MAC Announces Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Updated 3/29/2011

Men's Track Athlete of the Week
Jarrod Eick, Miami
Sophomore, Hartville, Ohio (Marlington)
Eick earned a pair of first-place finishes at the season-opening Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. Saturday. Both his victories came in come-from-behind fashion, winning the 800m run in a personal-best 1:52.98 while in the 1500m run he claimed first in another personal best of 3:51.43. He set meet records in both events, competing in a field of 28 in the 800m and a field of 21 in the 1500m.

Men's Field Athlete of the Week
Matthew Pfleger, Kent State
Senior, Garrettsville, Ohio (James A. Garfield)
Pfleger won the men's hammer throw with a toss of 200'-5" (61.10) last Saturday (March 26) at the Raleigh Relays. He also took 13th in the men's discus throw with a toss of 150'-7" (45.91m) on Friday (March 25).

Additional Men's Nominees
Willie Brown, Akron
Sophomore, Cleveland, Ohio (John Adams)
Brown was a three-time winner at the prestigious LSU Tiger Relays in Baton Rouge, La., last weekend and broke four records along the way. The sophomore ran the second leg of the Zips' 4x800 relay team that set school, meet and facility records with a winning time of 7:31.86 Friday before helping to break the meet record in the distance medley relay, also running the second leg, with a winning time of 10:03.91 Saturday. Brown capped off his huge weekend by taking first in the 800m with a blistering time of 1:50.91, which represents the fourth-fastest mark in school history. He entered the week ranked 20th in the nation in the 800m.

Ryan McCullough, Central Michigan
Junior, Cadillac, Mich. (Cadillac)
McCullough set new career highs in both the discus and hammer, finishing runner-up in both events at Vanderbilt's Black and Gold Invitational. He improved his discus mark by more than 11 feet to finish second in the field of 25 throwers, and he improved his hammer mark by more than 14 feet to finish second among 17 throwers.

Ross Parsons, Central Michigan
Freshman, DeWitt, Mich. (DeWitt)
Parsons won the 100m (10.90), finished second in the 200m (22.06) and ran a leg on the winning 4x100m relay (42.10) Saturday at Vanderbilt's Black and Gold Invitational, CMU's first competition of the outdoor season. Parsons was first in a field of 17 runners in the 100m and second in a field of 22 sprinters in the 200m.

Kiplangat Tisia, Kent State
Junior, Koiybey, Kenya
Tisia finished second in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase Saturday (March 26) at the Raleigh Relays with a time of 9:07.60.

John Brockman, Miami
Junior, Granville, Ohio (Granville)
Brockman broke his own meet record at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational, taking first place in the javelin with a toss of 60.22m/197-07 in his first meet of the year. He won by over 10 feet in a field of 15 throwers.

Women's Track Athlete of the Week
Annie Beecham, Ohio
Senior, Granville, Ohio (Granville)
Annie Beecham broke the school record in the 10k at the Stanford Invitational. Beecham ran a time of 34:08.23 in the 10,000 meters and broke the school record which was set back in 1998 by Jackie Conrad (34:14.85). After breaking the records for the 3k and 5k during the indoor season, the senior started off strong in the spring by snapping the 13-year old outdoor record. She ranks eighth in the East Region and 21st in the nation in that event.

Women's Field Athlete of the Week
Melissa Kurzdorfer, Kent State
Freshman, Lancaster, N.Y. (Lancaster)
Kurzdorfer won the women's hammer throw with a school-record toss of 193'-6" (58.99m). The mark surpasses a throw of 191'-4" by LeVania Henderson in 2009. She also finished third in the women's discus throw courtesy of a toss of 155'-0" (47.25m).

Additional Women's Nominees
Ariane Beaumont-Courteau, Akron
Freshman, Montreal, Quebec (College Jean-Eudes)
Beaumont-Courteau finished second in the pole vault with a clearance of 13-00.25 at the prestigious LSU Tiger Relays last weekend in Baton Rouge, La. The native of Montreal enters the week ranked 16th in the nation in the pole vault.

Rebecca Lomax, Ball State
Freshman, Indianapolis, Ind. (Southport)
Freshman multi-event specialist Rebecca Lomax turned in first-place finish in the high jump (5-3 /1.60m) and ran the first leg of the first-place 1x100m Relay (48.15) at the 24th Annual Polar Bear Invitational Hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University. She also placed ninth in the 200m run (26.21) at the meet.

Judah Smith, Ball State
Sophomore, Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain)
Sophomore sprinter Judah Smith battled through freezing temperatures to post a pair of first-place finishes at the 24th Annual Polar Bear Invitational Hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University. Smith took home top honors in both the 200m dash (25.18) and the 400m dash (58.81), while running anchor for the third-place 4x400m relay (4:05.85). Her time of 25.18 in the 200m dash was a career-best effort, toping her previous mark of 25.61.

Abby Koch, Bowling Green
Sophomore, Stow, Ohio (Stow)
Abby Koch, a sophomore from Stow, Ohio, crossed the finish line first in both of her races as the BGSU Falcon track and field team began the 2011 outdoor season by hosting the Northwest Ohio Relays on Saturday (March 26). Koch won the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:54.88, and she ran the final leg of the Falcon relay team that won the 4x1600m relay in 21:35.77.

Jessie Rowland, Bowling Green
Sophomore, Germantown, Ohio (Valley View)
Falcon sophomore Jessie Rowland, MAC indoor champion in the weight throw, competed in four throwing events in her first outdoor action of the 2011 season at BGSU's Northwest Ohio Relays. Rowland won both the hammer throw and javelin throw and placed second in the shot put and discus throw. Rowland's mark of 174-4 (53.15m) with the hammer was a personal record and currently ranks second in the MAC. Rowland's best toss of the javelin traveled 114-1 (34.78m) and also currently ranks second in the MAC.

Danielle Dakroub, Central Michigan
Senior, Okemos, Mich. (Okemos)
In the outdoor season opener, Dakroub ran a career-best 16:54.39 at the Stanford Invitational on Friday. She finished more than seven seconds faster than her previous career best. Dakroub placed sixth in her section of 40 runners at the meet.

Shanequa Williams, Kent State
Freshman, Akron, Ohio (Kenmore)
Williams made her career debut in the women's 400-meter dash Saturday (March 26) at the Raleigh Relays, clocking a 56.10 to finish 10th. She was also part of Kent State's 4x400-meter relay team that placed fifth with a time of 3:51.82.

Diona Graves, Miami
Junior, Fenton, Mo. (Kirkwood)
Graves won the 100m dash in a personal-best 11.93 seconds at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational Saturday, winning by over two-tenths of a second. Her time ranks her fourth in school history in the 100m dash and is tops in the MAC this year. She was competing against a field of 39 runners, including athletes from Vanderbilt and MAC foe Central Michigan. Graves also helped Miami take second out of eight in the 4x100m relay in 46.82 seconds as she ran the anchor leg.

Tori Paterra, Miami
Freshman, Elizabeth, Pa. (Elizabeth Forward)
Paterra broke the school record in the javelin with a toss of 49.91m/163-09 to take first in the event at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational, which was her first collegiate outdoor meet. She won in a field of 18, beating the runner-up by over nine feet while her throw ranks fifth nationally and tops in the MAC (by 14 feet). She also took fourth in the shot put with a heave of 13.30m/43-07.75, which was third among collegiate athletes. She ranks fourth in the MAC in the shot put.

Emma Kertesz, Toledo
Sophomore, Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic)
The University of Toledo women's track and field team opened the outdoor season in split-squad fashion as they competed in both the Stanford Invitational and Raleigh Relays this weekend. Emma Kertesz highlighted Friday's performances, moving up to third on the UT all-time list with her time in the 10,000m race in Palo Alto, CA. Kertesz ran 35:01.72 in the inaugural race of the outdoor season, jumping ahead of Toledo legend Briana Shook for third all-time and finishing 13th in the 40-participant race.

Iris Campbell, Western Michigan
Sophomore, Emmett, Mich. (Emmett)
Campbell captured her first individual win of the season in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:01.50. She later helped WMU to one of its two relay titles on the weekend in the 4x400m relay. She helped the 4x400 team to a time of 3:40.92, just under four seconds faster than second place Alabama. Campbell also helped the Broncos to a second place finish in the shuttle hurdle relay. She was the top collegiate finisher in the 200m dash, finishing in fourth overall with a time of 24.15 seconds.

Sarah Morris, Western Michigan
Senior, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Mt. Pleasant)
Morris took an individual title at the Alabama Relays in the discus throw with a toss of 166 feet, 10 inches. Her first-place distance was over four inches further than second place D'Ana McCarty from Louisville.