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AKRON ? On Friday, day two of three at the 2009 Mid-American Conference Track & Field Outdoor Championships, most of the competition was preliminaries for tomorrow’s final. However, in the events that were finals, The University of Akron won two events on the men’s side and scored enough on the women’s side to maintain the Zips’ day one lead.
The Akron men have 72 points through seven completed events, leading Eastern Michigan (55), Kent State (52), Central Michigan (38), Miami (34) and Buffalo (22).
For the women, Akron has 66 points, followed by Ohio (45), Kent State (42.5), Buffalo (39), Bowling Green (31), Miami (22), Toledo (20), Ball State (15.5), Western Michigan (13), Central Michigan (12), Northern Illinois (3) and Eastern Michigan (3).
Friday saw the completion of the decathlon and heptathlon. Akron’s Daniel Kinsey won the 10-event discipline with a UA record 7,445 points. He made his charge on day two by winning the discus and javelin, placing second in the 1,500 and placing third in the pole vault. Weston Lott charged from went from fifth to third overall after clearing 15-7 in the pole vault and then moved up one spot to finish runner-up for the second consecutive year, scoring a personal-record 6,798 points and ranking fourth on the UA all-time performers list.
Also capturing individual championships in men’s competition were Matt Pfleger of Kent State in the hammer (203-06); Tyshaun People of Akron in the long jump (24-04.25), Gerlad Graham of Eastern Michigan in the shot put (56-10.00) and Josh Karanja, also from EMU, in the 3,000 Steeplechase (8:57.66). Karanja broke a nine-year Lee Jackson Track & Field record with a his winning time. The previous mark was also held by EMU, as Clint Varran held the mark with a time of 8:59.67.
Women’s competitors winning championships were Fatimah Hill of Buffalo in the long jump (19-09.75), Bahiyjaui Allen of Ohio in the shot put (54-04.75), and Amanda Mirochna of Miami in the 3,000 Steeplechase (10:47.44).
The final day of competition begins Saturday (May 16) at Noon with the men’s high jump, women’s discus and women’s triple jump. The first running event is the 4x100 relay, starting at 2:00 pm, with the final event ? the 4x400 relay ? starting at 5:40 pm.
Akron set itself up for a good chance to defend both its men’s and women’s team titles as several Zips qualified for a number of finals in the running events.
The Zips qualified three for the women's 1500 meter final as two-time defending champion Larisa Arcip was second in qualifying, followed by Sediah Erskine (8th) and Danielle Sidell (9th). In the men's 1500, Mike Baraona qualified for the final with a sixth-place finish in the prelims.
Akron qualified 1-2 in the men's 110 meter hurdles, to little surprise, as Zach Harper and Tyshaun Peoples were the top two ranked student-athletes in the MAC entering the championships. UA also put two through to the women's 800 final. Arcip won her heat to advance and Ashley Rockwood was second in her heat to advance.
In the 100m, Akron had three advance to the final eight Saturday. Aaron Dobson had the best qualifying time of 10.61, followed by Phil Ferguson (10.62). Lorenzo Brazzell qualified with a time of 10.83. In the women’s 100, LaTalia Jones had the top qualifying time, while also qualifying for the NCAA Regional, with a time of 11.74. Seanlay Bell will also compete in Saturday’s 100m final with a time of 11.94.
K.C. LaCross, who was the 2008 MAC 400 meter hurdles runner-up, was the top men's qualifier in this year’s 400m hurdles with a time of 53.08.
In the men’s 200m, Akron put three through to the final. Dobson and Phil Ferguson each turned in NCAA Regional times of 21.26 while Takias Peoples ran a personal best 21.60. Akron qualified two for the women's 200m. Jones was the top qualifier (24.07) with Shamara McDavid qualifying sixth (24.63).