MAC Track and Field Weekend Preview

Updated 1/11/2013

Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments 

AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron men's and women's track and field teams will open the 2013 indoor season in Ypsilanti, Mich., Friday at the Eastern Michigan University Triangular.
The scored team competition will be held in Bowen Field House with field events starting at 4 p.m., followed by running events at 6 p.m. The Zips will compete against men's and women's teams from the host Eagles as well as Buffalo.
Live stats for the meet will provided by EMU Athletics and can be viewed here.
It will mark the first of two trips to EMU for Akron, as the Eagles will host the 2013 Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in February.
For the Zips men's team, it will also mark the start of their MAC Indoor title defense. Led by five individual conference champions and two championship relay teams, UA captured its second consecutive MAC Indoor team crown last winter and went on to sweep the league's indoor and outdoor titles in 2012 for the second straight year.
Headlining the list of returning MAC Indoor champions on the men's side are Daryl Baptiste, who was the league's Most Outstanding Field Performer last February after winning the long jump and triple jump titles, and Gabriel Genovesi, who was the league's Most Outstanding Track Performer after winning the 800-meters and contributing to the Zips' championship 4x400 and distance medley relay teams.
Friday night will also signify the official debut of highly-touted freshman pole vaulter Shawn Barber, who is the national high school record holder, and the return of 2011 MAC decathlon champion Bjorn Johannsson, who missed the 2012 campaign due to injury. 
Conversely, the Akron women's team will be looking to improve on their eighth-place finish at the league championship meet in 2012. The Zips women will be led by returning MAC champions Ariane Beaumont-Courteau (outdoor pole vault), Alexis Cooks (outdoor discus), Brittany Funk (outdoor hammer) and veteran Brittany Cheesewhile looking for more contributions from their young roster.
UA will be bolstered by return of pole vaulter Katherine Lee, who missed the 2012 indoor campaign due to injury. The fifth-year senior earned All-America Second Team honors after placing 15th in the pole vault (13-01.50) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2011.
MUNCIE, Ind. - - After a little over a month since opening the 2012-13 season at the Hoosier Open (Dec. 7), the Ball State indoor track & field team returns to action Saturday when it travels to Bowling Green, Ohio, for the 2013 BGSU Opener at the Perry Field House.
Competition in the field events gets underway at 11 a.m., while track events are slated to start at noon. Joining the Cardinals and Falcons in the meet are MAC foes Western Michigan and Toledo as well as non-conference opponents Dayton and IPFW. A live stats link will be provided shortly before
In its 2012-13 season debut, the Ball State indoor track & field team scored 12 top-five efforts at the Hoosier Open hosted by Indiana. Senior MaryKate Mellen led the way for the Cardinals by kicking off the season with a first-place showing in the 5000m run open race with a career-fast time of 17:41.81. She also placed third in the mile with a time of 5:06.06.
In addition to the team's top-five performances, Ball State's student-athlete were able to post 17 career-best efforts in the opening meet of the season. Below is a complete list of Ball State's top performances this season
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green women’s track and field team will host the BGSU Opener Saturday at Perry Field House. Field events begin at 11 a.m. and running events will begin at noon. Admission for the meet will be $3 for adults and $1 for non-BGSU students with an ID. BGSU students with ID and children 10 and under are admitted free. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan Track and Field teams look to begin 2013 with a strong start this Friday, as they host the CMU Open.
Competing against the Chippewas will be Oakland University, University of Detroit-Mercy, Ferris State University, Marygrove College, Aquinas University and Macomb Community College.
The Chippewas are looking to use this meet to gauge where student-athletes are physically and mentally, in preparation for larger meets coming up. This is the first meet the Chippewas will be fielding a full team, though most athletes will not be competing in their main events.
During the meet, there will be a presentation of the Track and Field supporters and donors who have been influential in the rise of the program. Donors to be recognized are Robin and Mark Thompson, Scott Binder, Bill Thompson and Dr. Anthony and his wife.
The meet will be held at the Jack Skoog Track, located inside the Indoor Athletic Complex. Field events start at 4 p.m., and running events will follow around 6 p.m.
This is the first of two indoor home meets for the Chippewas.
YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team returns to action, ringing in the 2013 calendar year to face the University of Akron and the University at Buffalo inside venerable Bowen Field House Friday, Jan. 11. The scored team competition begins with field events at 4 p.m. followed by running events at 6 p.m.  Admission is free to the public.
“We are pleased to kick off 2013 with a home competition against two MAC rivals,” noted EMU women's track and field Head Coach Sue Parks. “Our athletes always get excited for scored meets, so we expect some quality performances in all areas.”
If EMU's opening victory at the Eagle Holiday Meet was any indication of how the Eagles will perform Friday, then Coach Parks has reason for having high expectations. As host of the five team invitational, the Green and White took first by winning seven events, including four coming via freshmen making their collegiate debuts.
Freshman Brittany Crew took first in the home meet by shattering the school record in the shot put with a toss of 15.58 meters. The previous school record was 14.50 meters by Tammy Stall in 1990. Another school record was nearly broken that evening as Tatijana Jacobson leaped 1.83 meters to win the high jump. Jacobson was only 0.02 meters away from the EMU record set by Ellie Hayden back in 1982.
With Bowen Field House selected as the site of this year's MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Feb. 22-23, the EMU Triangular will serve as a preview of Bob Parks Track for both Akron and Buffalo.
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State indoor track and field team returns to action this weekend when the Golden Flashes host the Doug Raymond Invitational Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Kent State Field House.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. for both track and field events. The women's 5,000-meter run is slated as the first event on the track, while field events will begin with the women's weight throw and women's long jump.
Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children.
The Doug Raymond Invitational honors former Kent State track and field coach Doug Raymond, who mentored the Golden Flashes from 1960-78. During the 1973 indoor season, Raymond guided Kent State to a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. He was named to the Kent State Varsity "K" Hall of Fame in 1988.
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois track & field team returns to the track this Saturday when they head to Champaign, Ill., for the Illini Open.
The meet begins at 10 a.m. with the weight throw, followed by running events starting at 1 p.m. with the sprint preliminaries.
The staff is excited to have the ladies back on the track and competing after the holiday break,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “The Illinois meet will be a great tune up and practice meet for the ladies.  Often, when the athletes go home, their ability to get good training in is minimal due to lack of training facilities. What we expect to see are focused competitors and our results should be favorable at this time of the season.”
The Huskies will be looking to build off their performance from last month, when they notched several top five performances at the Cylcone Holiday Preview Dec. 7 in Ames, Iowa. Freshman Ida Burbullawon the high jump in her collegiate debut with a height of 5-03.75 (1.62m), beating out Drake’s Jaclyn Aremka in a jump-off.
In addition, fellow freshman and LaSalle, Ill., native Ellen Renk placed third in both the long jump and triple jump, while Sidra Sherrill crushed her personal record in the shot put with a mark of 44-11.50 (13.70m) that ranks fifth in the Mid-American Conference.
NIU will be facing several top athletes from area programs. In addition to host Illinois, Saint Louis and Lindenwood will compete inside the historic UI Armory, along with athletes from Butler, Hannibal-Lagrange and Rend Lake.
Western Michigan 
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan track and field team, fresh off a win over Toledo, heads to Bowling Green, Ohio, for the Bowling Green Opener on Saturday.
Field events begin at 11 a.m. followed by the running events at noon at Perry Fieldhouse. The Broncos look to improve after beating Toledo in last week's Ice Breaker dual meet in Kalamazoo.
"It was a typical first meet with a lots of ups and downs but I thought generally we had really good efforts," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "People were trying hard to beat the other people and that is what you are looking for at this point in the season."
The sophomore class did catch coach Lycan's eye on Saturday and will be counted upon again this weekend, when they man the "A" crew on the 4x400 meter relay. 
"They have been talking a little bit and getting a little cocky in practice," explained Lycan on the squad of Rebecca Hall, Lindsey Hufnagel, Alexis Hull and Kathryn Pickett. "So I gave them the "A" team distinction this week to see if they can back up the talk but so far they have been backing it up in practice."
Hall, a native of Barrien Springs, Mich., gave MAC Champion and teammate Iris Campbell all she could handle in the 200 meter dash last weekend, falling just shy of Campbell by .02 seconds to take second place. 
The sophomore relay squad will face tough competition from the "B" squad of Ariel Arnold, Andrea Arnold, Chiara Allen and Campbell. Campbell and Andrea Arnold were both named Second Team All-Americans after helping the relay squad to the NCAA Championships and a top 20 national ranking. The BG Opener closes out with the 4x400 at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.