Story Courtesy of Buffalo Media Relations
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo will play host to the 2010 Mid-American Conference Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday through Saturday, May 13-15, at UB Stadium. All 12 women's programs and six men's teams will converge on Buffalo in their attempts to win individual and team titles during the three-day competition.
A total of 20 athletes (10 men and 10 women) return for the 2010 meet after winning individual MAC titles at last season's meet. Three athletes won two events each in 2009. Kent State sprinter Curtis Eaton took the men's 200- and 400-meter titles. On the women's side, Kari Summers of Ohio won the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs while Diana Dumitrescu of Kent State captured the triple jump and the heptathlon. Summers earned the MAC's Most Outstanding Track Performance award at last season's championships while Dumitrescu was named the meet's Most Valuable Performer.
Akron's Larisa Arcip will look to become the fifth woman in league history to win the same event in four consecutive seasons when she competes in the women's 1,500-meters. Arcip posted the MAC's fastest time in the event during the regular season at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Classic in 4:25.04.
Four men's champions from 2009 currently hold the MAC's top 2010 performances in their events. Akron's Phil Ferguson, last year's 100-meter champion, turned in a 10.51 clocking on April 10 while teammate Mike McCall holds the top high jump height at 7-0.25 (2.14m) from April's All-Ohio Championships. Kent State's Destin Heasley posted a 1:49.17 clocking in the 800-meters at the Jesse Owens meet while teammate Matt Pfleger posted the league's best hammer throw of 208-5 (63.53m) during the regular season. Additionally, Akron's Tyshaun Peoples, the 2009 long jump champion, holds the league's fastest time in the men's 110-meter hurdles in 14.14 and is second in the long jump at 24-2.50 (7.38m) behind Akron teammate Colister Fahie (24-7, 7.49m).
For the women, six athletes lead the MAC in their respective events after winning league titles last season, incluiding Arcip in the 1,500 (4:25.04), Summers in the 10,000 (34:46.66) and Dumitrescu in the heptathlon (5,518). Western Michigan's Victoria Chatman, last year's 400-meter women's champion, has the fastest time in the event at 53.89, and also holds the fastest 200-meter time of the season at 23.93. In field events, Akron's Carrie Kayes, the defending pole vault champion and highest returning finisher from the NCAA Outdoor Championships, leads the MAC with a height of 13-11.25 (4.25m). Central Michigan's Erika Scholl set the league's best high jump mark of 5-10.50 (1.79m) at the Jesse Owens Classic.
Among Buffalo's best bets for league championships in women's events are freshman sprinter Jamiee McClary (Rochester, NY/Our Lady of Mercy), senior pole vaulter Tiffany Maskulinski (Elma, NY/Iroquois) and a pair of sophomore shot putters Kristy Woods (Mercer, PA/Grove City) and Becky O'Brien (Cumberland, ME/Greely).
McClary, the UB record holder in the women's 200- and 400-meter dashes is second in the MAC behind Western Michigan's Chatman in both events. McClary turned in her record 200-meter time of 24.18 at March's Raleigh Relays and set the UB 400-meter record of 55.05 at the Jesse Owens meet two weeks ago. Maskulinski, an NCAA Outdoor Championship participant in 2010, set her top pole vault mark of 13-5.50 (4.10m) to win at Tennessee's Sea Ray Relays last month. Woods broke the UB record in the shot put with her toss of 52-11.50 (16.14m) at April's Florida Relays. Meanwhile, O'Brien threw the second-best shot put in the league when she won the competition on home turf at the UB Invitational on April 17 at 51-10 (15.80m).
Four Bulls lead the MAC in their respective men's events this season. In the triple jump, junior Eugene Kennedy (Troy, NY/Troy) set the league's top mark with a distance of 47-10.50 (14.59m). Freshman teammate Tomarris Bell (Rochester, NY/McQuaid) holds the second-best triple jump in the league with his 47-9.25 (14.56m) from May's Jesse Owens Classic.
Also leading the league among UB's men are freshman hurdler Will Cole (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg), sophomore javelin thrower Casey Garbaty (Sarnia, Ontario/Northern CI) and sophomore shot putter Rob Golabek (Hamburg, NY/Frontier). Cole turned in the league's fastest 400-meter hurdle time in his collegiate debut when he won at the Seahawk Invitational in 52.56. Garbaty broke his UB record with his throw of 224-6 (68.43m) at the Raleigh Relays. The throw leads the league by six feet. Golabek established the UB record in the men's shot put at 59-11.75 (18.78m) when he won the competition at Bucknell's Bison Outdoor Classic in April. Other men's throwers expected to post high results are seniors Jake Madonia (Rome, NY/Rome Free Academy) and Alex Stamatakis (Hania, Crete, Greece/First Vocational & Technical School of Crete) and junior Matt Gac (Newark Valley, NY/Newark Valley). Madonia and Stamatakis rank among the top five in the MAC's shot put this season. Gac set UB's records in the hammer throw (197-0, 60.06m) and discus (175-7, 53.52m) in 2010. His hammer throw ranks third in the league this season while his discus throw is fourth.
The University of Akron enters the men's meet as the two-time defending champions while the Zips won their fourth straight women's title when the 2009 meet was held in Akron. Four teams, Akron's men, Kent State's women and UB's men's and women's programs, are currently listed among the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's regional top seven. Akron and Kent State are grouped within the Great Lakes region while UB is listed in the Northeast region, the lone MAC school not in the Great Lakes region.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths on a per day basis. All Session passes are $25 for adults and $10 for youths. Students with MAC institution ID's will be admitted for $5 per day. Saturday's competition will be streamed live on UB's website www.buffalobulls.com.