15 MAC Student-Athletes to Compete at National Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Updated 6/8/2009

NCAA championship web site



A total of 15 competitors representing eight Mid-American Conference schools will be in action this week (June 10-13) at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Fayatteville, Ark. The complete list and details as provided by each school follow.




Stevi Large, hammer
Valerie Wert, hammer
Mike McCall, high jump
Carrie Kayes, pole vault
Daniel Kinsey, decathlon


Tiffany Maskulinski, pole vault

Central Michigan
Greg Pilling, discus


Eastern Michigan
Josh Karanja, steeplechase
Gerald Greshman, shot put


Kent State
Matthew Pfleger, hammer
Kimberly Hamilton, javelin
Diana Dumitrescu, heptathlon


Kevin Dwyer, decathlon


Western Michigan
Danielle Brown, 400m hurdles
Jennifer Sabra, 400m hurdles



The University of Akron will send five individuals (Stevi Large, Valerie Wert, Carrie Kayes, Daniel Kinsey and Mike McCall) to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held June 10-13 at the University of Arkansas.


Large (Somerset/Sheridan HS) and Wert (Lexington) will be competing in the women’s hammer Wednesday (June 10) at 1 pm (CT). The top 12 from that round will advance to the final, held Friday (June 12) at 11 am (CT). Kayes (Green) will be competing in the women’s pole vault qualifying round on Wednesday at 7:15 pm (CT). Like the hammer, the final will be held on Friday starting at 7 pm (CT).


Kinsey (East Liverpool/Beaver Local HS) will be competing in the two-day decathlon, starting with the 100m on Wednesday at 11:30. Also on the first day, he will compete in the long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m. On Thursday, the decathlon concludes (starting at 2:30 pm CT) with the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500m. McCall (Richfield/Revere HS) will compete in the men’s high jump. That event has qualifying on Wednesday at 8 pm (CT) with the final being held Friday at 7 pm (CT).


This marks third time Large, a senior, has qualified for the NCAA Outdoors. As a sophomore, she placed 14th in the hammer (183-3), while earning All-American honors last season with an eighth-place finish in the event (206-3). Large is also a three-time NCAA Indoor participant. She was national runner-up in the weight throw this past winter to earn All-American honors. As a junior, she also earned All-American with a fifth-place finish in the event, while placing 14th in the weight and 17th in the shot put as a sophomore.


Large qualified for the 2009 NCAA Outdoors by winning the NCAA Mideast Regional hammer title for the second time in as many years. Her throw of 219-1 won the event by 10 feet and was both an NCAA Mideast Regional Championships meet record and a University of Louisville track record. Large also has the nation’s second-best hammer throw this season with an Akron and Mid-American Conference record toss of 221-1, which is just four inches shy of a 2009 World Championships qualifying mark. Large also set records in winning efforts at the LSU Relays (215-0) and the MAC Championships meet (213-10).


Overall, Large competed in and won the hammer seven times this outdoor season, while setting those six records along the way. Her MAC title marked the fourth of her career as she became the first female in league history to complete a career sweep of a field event and just the fourth female to accomplish a career sweep in an event overall. (Large is the second UA athlete to complete a career sweep as five-time All-American Beata Rudzinska won the women’s 800m in 2003, ’04, ?05 and ?06.) For her efforts, Large earned MAC Female Outstanding Field Performance Award for the third time during the outdoor season and fifth overall. That followed an indoor season where she competed in the weight throw seven times ? winning six. (Her only non-win was placing second at the NCAA Championships.)


Wert, a sophomore, will be making her second appearance at the NCAA Championships this season, placing 17th in the weight throw at the NCAA Indoors this past winter. Wert was MAC runner-up in the hammer this season (198-2) and placed sixth at NCAA Mideast Regional (197-3) to earn All-Region honors. While she did not earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Outdoors, by placing among the region’s top five, she did earn an at-large berth thanks to her performance at the MAC Championships. That effort of 198-2 ranks 16th-best in the NCAA this season.


In the women’s hammer field of 27, Large is seeded second and Wert is seeded 15th.


Kayes, like Wert, is making her second NCAA Championships appearance this season and for her career. The junior participated in the NCAA Indoors, qualifying thanks to a season-best vault of 13-8.25 that ranked 14th (tied) nationally prior to the championships. This outdoor season, Kayes won the MAC Championship (13-1.50) and, a week earlier, cleared 13-9.25 to gain an at-large berth and be seeded 17th of 28 in the field. That career-best effort came at Akron’s Campbell/Wright Invitational and ranks 14th (tied) in the NCAA this season. Kayes won eight of the 10 meets she competed in during the indoor season, including the MAC title, and she won on four occasions during the outdoor season, clearing at least 13-1.50 in each victory.


Kinsey qualified for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships thanks to his UA record-setting performance of 7,445 points en route to winning the MAC decathlon title. Kinsey’s point total will have him seeded 14th in the NCAA field of 26. (The Regionals do not contest the decathlon in order to maximize performance at nationals.) Kinsey just missed a berth to the NCAA Indoor Championships this past winter. Although he repeated as MAC heptathlon champion with a UA-record 5,490 points, Kinsey ranked 18th in the NCAA and just missed the national cut as the NCAA only invited the top 14. 


McCall joins Wert and Kayes in making both his second NCAA appearance this season and for his career. The sophomore, who won the MAC Indoor and Outdoor high jump titles, placed seventh at the NCAA Mideast Regional this past weekend, clearing 7-1, to earn All-Region honors. McCall earned the at-large berth as he cleared 7-1.75 to win the MAC championship and will be seeded 15th (tied) in the NCAA field of 26. He won the indoor high jump six of eight times in 2009 (with one second-place finish on misses) and won the outdoor high jump on three occasions this spring, clearing seven a combined feet seven times.



University at Buffalo pole vaulter Tiffany Maskulinski earned her first trip to the NCAA Track and Field Championships with a third-place finish at the NCAA East Regional Track and Field Championships at the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University.

Maskulinski cleared a season-best height of 13-1.75 (4.01m) to become one of five individuals to automatically advance to the NCAA National Championships in Fayetteville, AR in mid-June. Maskulinski is the second UB women’s pole vaulter to make the national finals. Laura Olson reached the 2004 indoor and 2005 outdoor championships in her UB career. With the finish, Maskulinski earned All-East honors for the second time in her career after tying for seventh Maskulinski earned All-East honors for the second time in her career after tying for seventh at last year’s meet. The top eight finishers in each event are named all-region.



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.



TICKETS PUNCHED TO NCAA: The Eastern Michigan University men’s track and field will send two representatives to the 2009 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., June 10-13. Senior distance ace Josh Karanja and junior thrower Gerald Gersham will each be making the trip for the Eagles. Karanja earns his second trip to the national championships, while Gersham will be traveling to his first.

QUICK LOOK-JOSH KARANJA: Senior Josh Karanja has made a name for himself in four years at Eastern Michigan and will be making his second trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the steeplechase as he made his first in 2007. This time around, Karanja has run the third fastest time in the NCAA this season, being bested by only Jake Morse of Texas and Corey Thorne of Louisville

QUICK LOOK-GERALD GERSHAM: Junior Gerald Gersham will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 10-13. Gersham earned a bid to the NCAA Championship after placing fourth in the shot put at the NCAA Mideast Regional, May 29-30. He qualified for the Regional Championship after winning the Mid-American Conference shot put title. 


Three will most certainly not be a crowd for the Kent State track & field program at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships.


After being forced to wait three days to see if his hammer toss at the NCAA Mid-East Regionals last weekend was far enough to earn a trip to Fayetteville, Ark., junior Matthew Pfleger received the good news he had been hoping for from the NCAA today. Pfleger’s toss of 60.70 meters was good enough for ninth place at the regional meet and it will be good enough for him to compete for an NCAA title. The championships are scheduled for June 10-13.


Pfleger will join senior Kimberley Hamilton and freshman Diana Dumitrescu in representing the Golden Flashes at the biggest collegiate track & field meet of the year.


Hamilton continued her Cinderella season as a javelin thrower at the regional meet with a 50.19-meter heave that nailed down third place in the event. The toss was just short of her career-best throw of 50.27 meters. Hamilton is in her first season as a javelin thrower after spending four standout years as a center fielder for the KSU softball team.


Dumitrescu provisionally qualified for the heptathlon after dominating the event throughout the season. She compiled a season-high 5,429 points to win the conference title, topping an outstanding performance earlier in the season at the 100th Drake Relays where she was the top collegiate finisher in the event and third overall with 5,350 points.


Miami will be represented at the NCAA Championships by Kevin Dwyer, who stands 11th nationally in the decathlon this year. Pat Sovacool was also under consideration for a spot in the 5000 meter race after finishing eighth in his race at the regionals, but Sovacool missed the field when another runner chose to compete in the 5,000 in stead of the 10,000.


LOUISVILLE -- Danielle Brown broke her own school record and took second place in the 400 meter hurdles at the regional to qualify for the NCAA Championships. 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.

Jennifer Sabra also qualified for the Broncos in the 400m hurdles.