MAC Announces Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Updated 5/7/2013

Women's Field Athlete of the Week 
Alexis Cooks, Akron, Throws
Sophomore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Doherty HS)
Alexis Cooks dominated the competition at the Campbell/Wright Invitational, cruising to a win in the discus and finishing runner-up in the shot put. With a huge throw of 176-06, which currently ranks her 22nd in the country, Cooks recorded a season high while winning the event by an astounding margin of 26.5 feet. It stands as the second-best throw (to Cooks' standard of 179-10 set at the MAC Outdoor Championships last May) in Akron history and ranks her 22nd in the country. The sophomore then took second place in the shot put with a toss of 51-03.75, which matched the fourth-best throw in UA history. The two big marks capped off a busy weekend, which also saw Cooks place third in the hammer with a mark of 180-10. 

 
Men's Field Athlete of the Week 
Martel Durant, Akron, Jumps
Sophomore, Akron, Ohio (Copley HS/College of the Desert)
Martel Durant achieved a personal-record mark of 7-00.50 to win the high jump at the Campbell/Wright Invitational last weekend. In all, it was the third-best, all-time performance in school history and nearly two full feet better than any other competitor on the day. With his mark, Durant is now ranked No. 1 in the MAC and 30th nationally heading into the league championships this week. 

Women's Track Athlete of the Week
Iris Campbell, Western Michigan, Sprints/Hurdles
Senior, Emmett, Mich. (Yale HS) 
Campbell was WMU's top performer at the Toledo Invitational, recording season-best times in the 200-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. She tied for first in the 200-meter dash with time of 23.96 seconds that ranks third in the MAC. Campbell took third place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.31 and took second in the 400-meter hurdles with the MAC's top time of 58.44 seconds. She also helped the 4x100-meter relay team to a first-place finish and its best time of the season at 46.07 seconds. The senior also finished up the regular season with a fourth-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 18-11.75.
 
Men's Track Athlete of the Week 
Jarrod Eick, Miami, Distance
Senior, Hartville, Ohio (Marlington HS)
Eick recorded a personal best in the 1500m Friday at the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana, as he placed sixth in the 1500m invitational run in 3:46.07. His time is the fastest 1500m time in the MAC this year as he automatically qualified for the MAC Championships. His time also ties for 41st in the East Region, which would qualify him for the NCAA East Prelims should he remain in that spot. Eick remains sixth in school history in the 1500m despite improving his previous best by 0.25 seconds. He was running in a field of 15 in the invitational final and was fourth among collegiate finishers behind two Kentucky runners and one from Indiana, while he finished ahead of several Indiana runners as well. He was within two seconds of winning the race in the tightly-packed field.
 
Other Nominees: 
Field (Women) 
Kristy Woods, Buffalo, Throws
Senior, Mercer, PA/Grove City
At the Penn State Jim Thorpe Open, Kristy Woods set a season-best mark and posted UB’s top throw of the season in the women’s shot put with a toss of 50-8.25 (15.45m), the only throw over 50 feet in 2013 to place second behind former UB all-american and unattached entrant Becky O’Brien (57-8.50, 17.59m). Woods also finished fourth in the women’s hammer throw at 176-5 (53.78m).
 
Lydia Gomez-Diaz, Eastern Michigan, Throws
Sophomore, Tarragona, Spain (ES Collblanc)
Eastern Michigan University’s Lydia Gomez-Diaz recorded the lone victory for the EMU women’s track and field team at the Toledo Invitational, May 2-3. The sophomore claimed the top spot in the hammer throw with a season-high toss of 188-feet 7-inches (57.48 meters).
 
Dior Delophont, Kent State,  High Jump
Freshman, Nancy, France (Lycee Henri Poincare) 
 Freshman Dior Delophont won the women’s high jump May 3-4 at the Campbell/Wright Invitational hosted by the University of Akron at the Lee R. Jackson Track and Field Complex.  Delophont leaped 6-feet even to rank first in the MAC, seventh in the East Region and 10th in the nation.  The jump was just three-quarters of an inch off tying the Kent State women’s record in the event.
 
Samantha Gable, Miami, Throws
RS Senior, Greenfield, Ind. (Greenfield Central HS)
Gable tuned up for the MAC Championships with a strong showing at the Billy Hayes Invitational, hosted by Indiana on Friday. She earned runner-up out of 18 women in the hammer throw with a season-best heave of 53.56m/175-9, as she was just edged out of first by Indiana State’s Felisha Johnson, who won by six inches with a mark of 53.73m/176-3. Her throw improved her to 11th in the MAC this year in the event. Gable landed all six of her throws in fair ground while recording her best throw on her first attempt in the finals. She also placed fifth out of 19 throwers in the discus with a toss of 42.93m/140-10.
 
(Men) 
Alexis Geiger, Ohio University, Long Jumps 
Senior, Gallipolis, Ohio (Gallia Academy)
Geiger shattered her career-best mark in the long jump Friday to lead Ohio to a strong finish at the Ohio Open. The jump of 6.05m automatically qualified her for this weekend’s MAC Outdoor Championships and could earn her a berth in the NCAA preliminary round later this month. Her mark was the 64th-best in the nation this season and ranks fourth in the conference.
 
Adam Hume, Buffalo, Pole vault
Sophomore, Gansevoort, NY (South Glen Falls)
At the Penn State Jim Thorpe Open, Adam Hume won the men's pole vault with a season-best height of 15-9 (4.80m). Hume improved his top height by nearly a foot after setting his previous best of 14-10 (4.52m) at the Florida Relays in early April.
 
Zach Waldron, Eastern Michigan, Jumps
Freshman, Gran Rapids, Michigan (Northview)
Eastern Michigan University’s Zach Waldron took the high jump at the Toledo Invitational, May 2-3. The freshman jumper tied his career high with a leap of 6-feet 4.75-inches (1.95 meters) to finish ahead of the pack.
 
Matthias Tayala, Kent State, Discus and Hammer Throw
Sophomore, McDonald, Ohio (McDonald) 
Sophomore Matthias Tayala won the men’s discus throw and the men’s hammer throw May 3-4 at the Campbell/Wright Invitational hosted by the University of Akron at the Lee R. Jackson Track and Field Complex.  Tayala won the discus with a toss of 185 feet, 7 inches to rank first in the MAC, 13th in the East Region and 30th in the nation.  Tayala won the hammer throw at 205-0, but is also first in the MAC and eighth nationally in that event with his 217-9 effort April 25-27 at the 119th Penn Relays.
 
John Cantwell, Miami, Jumps
Senior, Holland, Pa./Council Rock South HS
Cantwell had a monster jump to win the long jump Friday at Indiana’s Billy Hayes Invitational. He shattered his personal best with a leap of 7.58m/24-10.5, recording the mark in his sixth and final attempt. His jump is the best in the MAC this year by five inches and ranks 14th in the East Region, which will qualify him for the NCAA East Regional Prelims. It also ties for 24th nationally in the long jump this year. With the jump, Cantwell moved from 10th to second in school history, as he just missed the school record by three-fourths of an inch, but improved on his previous-best jump by a whopping 9.5 inches. It was the best long jump mark at Miami since 2002. He won the long jump at the meet by over 17 inches (runner-up threw 7.14m/23-5.25) in a field of 15
 
Track (Women) 
Skyler Willis, Akron, Multis
Sophomore, Cincinnati, Ohio (Withrow University HS)
Skyler Willis continued her assault on the Akron record books by winning the 400-meter hurdles with a school record-setting time of 59.49 at the Campbell/Wright Invitational last weekend. It is the fourth time she has set the Zips all-time standard in the event this spring. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the league following her historic mark. Furthermore, Willis also placed third in the 100-meter hurdles at the meet with a personal-record setting time of 13.90.
 
Hilary Swartwood, Buffalo, Distance
Junior, Burdett, NY (Trumansburg) 
At the Penn State Jim Thorpe Open, Hilary Swartwood posted a PR of 4:39.39 in the women’s 1,500-meters. She finished third in the 10-runner field, just three seconds behind the first-place finisher.
 
Shanequa Williams, Kent State, Sprints
Junor, Akron, Ohio (Kenmore)
Junior Shanequa Williams won the women’s 400-meter dash and placed second in the women’s 200 May 3-4 at the Campbell/Wright Invitational hosted by the University of Akron at the Lee R. Jackson Track and Field Complex.  Williams won the 400 in a MAC-best time of 54.45 seconds and was runner-up in the 200 in 23.84, which is second in the MAC this season.  Williams is ranked 45th in the East Region in both events.
 
Vanessa Clerveaux, Eastern Michigan, Sprints/Jumps
Freshman, Brockton, Mass. (Brockton) 
Eastern Michigan University freshman Vanessa Clerveaux took the bronze in the 100-meter dash at the Toledo Invitational, May 2-3. The first team indoor All-MAC member sprinted to the line in 11.96.
 
Layne Baggett, Miami, Sprints/Hurdles
Senior, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Moon Senior HS)
Baggett, who mainly runs the 100m hurdles and on relays, ran the 100m dash for the first time all season on Friday at Indiana’s Billy Hayes Invitational, finishing second in 11.70, which ties her personal best that she first set last year. Her time ranks her second in school history and ties for the fourth-fastest clocking in school history. Baggett’s time also ranks second in the MAC this year behind only her own teammate (Diona Graves) and ties for 58th in the East Region, while she qualified for the MAC Championships in the event. She finished the eight-woman race behind only Indiana State’s Katie Wise, who won in 11.50, while Baggett was ahead of both Indiana runners in the race.
 
Danielle Winningham, Ohio University, 
Senior, Barboursville, W. Va. (Cabell Midland) 
Winningham posted a personal-best time in the 400m dash (55.79) to claim first in the event and automatically qualify for this weekend’s MAC Outdoor Championships. Her time was the sixth-fastest in the MAC this season. The senior also posted a personal-best mark in the 200m dash (25.70) to finish fourth in that event.
 
 
(Men)
J'Lani Pryce, Akron, Middle Distance
Junior, Kingston, Jamaica (Bensalem HS [Pa.])
J'Lani Pryce breezed to a win in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-low time of 53.56, which is the fifth-best mark recorded in the MAC this season, at the Campbell/Wright Invitational last weekend. Pryce got off to a fast start and didn't falter, winning the event by more than two full seconds. The junior also ran anchor for the 4x100 relay team that finished runner up with a collective time of 41.48. 
 
Jason Ervin, Eastern Michigan, Sprints
Freshman, Farmington Hill, Mich (Farmington) 
Eastern Michigan University’s Jason Ervin won the 400-meter dash at the Toledo Invitational, getting the only victory in running events for EMU. The freshman crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 48.15.
 
Jacob Swords, Kent State, Sprints
Sophomore, Akron, Ohio (St. Vincent-St. Mary)
Sophomore Jacob Swords won the 800-meter run May 3-4 at the Campbell/Wright Invitational hosted by the University of Akron at the Lee R. Jackson Track and Field Complex.  Swords won in 1 minute, 50.12 seconds, which is second in the MAC this season.  Additionally, Swords is ranked 38th in the East Region and 77th nationally in the event.