Track Athletes
LC’s Bell, RC’s Graves Tabbed Best thru Indoor, Outdoor Competition
FOREST, Va. --- A pair of familiar and highly
decorated student-athletes collected the final athletic awards of
the 2011-12 campaign. Roanoke College’s Carmen Graves
and Lynchburg College’s James Bell were named the ODAC Track
& Field Athletes of the Year for the second straight season in
a vote of the league’s coaches. Bell earned the honor
outright in 2011 while Graves shared her accolade with LC’s
Jessica Gibbs a year ago.
Graves, a junior from Christiansburg, Va., has put together a banner third year at Roanoke. A two sport athlete (soccer), Graves earned All-American status twice at the NCAA Division III indoor and outdoor championships, won ODAC Athlete of the Meet honors at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets, and was named the South/Southeast Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Outdoors, Graves placed fourth at the NCAA championships with a time of 2:08.45 in the 800-meter run. She won that event and two others amongst the five she participated in at the conference meet. She captured crowns in the 800-meter (2:17.57) and 1,500-meter (4:43.08) runs, and joined teammates Hope Flomo, Rachel Dellehunt and Sarah Witt in winning the 4x400-meter relay (3:58.71). She also placed third in both the long (5.11 meters) and triple (10.81 meters) jumps. Her times in the 1,500 and 4x400 set new ODAC championship records.
Indoors, Graves posted a time of 2:13.93 to place third in the 800-meter run at the NCAA championships. During the preliminary heats, she stopped the watches in 2:11.77, which set the facility record at host Grinnell College. Graves’ success began at the ODAC championships where she won the 400-meter dash (58.78) and 800-meter run (2:20.18). She also placed second in the triple jump (11.05 meters) and third in the long jump (5.21 meters).
Bell, a senior from Huddleston, Va., earned All-America honors for the second time in as many years at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the decathlon. Starting 17th after the first five events, Bell stormed back to place third overall in the 10-event discipline with a personal-best 6,742 points.
At the ODAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Bell won a pair of a events, including the high jump with a leap of 1.95 meters. He also catapulted himself to the pole vault title by clearing 4.65 meters. He went on to finish second in the 110-meter hurdles (15.21) and seventh in the discus (34.54 meters).
The pole vault again proved a winner for Bell at the ODAC Indoor Track Championships as he eclipsed 4.40 meters to help Lynchburg to a 1-2-3 finish in the event. He also placed eighth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.98 seconds. Bell graduates from Lynchburg as a two-time All-American and a nine-time ODAC event champion.
For more information on both athletes, visit the Lynchburg College and Roanoke College athletic websites. For more on ODAC indoor and outdoor track, visit the ODAC’s home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.
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