NCAA Track and Field Mideast Regional Concludes

Updated 5/31/2009

Stories courtesy of MAC school sports information offices


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. ? University of Akron junior Larisa Arcip and sophomore Cassie Schenck each earned All-Region to highlight Saturday’s action at the 2009 NCAA Mideast Regional Track & Field Championships, held at the University of Louisville.


Thanks to Stevi Large’s hammer title on Friday, Akron’s women scored 17 points, tying their best point production from 2006, and finished 16th, marking the sixth straight year finishing among the Region’s top 17. The men tied for 36th (two points). The Mideast Region includes all NCAA Division I institutions from the following states: Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.)


Large and Daniel Kinsey will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, held June 10-13 at the University of Arkansas. While the decathlon was held at the NCAA Regionals, Kinsey ranks 15th nationally in the event, scoring a UA record 7,445 points to win the Mid-American Conference title and earn the NCAA berth. Mike McCall and Valerie Wert, along with several others, will hope for at-large berths, which go out next week.


Arcip, the three-time MAC champion in the 1,500m, posted a time of 4:28.48 to place sixth to earn All-Region for the second consecutive season, one spot from earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Outdoor Championships and one place better than her finish in 2008.


Schenck, who set the UA record in the steeplechase this season (10:31.81) and qualify for the regional, placed eighth (10:46.81) in the event and earn her first All-Region honor. Also in the steeplechase, junior Danielle Sidell, making her first regional appearance, placed 23rd with a time of 11:18.81.


In the men’s pole vault, four-time MAC champion Mike Uhle just missed All-Region honors. The sophomore tied for ninth with a season-best vault of 16-7.25 (5.06). Teammate and freshman Joe Wesley did not clear the opening height og 16-1.25 (4.91).


Junior Lauren Whitehill placed 10th in the javelin with a personal-record throw of 144-1 (43.91), ranking third on the UA all-time performers list. Sophomore Alina Bocicor tied for 13th in the high jump, clearing 5-7 (1.70).


Collister Fahie, who placed 27th in the long jump Friday, placed 18th in the triple jump Saturday with a distance of 47-11 (14.60).


On the final day of the NCAA Mideast Regional, Ohio’s Cathy Udeani posted another top-10 performance for the Bobcats at the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Park. Udeani tied for ninth place in the high jump with a mark of five feet, eight and one-half inches. The top five finishers in each event earn automatic bids for the NCAA Championships, while the top 12 are eligible for at-large consideration.


Also competing for Ohio in her second Regional was senior Susan Plungis. She turned in a throw of 138 feet, one inch in the javelin that was good for 16th place, capping her career in the green and white that saw her earn MAC runner-up and second-team all-conference honors just two weeks ago.


MAC shot put champion Bahiyjaui Allen also competed Saturday, attempting to return to Nationals for the second year in a row. She would not fare as well this season, however, finishing 17th with a heave of 49 feet, four and one-half inches. The junior eclipsed her school record in the event at the conference championship this season to claim the title and garner All-MAC First Team accolades for the first time in her career.



Kent State’s men’s and women’s track & field teams could be sending as many as three athletes to NCAA Championships following the Mid-East Regional Saturday (May 30) at Cardinal Park.  Kim Hamilton punched her ticket to Arkansas Saturday, while Matthew Pfleger will have to wait and see if his hammer toss was far enough.


In the first event of the day, Hamilton earned a spot in the NCAA Championships with a third place finish in the javelin.  Hamilton’s third heave of the day was her longest at 50.19 meters.  She came up just short of her career best throw of 50.27 meters and earned six team points for the Golden Flashes.


“Kim is having a Cinderella season,” Head Coach Bill Lawson said of Hamilton’s return from a four-year hiatus.  “She did a fantastic job and we’re excited to have her represent us at the NCAAs.  Kudos to Kim and Coach Fanger.  We’re going to work on the finish to her throwing motion over the next 10 days to hopefully add a couple more meters and get an All-American out of it.”   


Pfleger came up just two hundredths of a meter short of scoring team points for the Flashes in the hammer throw.  Pfleger’s hammer went 60.7 meters, giving him a ninth place finish.


“This is the best throwing region in the country and for Matthew to make the finals in his first trip here is very impressive,” Lawson said.  “And I think he has a good chance of making it to Arkansas with that distance.


Tony Jordanek earned a team point for the Flashes in the 1,500 meters.  He and John Minen each qualified for Saturday’s finals with top 12 preliminary times on Friday.  Jordanek’s finish of 3:50.69 earned an eighth place, while Minen’s time of 3:51 earned an 11th place.


“Tony was right in it with 300 meters to go, battling for third place,”  Lawson said.  “It was a great senior year for him and a great finish to his track career.  We look forward to one more cross country season with him in the fall.”


LeVania Henderson and Samantha Fetter each competed in the shot put, finishing 15th and 22nd respectively.  Henderson’s throw went 15.15 meters, while Fetter was close behind her at 14.64 meters.  Henderson, an All-American during the indoor season, had been battling back problems lately and “Didn’t seem to have the pop in her throws the last couple of weeks,” according to Lawson.


“I know Nia and Samantha didn’t have the finishes they were looking for,” Lawson said.  “I told them to hold their heads up because they have a lot to be proud of.”


Junior Anthony Connor finished 17th of 30 participants in the discus.  His distance of 51.33 came up just over two meters short of a personal best throw.


Senior Joe Parker closed out the day for KSU in the steeplechase.  His time of 9:23.86 yielded a 25th place.


“We didn’t have as many qualifiers as we would have liked,” Lawson said.  “But every one of these athletes and their respective event coaches this weekend should be congratulated.”

Hamilton, Dania Dumitrescu and possibly Pfleger will be competing at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. June 10-13.  Prior to weekend, Dumitrescu qualified for the NCAA meet in the heptathlon.  Pfleger will officially know his fate by Tuesday (June 2).


Eastern Michigan Senior Josh Karanja (Ottawa, Canada-Nepean) ran a lifetime-best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase Saturday evening, May 30, at the 2009 NCAA Mideast Regional Championship at the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Park. The Eagles wrapped up action at the two-day meet, totaling 13 points to finish tied for 17th.

With his time of 8:37.20, the Ottawa, Canada native earned runner-up honors to Louisville’s Corey Thorne, who edged out Karanja by .24 seconds. Additionally, Karanja and Thorne’s times were the fastest of all the NCAA Regional Championships contested this weekend. His time also ranks him fourth in EMU school history behind Corey Nowitzke, Mark Smith and Jordan Desilets.

Curtis Vollmar (Grand Blanc, Mich.-Grand Blanc) and David Brent (Monroe, Mich.-St. Mary’s Catholic) also competed in the steeplechase, with Vollmar clocking in a time of 9:06.02 to finish 14th and Brent running 9:10.46, placing 21st.

The quartet of Kevin Lanier (White Lake, Mich.-Lakeland), Ackeem Forde (Haynesville, Barbados-Cambridge & Parry), Kyle Fortin (Fairview, Mich.-Fairview-CMU) and Nate Blackwell (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Central) ran a season-best time of 3:10.69, finishing 17th.

Karanja and Gerald Gersham (Southfield, Mich.-Southfield), who earned a bid to the NCAA Championships Friday, May 29, after placing 4th in the shot put, will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for the national championships, June 10-13.

The Eastern Michigan University women’s track and field sent three student-athletes to the 2009 Mideast Regional Championship, May 29-30, at the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Park. The Eagles wrapped up the second day of action as junior Jasmine Gates (Virginia Beach, Va.-Tallwood) competed in the high jump on the final day of competition.

Gates, who came into the contest having cleared a career-best mark of 5-08.75 at the Hillsdale ?Gina’ Relays, was unable to clear the opening height and proceed through the competition. 

On the first day of action, the Eagles had two athletes in competing as Beverly Elcock (Ft. Wayne, Ind.-Northrop) finished 11th in the 800 meters with a lifetime-best mark of 2:09.04 and just missed the field in the finals. In the pole vault, junior Jessica Novakowski (Wixom, Mich.-Walled Lake Western) cleared the opening height of 12-00.00 but was unable to clear the next bar, finishing 27th.  

GREENSBORO, NC ? The University at Buffalo track and field team concluded action at the NCAA East Regionals on Saturday afternoon with four UB athletes competing at the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University.


The Bulls had two competitors in the women’s shot put with freshman Kristy Woods earning All-East honors with her sixth place finish.  Woods just missed advancing to the NCAA Championships with her personal-best throw of 50-1.75 (15.28m) finishing just one inch behind the fifth place finisher.  Woods was the only true freshman competing in the finals.  Also in the shot put was senior Tina Villa who finished 22nd of 32 with her throw 45-10.50 (13.98m). The competition for Villa was the final in her outstanding UB career.


Senior Fatimah Hill, who competed in the long jump yesterday, finished 14th of 28 competitors in the triple jump this afternoon.  Hill jumped 40-11.00 (12.47m), which was the second best jump of her career.  Hill concludes her distinguished UB career as the school record holder in the long jump and second in school history in the triple jump.


On the men’s side, Matt Gac competed in the hammer throw where he placed 18th of 29 competitors.  Gac had a throw of 179-6 (54.71m),


The Bulls finished in a tie for 23rd place on the women’s side as they received points from Woods today and Tiffany Maskulinski yesterday as she finished third in the pole vault, which was good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships.


The East Regional is one of four NCAA regional competitions being held this weekend. Louisville, KY (Mideast), Norman, OK (Midwest) and Eugene, OR (West) are serving as the other sites. The top five finishers in each event automatically advance to the NCAA National Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, AR, which begin on Wednesday, June 10.


For Central Michigan, Greg Pilling added to his record outdoor season with a school-record performance at the NCAA Mideast Regional on Saturday.

The London, Ont. finished runner-up in the discus, breaking his own school record with a toss of a 197-7. The distance qualified Pilling for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.

Marcus Breidinger also represented the Central Michigan men’s track and field team in the pole vault, finishing tied for 16th after clearing 16-1 1/4.


Erika Schroll nearly extended her outdoor season at the NCAA Mideast Regional on Saturday.

The junior just missed qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the high jump as her height of 5-8 1/2 was good for a ninth-place finish in the event.

Also representing the Central Michigan women’s track and field team were Allison Jakubowski in the javelin (12th; 140-5) and Kelly McClure in the steeplechase (24th; 11:27.73).


Western Michigan’s Danielle Brown broke her own school record and took second place in the 400 meter hurdles and the 4x400 meter relay team took seventh place to finish off the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship on Saturday evening. Brown will compete at the NCAA National Championships on June 10, but the relay team must wait until Tuesday to see if their time was low enough to qualify them.


Brown was neck-and-neck with Illinois’ Deserea Brown during the final stretch but Danielle was forced to use her opposite leg for the final three hurdles, causing her to lose momentum. It al­lowed Deserea to take a slight lead and edge out Danielle by .12 seconds. She finished with a time of 57.12, breaking her own school record that she set at the 2008 NCAA Mideast Regional Championship finals, where she also finished in second place.


“She ran a really good race,” said head coach Kelly Lycan. “The wind was in their faces during the home stretch and it got her off her stride, but we are hoping to get her time down under 57 seconds. She missed some time during the middle of the season due to a leg injury, but she is definitely at the top of her game now and we will look to have a good few weeks of practice.”


The 4x400 team of Brown, Jennifer Sabra, Leya Munwam and Victoria Chatman were a part of the fastest heat of the day, finishing seventh in the heat with a time of 3:36.20 and seventh overall. The team ran its fastest time of the season by nearly two seconds, eclipsing its previous season best set at the Searay Relays in April.


Brown started off the race for WMU with a blazing split of 52.9 seconds and had the Broncos in good position before handing it off to Chatman. Chatman, who usually runs the anchor, was able to keep some distance for WMU and keep them with the pack. Munwam ran the third leg but there was a bobble in the exchange between her and Sabra before the anchor leg. Sabra got stuck in a pack but was able to keep the Broncos competitive to finish seventh.


Overall, Western Michigan scored 10 points to finish tied for 23rd with Louisiana-Monroe.