Story courtesy of Matt Daley (BGSU Media Relations Department)
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- A new conference record was set in the women's 5000 meters and a Bowling Green athlete won the school's first indoor individual championship in four years as the 2011 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships got off to a rousing start at Perry Field House in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Rachel Patterson, a junior from Miami University, set a new MAC championship record by winning the 5000 meters in 16:32.01, surpassing the 2003 record of 16:33.00 set by Toledo's Briana Shook. Gold-medalist Patterson was joined on the medal stand by Annie Beecham of Ohio University and Courtney Calka of Eastern Michigan. Both Beecham and Calka produced elite times under 16:40; no one else came within 19 seconds of those three.
The other medal event in women's track on Friday night was awarded in the distance medley relay. Ohio's time of 11:43.41 earned gold for the Bobcat team of Juli Accurso, Kiley Mathews, Courtney Weiss and Melissa Thompson. Eastern Michigan placed second, finishing just over one second behind Ohio. Miami (11:47.22) finished in third place.
The five men's teams vied for championships in the same two track events. In the 5000 meter run, Terefe Ejigu of Eastern Michigan captured gold after completing the run in 14:37.93. Kent State's Kiplangat Tisia posted a time of 14:41.47 to earn silver, while bronze went to Scott Meyers of Akron.
Akron's team of Zachary Goulet, J'Lani Pryce, Joe McCoy and Brad Hough won top honors in the distance medley relay. Their time (10:00.16) was eight seconds better than Buffalo, their nearest competition. Central Michigan earned third place, finishing just .03 seconds behind the Bulls.
The men's field of teams also completed two championship field events. Akron swept three of the top four spots in the long jump, including the top two places. Tyshaun People's leap of 24-08.50 (7.53m) won gold, while Collister Fahie fell just short of the top spot with a mark of 24-07.75 (7.51m). Kent State's Rob Falchi took bronze.
Kevin Mays, a Central Michigan junior, won the weight throw event after tossing the weight 67-06.25 (20.58m). Matt Pfleger (Kent State) and Matthew Gac (Buffalo) finished second and third in the event, respectively. Kent State throwers took three of the six point-earning places.
On the women's side, championships were awarded in the weight throw, long jump, pole vault and pentathlon.
Bowling Green's Jessie Rowland set a school record and became the first Falcon individual to win a MAC indoor championship event in four years when she captured the weight throw event. Rowland's winning toss (63-09.75) beat the next-best throw by nearly three feet. Two other Falcons (Ashley Harris and Brooke Pleger) took points in the event, finishing sixth and seventh.
Kent State's Melissa Kurzdorfer and Akron's Valerie Wert finished second and third to earn medals.
Ariane Beaumont-Courteau of Akron won the pole vault event with a leap of 13-03.50 (4.05m). Eastern Michigan's Jessica Hemingway matched the feat; however, Beaumont-Courteau was successful on her first attempt, while Hemingway took three attempts to complete the final vault. Kim Preston (Kent State) posted a mark of 12-11.50 to earn third.
The long jump event featured two medalists from Michigan schools and another from BGSU. Western Michigan's Ashley Hunault won gold after a jump of 19-05.50 (5.93m), while Brittani McNeal's 19-04.00 (5.89m) leap gave her the silver medal. Rosie White (Eastern Michigan) finished third, posting a jump of 19-02.50.
Diana Dumitrescu (Kent State) won the pentathlon with 4,009 points after finishing first in three of the five events and second in another. Ball State's Thekla Lorenz finished second with 3,779 points, while Akron's Brittany Cheese earned 3,638 points to finish in third place.
The men's standings find Akron on top with 38 points, followed by Kent State with 29. The women's leader is Kent State with 34 points. Akron is second with 29, while two others are tied with 28. Three others have at least 22 points.
Saturday's action will see the championship finals in several track events that featured preliminary races on Friday. It will also feature the finish of the men's heptathlon (final two events), as well as four men's and three women's field events.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, with the championship awards ceremony tentatively scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE
Kent State 29
Central Michigan 24
Eastern Michigan 11
Kent State 34
Eastern Michigan 28
Bowling Green 28
Western Michigan 24
Central Michigan 10
Ball State 8
Northern Illinois 0
For complete results of Friday's competition, click HERE.