Story compiled from MAC Sports Information Departments
DES MOINES, Iowa - A total of eight men's track and field athletes from the MAC competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa from June 8-11. Here is a recap of their accomplishments:
Willie Brown clocked a seventh-place time of 1:47.02 in the finals of the 800 meters as four University of Akron track and field athletes wrapped up the program's participation in this year's NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday at Drake Stadium.
Brown's finish earns him All-America honors.
Brown, the reigning Mid-American Conference champion and school record-holder in both the indoor and outdoor 800m, advanced himself to today's race after placing second in Wednesday's prelim with a school-record time of 1:45.91. That time automatically qualified him for the Olympic trials as well as the U.S. Championships later this month.
Also in action for Akron was Bjorn Johansson in the decathlon, Collister Fahie in the long jump and Nick Banke in the discus.
Johansson and Fahie completed their respective events today after Thursday night's competition was halted due to inclement weather.
Johansson finished 17th with 7,449 points, after tallying a seventh-place throw of 186-03 in the javelin and coming in at 4:56.70 in the 1500 meters.
Fahie placed 12th in the long jump, at a distance of 25-07.25.
Banke finished 22nd (170-07) in the men's discus.
University at Buffalo thrower Rob Golabek competed in the shot put on Friday in the opening round of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field hosted by Drake University. After a long weather delay, the junior thrower finished in 11th place - falling just short of advancing in the competition. The top nine finishers advanced to the finals. However, his 11th place finish earned him second-team All-America honors.
Golabek had a top throw of 18.30 meters. A throw of 18.52 finished in ninth place. The Hamburg, NY native finished the competition 11th out of 24 competitors.
Matt Gac, who was making his second straight NCAA Outdoor Championship appearance, finished in 16th place with a throw of 175-8 (53.56m), which was reached on Gac's second throw.
Sophomore Alex Rose represented Central Michigan's track and field program in the discus at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday.
Rose (West Branch, Mich./Ogemaw Heights HS) finished fifth with a distance of 185-10, earning the sophomore All-America honors. He hit the mark on his fourth of six throws and earned CMU four team points with his fifth-place finish.
"Today was a great day for our CMU track and field and cross country programs," said CMU director of track and field/cross country Willie Randolph. "We are elated that Alex has met his main goal to be an All-American. This couldn't have happened without the guidance of Coach Ridgway or the support of his family, teammates and our administration: Dave Heeke, Marcy Weston, Derek van der Merwe and Brad Wachler."
The West Branch native is the first All-American for the CMU track and field team since Greg Pilling in 2009 who finished eighth in the discus at nationals. Rose's fifth-place finish is the highest for a CMU athlete at the outdoor national championships since Steve Wolf was third in the high jump in 2005.
This was the sophomore's second consecutive appearance at nationals. Last year, Rose finished 13th in the discus with a toss of 177-2.
Kent State senior Matthew Pfleger (Garrettsville, Ohio) finished the hammer throw in 20th place after an opening-round throw of 60.97m (200-0). Pfleger was unable to better his opening effort, finishing 11th in the first prelims.
Head Coach Bill Lawson was impressed with Pfleger's performance in his final competition as a collegian.
"As a staff, we are very proud of Matt's performance to get to this point," said Lawson. "Matt threw very well today. It can be a challenge being the first competitor in an event, and Matt had a strong performance to finish among the top 20 in the country."