MAC Track and Field Weekend Preview

Updated 2/15/2013

Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments 

Akron
AKRON, Ohio
– The University of Akron track and field program will honor two of its seniors – Tyshaun Peoples and Katherine Lee – at the Zips Invitational Friday night at Stile Athletics Field House.

The annual meet will serve as the final tune-up before next weekend's 2013 Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships, which will be hosted by Eastern Michigan University from Feb. 22-23. Additionally, it will mark the last home competition in the standout careers of Peoples and Lee.
 
In all, the Zips will compete against athletes from Ashland, Bowling Green, Malone, Youngstown State and others. The meet begins with field events at 6:30 p.m. while running events will follow at 7:15 p.m. 
 
Tickets are $6 and Family Packs (two adults and two youths or one adult and three youths) are $20. UA students with valid ID will be admitted free of charge. All fans should enter through the UA student recreation center main entrance. Doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. Live results as well as a free video stream for the meet will be available on GoZips.com.
 
Peoples, a seven-time Mid-American Conference champion, has been a force on the track since the day he stepped on campus. The fifth-year senior is the school's record holder in the 60-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles with marks he achieved during his sophomore and junior seasons.
 
In 2010, the Cleveland native was the recipient of the MAC's Most Outstanding Field Performance award during the indoor championships after winning one of four long jump titles during his career. Peoples is also a two-time MAC champ in the hurdles, with a title in the 60-meter hurdles in 2009 and another in the 110-meter hurdles in 2011. Additionally, he has advanced to the NCAA preliminary round in all four previous seasons and is currently ranked 19th in the nation in the long jump.
 
Lee enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 when she earned All-America Second Team honors, placing 15th in the pole vault with a jump of 13-01.50 at the NCAA Championships. It was a fitting finish to a year that saw her record the 23rd-best mark in the nation and the fifth-best outdoor jump in school history with a vault of 13-07.25 at the Triton Invitational.
 
In all, the Virginia native and fifth-year senior has advanced to the NCAA Preliminaries three times during her standout career. Moreover, an excellent student away from the track, Lee is a three-time UCTFCCCA Academic All-American as well as a three-year All-MAC Academic Team honoree.
 
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State indoor track & field team will compete in its final tune-up before the 2013 Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships Friday, when it hosts the Ball State Quadrangular starting at 5 p.m. in the Field Sports Building.
 
In addition to the Cardinals, Northern Illinois, Miami and Western Michigan will compete in the four-team scored event. Scoring will be based on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale, with only two participants from each school able to score in an event. Action in the meet begins with the field events, while running events are slated to start at 6:15 p.m.
 
Last season, the Cardinals placed third among the four teams at the meet, while Western Michigan captured its eighth consecutive title in Ball State's annual home meet. Prior to WMU's run of eight-straight wins, the Cardinals were the last team to capture the title during the 2003-04 season.
 
Heading into the final meet before the MAC Indoor Championships, Ball State is looking to continue its string of impressive individual performances on its home course as the team's student-athlete make their last push to post automatic qualifying marks for the league' premier event.
 
So far this season, senior MaryKate Mellen has qualified for both the mile run (4:54.50) and the 3000m run (9:54.44), while freshman Katelyn DeVries has qualified for the 5000m run (17:30.74).
 
With the field per event being limited to 20 participants, several other Cardinals are in the hunt to qualify for the meet. In the high jump, sophomore Haley Austin ranks eighth in the MAC by clearing a height of 1.67m/5-5.75.
 
Freshman Zenée Gadson enters the week ranked 11th in the conference in the triple jump (11.39m/37-4.5), while sophomore Hannah Ciasto-Poor is 19th in the pole vault after posting the second-best individual mark in program history (3.50m/11-5.75) in each of her last two meets.
 
Mount Pleasant - The Central Michigan Track and Field team is hosting the Jack Skoog Invite this Friday.
 
Alma, Northwood, Saginaw Valley State as well as unattached athletes will be competing versus the Chippewas.
 
The field events will start at 4 p.m., with running events following around 6 p.m.
 
While many of the athletes who have already qualified for the MAC meet will not be competing, the Jack Skoog Invite provides a great opportunity for other athletes to earn better marks, increasing their chances to compete at Eastern Michigan, the site of the 2013 MAC Indoor Championship meet.
 
Senior Alex Rose and junior Calvin Jackson are looking to improve their marks in the weight throw (Rose and Jackson), and the shot put (Rose). Both are already in position to compete at the MAC Indoor Championships, and are looking for a solid preparation weekend leading up to it.
 
Eighteen female athletes will be competing for the Chippewas, along with 20 male athletes.
 
The Jack Skoog Invite also marks Senior Night for those Chippewas who will be finishing up their eligibility this year.
 
Eastern Michigan 
Mens

YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team will travel to the University of Michigan for the second time this season, competing in the Silverston Invitational, Feb. 16. The meet begins at 10:30 a.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building.
 
“A small group of selected individuals will compete this weekend in our final competition before the MAC Championships,” commented EMU Head Coach John Goodridge.
 
The Eagles come into Saturday's meet following some outstanding performances, most notable from a pair of distance runners, at the SPIRE Invitational, Feb. 8-9.  Terefe Ejigu recorded a victory for the Eagles, setting a SPIRE record of 14:05.73 in the 5,000-meter run, a mark that ranks as the sixth best in school history. His distance teammate, Grzegorz Kalinowski, almost became the sixth runner in EMU history to run a sub-4 minute mile, finishing the one-mile race in second with a 4:00.29. The impressive mark earned Kalinowski Mid-American Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Week honors, Feb. 12.
 
The Silverston Invitational is EMU's final meet prior to the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Bowen Field House, Feb. 22-23. With the conference championship just around the corner, there have already been 31 automatic qualifiers for the Eagles that have broken the automatic qualifying marks set by the MAC.
 
Cameron Bolton, Ejigu and Kalinowski lead EMU with three automatic qualifying marks. A plethora of Eagles have qualified in two events including: Jeff Elam, Harry Dixon, Solomon Ijah and Matthew Williams
 
YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team will travel to the University of Michigan for the second time this season, competing in the Silverston Invitational, Feb. 16. The meet begins at 10:30 a.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building.
 
“This will be a great tune-up for those athletes who need to compete in order to get ready for the MAC,” noted EMU Head Coach Sue Parks. “Some athletes will compete while others will rest.  We will do what we need to do to be at our best for next weekend.”
 
EMU enters Saturday's meet after splitting up for a pair of events last weekend, Feb. 8-9. While the majority of the team competed at the Grand Valley State University Big Meet, the best performance came at the SPIRE Invitational, where sophomore distance runner Victoria Voronko set a new EMU record in the 3,000-meter run. Voronko shattered the school record by crossing the finish line in 9:23.33, breaking the previous mark of 9:32.61 set by Carrie Gould back in 1999. The record-breaking time also ranks as the second best time in Mid-American Conference history behind current Ohio track athlete Juli Accurso, who holds the top time of 9:21. The impressive feat earned Voronko Mid-American Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week honors, Feb. 12, as well as MAC Female Scholar Athlete of the Week accolades, Feb. 14.
 
The Silverston Invitational is the final opportunity for Eagles to automatically qualify for the MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Bowen Field House, Feb. 22-23. With the conference championship just around the corner, there have already been 18 Eagles that have received automatic berths for the meet, breaking the qualifying marks set by the MAC.
 
Morgan Churchwell, Vanessa Clerveaux, Marina Manjon-Rivadulla, Kayla Pfund and Voronko have qualified for two events each. A list of EMU qualifiers can be found below.
 
Following her award-winning week, Voronko joined Eagle All-Access for Women's Track and Field Weekly to discuss her record-breaking performance at the SPIRE Invitational as well as the upcoming MAC Championships.
 
Kent State
Kent, Ohio – The Golden Flashes' track and field teams will host the Kent State Tune Up on Saturday at the Kent State Field House. This will be their last meet before the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend.
 
The Flashes look to carry momentum from this past weekend's competition at the SPIRE NCAA DI Track & Field Invitational, where a school record was broken and several others were challenged. In total, the Golden Flashes had 10 athletes place in the top five in their respective events against a field that featured three nationally-ranked men's team and two ranked women's teams.
 
Over 30 schools are expected to compete at the Kent State Field House on Saturday. Action gets underway on the track at 9 a.m. with the women's 5,000-meter run. Field events will begin an hour later at 10 a.m. with the women's long jump, women's weight throw, and women's high jump.
 
Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children.
 
Miami
OXFORD, Ohio - With the Mid-American Conference Championships looming next weekend, the Miami University women's track and field team will compete in one final tune-up Friday at the Ball State Quadrangular, held at BSU's Field Sports Building in Muncie, Ind.
 
The meet, which features fellow MAC schools Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and the host Cardinals, along with the RedHawks, will be scored. Scoring will use a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale with only two competitors from each school able to score in an event.
 
The Ball State Quadrangular begins at 5 p.m. with several field events, including the weight throw, long jump, pole vault and high jump. Action on the track heats up at 6:15 p.m. with the 60m hurdles prelims while the meet concludes at 7:50 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
 
Last weekend, the majority of the RedHawks competed at the GVSU Big Meet, hosted by Grand Valley State, which featured nationally ranked teams in both Division I and Division II. Senior Layne Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.) highlighted the meet by breaking the school record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.45 while finishing second. Freshman Megan Beaver (Brecksville, Ohio) was Miami's lone winner, claiming the 600m open run in 1:35.66. The RedHawk throwers competed at the Hoosier Hills Invitational last Friday in Bloomington, Ind. and redshirt senior Alexandra Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) led the way by taking second in the shot put with a season-best heave of 15.05m/49-4.5.
 
At last year's Ball State Quad, Miami took fourth while resting several key athletes and competing others in non-traditional events. Junior Kori Tatman (Amanda, Ohio) won the pole vault with her personal-best clearance of 3.89m/12-9, which still ranks her second in school history. Roberts was the lone other winner, claiming the shot put title. Baggett took third in the 60m hurdles to lead the RedHawks on the track.
 
With the MAC Championships next weekend, several RedHawks rank toward the top of the MAC leaderboard in their respective events. Baggett sits third in the 60m hurdles with a MAC automatic qualifying time after her record-breaking showing last week. Freshman Kala Allen (East Amherst, N.Y.) ranks fifth in the 400m dash (56.19) after last weekend's meet, having also automatically qualified for the MAC meet. In the 800m run, sophomore Taylor Wickware (Geneva, Ill.) is an auto qualifier, ranking eighth (2:13.25). Freshman Laura Bess (Brownsburg, Ind.) sits 13th in the mile but is auto qualified with her time of 4:57.71.
 
Three RedHawks are qualified in the 3000m run led by sophomore Melissa Girgis (Worthington, Ohio), who ranks eighth (9:48.57), while classmate Anna Lamb (Granville, Ohio) is 10th (9:54.07) and junior Erica Howes (Fairfax, Va.) is 15th (9:56.47). Lamb and Girgis are also auto qualified in the 5K as Lamb ranks fourth (17:04.68) while Girgis is ninth (17:16.67). Sophomore Jess Hoover (Hilliard, Ohio) ranks 13th in the 5K with an auto qualifying time of 17:23.53.
 
In the high jump, junior Erica Mudd (Cincinnati, Ohio) and redshirt junior Ashley Zaper (Whitehouse, Ohio) are both qualified for the MAC meet having cleared 5-8, which ties for third in the league. Mudd is also fifth in the long jump with an auto qualifying mark of 5.77m/18-11.25 while Tatman ranks ninth in the pole vault (3.80m/12-5.5) with an auto clearance. Roberts sits fourth in the MAC in the shot put after her heave last weekend while Zaper also ranks fifth in the pentathlon (3,521 points).
 
Following the Ball State Quad meet, Miami will head to Ypsilanti, Mich. for the 2013 MAC Indoor Championships, hosted by Eastern Michigan University Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23.
 
Northern Illinois 
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois track & field team runs in their final regular season indoor meet of the year Friday when they compete in the Ball State Quadrangular.
 
The meet begins at 4 p.m. CT with the weight throw, long jump, high jump and pole vault. Running events get underway at 5:15 p.m. with the prelims of the 60 hurdles and 60 meters.
 
"This week at Ball State, the staff is looking for the ladies to continue their strong efforts, competing with confidence and urgency," said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. "We have several ladies on the bubble of qualifying for the MAC Championships. They must either maintain their standings or they are just shy of that 20th cut off mark, therefore needing to improve their standings."
 
The Huskies wrapped up their stay in Michigan with several top performances at Grand Valley State's Big
Meet. In addition to eight personal record performances on the final day, NIU recorded 11 top 10 finishes in the two-day competition. Janay Mitchell and Megan Gregory each earned automatic berths into the MAC Indoor Championships in the 60 meters and 60 hurdles, respectively. In addition, Jamie Burr placed third in the 800 meters and earned personal records in two events during the weekend.
 
Northern will take on Western Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Ball State in the Huskies' second scored meet of the indoor season. The Broncos won this same meet last season and have posted strong showings this season, winning the BGSU Challenge and taking third at Minnesota's Jack Johnson Classic. Meanwhile, the MU RedHawks have had seven athletes earn MAC automatic qualifying marks during the season and Ball State features standouts in middle distance runner Mary Kate Mellen and high jumper Haley Austin.
 
However, the biggest goal for each of the four teams in the field will be to get their athletes into next week's conference championships.
 
"This is definitely the meet to see those improvements occur," Teaberry said. "The other four teams attending are MAC institutions, so the ladies will get a preview of next week's championship competition. This competition allows them the opportunity to see how some of their competitors are performing, which should push our ladies to great results."
 
The meet will feature a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring format, but only the top two competitors with each team can score. NIU finished second at the meet a season ago with 109 points.
 
Ohio
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University women’s track & field team will send student-athletes to two events this weekend in the final opportunity to qualify for next week’s MAC Indoor Championships.
 
The Bobcats will make the short trip to Columbus to compete in the Buckeye Tune-Up on Friday (Feb. 15), then head up-state to Kent for the Kent State Tune-Up on Saturday (Feb. 16).
 
Throwing events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET on Friday in Columbus, with competition on the track set for 6 p.m. On Saturday, action gets underway on the track at 9 a.m., with field events set to begin at 10 a.m.
 
Last time out, Ohio student-athletes performed well at last weekend’s Hoosier Hills in Bloomington, Ind.
 
The Bobcats earned strong finishes in the 3,000m run and placed three runners in the top-14 of the event. Junior Melissa Thompson (Westerville, Ohio) finished fourth in 9:44.36, freshman Kayla Scott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) placed fifth in 9:46.78, while sophomore Morgan Reichert (Pataskala, Ohio) earned a ninth-place finish in 9:55.63.
 
All three runners qualified for the MAC Indoor Championships in the event with their times.
 
On the first day of competition at Hoosier Hills, senior Danielle Winningham (Barboursville, W. Va.) captured the 800m run title in 2:13.94. Winningham’s Ohio’s finish was Ohio’s best this season, and the seventh-fastest in the MAC this season. She missed out on the MAC-qualifying time by just four tenths of a second.


Western Michigan 
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan track and field team heads to Muncie, Ind., for the Ball State Quadrangular meet on Friday for its final warmup before the 2013 Indoor Mid-American Conference Championships on Feb. 22-23.

WMU has won nine straight times at the Ball State Quad meet, traditionally held a week or two before the MAC Championships. The Broncos also have a penchant for breaking records at this meet. Last season Chiara Allen broke the indoor triple jump record. The long jump and weight throw records have also been smashed in Muncie in previous years. 
 
The Broncos will do battle with the hosts Ball State Cardinals, along with Northern Illinois and Miami in the scored meet. WMU is 2-1 this season in scored meets with a dual meet win over Toledo and a win at the BGSU Challenge. 
 
The meet is also the last chance for WMU to register automatic qualifiers for the MAC Championships. Currently the Broncos have eight automatic qualifying positions in six different events.