Akron Men Claim 2012 MAC Outdoor Championships

Updated 5/12/2012
Complete Results

Courtesy of Akron Sports Information

The University of Akron men's track and field team claimed its second straight Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championship and its fourth consecutive league team title overall Saturday at Lyle Bennett Outdoor Track.

It is the second straight year the Zips have sweept the league's indoor and outdoor championships after doing so for the first time in school history in 2011. UA, which started the day with a 36-point lead over the rest of the conference, jumped out to a big lead Thursday and rode the momentum all weekend.

Unlike Akron wins in the past, however, this year's MAC Championship was not dominated by a large number of winning performances. Instead, it was a true team effort highlighted by several solid contributions that pushed the Zips to the wire-to-wire victory.

As a team, the Zips' men captured four event titles and an equal amount of runner-up finishes to total 171 points and hold off Kent State (148), Central Michigan (136), Eastern Michigan (128), Buffalo (118) and Miami (110).

For the team's achievements, Akron head coach Dennis Mitchell was named MAC Men's Outdoor Coach of the Year for the second straight season. The long-time Zips' coach has now earned league coaching honors 16 times – including eight for the outdoor season – during his 17-year career at UA.

Conversely, the women's day was highlighted by a number of huge individual performances.

At the top of the list was freshman Alexis Cooks, who was named MAC Women's Most Outstanding Field Performer after winning the discus with a school-record throw of 179-10. The mark shattered the previous standard of 176-06, originally set by Valerie Fraizer (Wert) in 2010, and won the event by more than 22 feet.

In all, Cooks scored in three events at the championship meet. The Colorado-native also placed eighth in the hammer throw Thursday (167-03) and took third in the shot put Friday (49-10.50).

Also grabbing the spotlight was the pole vault duo of sophomore Ariane Beamont-Courteau and freshman Claire Lucas, who swept the top two spots. Beaumont-Courteau took the event title with a jump of 13-04.50 while Lucas achieved a personal record with a clearance of 12-08.25.

Another top performer on the day was junior Brittany Cheese, who came fractions of a second shy of breaking the school record in the 100-meter hurdles. Cheese finished third overall despite crossing the line in 13.78, which is second only to Jessica Bright's all-time mark of 13.75, set in 2007.

As a team, the Zips' women finished seventh with 68.50 points. Kent State, which won the 2012 MAC Indoor Championship, completed a season sweep of its own by taking the outdoor title with 134.33 points in a tight finish with Toledo, which finish with 132 points.

The Akron men's team built up a sizeable heading into Saturday's action but saw it shrink quickly as Kent State closed the gap with a 2-3-4 finish in the triple jump. But the Zips bounced back by picking up 12 points from their 1,500-meters group, comprised of Brad Hough (3:51.28), Zachary Goulet (3:51.52) and Nick Stroemple (3:51.73), who finished 4-5-6, respectively, and never looked back. Both Goulet's and Stroemple's marks represented personal bests.

Another big event for the Zips Saturday was the men's high jump, which saw Jakob Leon tie for second with a personal-record clearance of 6-09.50 and Martel Durant grab fifth place with an impressive mark of 6-08.00.

Additionally, it was a big day for Dominique Watson, who tallied 11 team points with a third-place finish in the 100-meters (10.65) and a fourth-place finish in the 200-meters (21.47). Also medaling was Gabriel Genovesi, who took third in the 800-meters (1:52.03), and J'Lani Pryce, who did the same in the 400-meter hurdles (52.83).

In all, it has been an exceptional turnaround for the men's team, which had 13 straight seasons (1993-2005) of finishing no better than fifth at the outdoor championship. Since 2006, the Zips' men have finished third or better each year while winning four of the last five team titles (including a runner-up finish in 2010) overall.

Men's Final Team Standings (Through 21 Scored Events)
1. Akron - 171
2. Kent State - 148
3. Central Michigan - 136
4. Eastern Michigan - 128
5. Buffalo - 118
6. Miami - 110

Women's Final Team Standings (Through 21 Scored Events)
1. Kent State - 134.33
2. Toledo - 132
3. Western Michigan - 108
4. Miami - 82
5. Eastern Michigan - 78.33
6. Buffalo - 72
7. Akron - 68.50
8. Northern Illinois - 55.33
9. Central Michigan - 48
10. Ball State - 22
11. Ohio - 17.50
12. Bowling Green - 1

2012 Women's Outstanding Track Performer: Iris Campbell, Western Michigan
2012 Men's Outstanding Track Performer: Jahquil Hargrove, Miami
2012 Women's Outstanding Field Performer: Alexis Cooks, Akron
2012 Men's Outstanding Field Performer: Ryan McCullough, Central Michigan
2012 MAC Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year: Bill Lawson, Kent State
2012 MAC Men's Outdoor Coach of the Year: Dennis Mitchell, Akron
2012 MAC Women's Outdoor Most Valuable Performer: Emma Kertesz, Toledo
2012 MAC Men's Outdoor Most Valuable Performer: Terefe Ejigu, Eastern Michigan

2012 Women's Track and Field All-MAC First Team
Ariane Beaumont-Courteau, Akron (Pole Vault)
Alexis Cooks, Akron (Discus)
Brittany Funk, Akron (Hammer)
Thekla Lorenz, Ball State (Heptathlon)
Anna Holmes, Buffalo (400 H)
Beverly Elcock, Eastern Michigan (800 M)
Penina Acayo, Kent State (Triple Jump)
Roseanne Erickson, Kent State (Long Jump)
Joh'vonnie Mosley, Kent State (Shot Put)
Sara Oczypok, Kent State (Javelin)
Layne Baggett, Miami (100 H)
Kelley Miller, Miami (1500 M)
Rasheta Butler, Northern Illinois (4X100)
Roneisha Frye, Northern Illinois (4X100)
Chanel Kellyman, Northern Illinois (4X100)
Janay Mitchell, Northern Illinois (100 M, 4X100)
Ari Fisher, Toledo (10000 M)
Huijun Jing, Toledo (High Jump)
Emma Kertesz, Toledo (Steeplechase, 5000 M)
Andrea Arnold, Western Michigan (4X400)
Iris Campbell, Western Michigan (200 M, 4X400)
Victoria Chatman, Western Michigan (400 M, 4X400)
Leya Munwam, Western Michigan (4X400)

2012 Women's Track and Field All-MAC Second Team
Claire Lucas, Akron (Pole Vault)
Milica Kulidzan, Central Michigan (Javelin)
Lydia Gomez-Diaz, Eastern Michigan (Hammer)
ReJeana Marigna, Eastern Michigan (100 M, 4X400)
Asia Rawls, Eastern Michigan (400 H, 4X400)
Shantavia Williams, Eastern Michigan (400 M, 4X400)
Keri Dantley, Kent State (Triple Jump)
Shanequa Williams, Kent State (200 M)
Alexandra Roberts, Miami (Shot Put)
Ashley Zaper, Miami (Heptathlon)
Roneisha Frye, Northern Illinois (100 H)
Mackenzie Chojnacky, Toledo (Steeplechase)
Kiah Douglas, Toledo (Long Jump)
Julie Snyder, Toledo (High Jump)
Megan Vogelsong, Toledo (10000 M)
Megan Wright, Toledo (1500 M)
Rebecca Hall, Western Michigan (4X100)
Andrea Hiler, Western Michigan (Discus)
Aisha Hodge, Western Michigan (800 M)

2012 Men's Track and Field All-MAC First Team
Bryan Jones, Akron (Decathlon)
Shawn Light, Akron (Pole Vault)
Joe McCoy, Akron (Steeplechase)
Tyshaun Peoples, Akron (Long Jump)
Rob Golabek, Buffalo (Shot Put)
Miles Lewis, Buffalo (200 M)
John Strickland, Buffalo (High Jump)
Ryan McCullough, Central Michigan (Hammer)
Brandon Post, Central Michigan (400 H)
Alex Rose, Central Michigan (Discus)
Terefe Ejigu, Eastern Michigan (10000 M, 5000 M)
Josh George, Eastern Michigan (800 M)
Cole Sanseverino, Eastern Michigan (1500 M)
Donald Scott, Eastern Michigan (Triple Jump)
Brandon Bailey, Kent State (4X100, 4X400)
Princeton Bryson, Kent State (4X100, 100 M)
Dillon Corbett, Kent State (4X400)
Miles Dunlap, Kent State (4X100)
Robert Robbins, Kent State (Javelin)
Cody Seifert, Kent State (4X100)
Joshua Schmidt, Kent State (4X400)
Jacob Swords, Kent State (4X400)
JaShawn Combs, Miami (110 H)
Jahquil Hargrove, Miami (400 M)

2012 Men's Track and Field All-MAC Second Team
Nicholas Banke, Akron (Shot Put)
Eric Hubbard, Akron (Hammer)
Jakob Leon, Akron (High Jump)
Joe Wesley, Akron (Pole Vault)
Tomarris Bell, Buffalo (4X100)
Andre Britton, Buffalo (4X100, 200 M)
William Cole, Buffalo (400 H)
Ed Young, Buffalo (4X100)
Corey Knox, Buffalo (Discus)
Cory Noeker, Central Michigan (110 H)
Cameron Bolton, Eastern Michigan (4x400)
Harry Dixon, Eastern Michigan (10000 M)
Chris Hall, Eastern Michigan (4x400)
Grzegorz Kalinowski, Eastern Michigan (1500 M)
Jairus Saunders, Eastern Michigan (4x400)
Chris Scott, Eastern Michigan (4x400)
Daryl Smith, Eastern Michigan (Steeplechase)
Kenneth Agee, Kent State (High Jump)
Rob Falchi, Kent State (Long Jump, Triple Jump)
Brian Florek, Kent State (Javelin)
Michael Heller, Kent State (5000 M)
Kevin Brown, Miami (800 M)
Jordan Goffena, Miami (Decathlon)