Preview by MAC Intern, Kevin Sraj
Mount Pleasant, Michigan- Twelve women's teams and five men's teams travel to Central Michigan to particapate in the 2010 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend.
The five teams that will be competing on the men's side are Akron, Kent State, Central Michigan, Buffalo, and Eastern Michigan.
Looking to help Akron take the first place prize will be Phil Ferguson. During the regular season, Ferguson ran the second best time in the 200 meter. His time of 21.23 was good enough to earn him a provisional NCAA qualifying time. The Zips recorded three wins in their first three meets this season.
The University of Buffalo men's team will look to follow the lead of distance runner Ryan Zillman. Zillman had many of the top distance times for the Bulls this season. He was also the final leg of the Distance Medley Relay team that took first place in the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup with a school record time of 9:54.65. The Bulls' best finish this season was when they came in second out of seven in the Cornell Upstate Challenge.
Central Michigan will look to defend its home track during the MAC Championships. Leading the way for the Chippewas is Joshua Kettlewell. Kettlewell holds the third best score this season in the heptathlon with 4,936. Central Michigan will also look for points from pole vaulter Marcus Briedinger. Briedinger holds the second best vault this season with a height of 17-04.50. Central Michigan finished second at the Chippewa Invitational for their second time this season.
Eastern Michigan will be led into the MAC Championships by David Brent. Brent holds the season best time in the mile as well as the second best time in the 800 meter. His times of 4:00.90 and 1.50.04, respectively, are both provisional NCAA qualifying times. Eastern Michigan looks to continue their strong season that already includes three first place finishes.
Kent State looks to once again take the top spot and win for the second consecutive year. Leading the way for the Golden Flashes is by three- time MAC Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week Destin Heasley. Heasley ran the fastest 800 meter in the 2009 MAC regular season with a time of 1:49.06 which is a provisional NCAA qualifying time.
On the women's side, 11 schools will be looking to take first place away from the reigning Indoor Champion Akron Zips. The Zips looking for their seventh consecutive Indoor Track and Field title. Akron is led into the championships by two-time MAC Athlete of the week Carrie Keyes. Keyes' vault of 14-01.25 in the final regular season meet broke both the school record as well as the MAC record. The Zips best win came when they defeated Kent this season.
Ball State will look to improve on its third place finish from last season, as the Cardinals will be led into championship action by Ra'Jae Marable and Katie Johnson. Marable and Johnson hold the second and third best times of the MAC regular season in the 50m with times of 8.55 and 8.56 respectively. The Cardinals recorded a solid finish in the Gladstein Invitational when they had 15 top 5 finishes.
Bowling Green looks to follow the lead of senior Sabrina Forstein. Forstein won the pole vault in three of the four meets Bowling Green took part in this season. Her jump of 12-04.00 is in the top ten jumps of the MAC season. The Falcons' best performance was when they finished fifth at the BGSU Challenge.
Buffalo will be led into the MAC Championships by Jamiee McClary. McClary's time of 0:54.84 in the 400 meters was the best time in the MAC season. Along with Kristy Woods, McClary was one of two Bulls to be named MAC Athlete of the Week this season with McClary winning it twice. Buffalo's best finish this season was when they finished second at the Cornell Upstate Challenge.
Central Michigan looks to flourish on their home track, as the Chippewas will be led by Shayna Carr. Carr's time of 8.53 in the 60 meter hurdles was the MAC's best time this season. Also leading the way in the field is Erika Schroll whose jump of 5-11.50 in the high jump was also a MAC season high. The Chippewas recorded two first places finishes this year by taking the number one spots at the BGSU Challenge and the Chippewa Invitational.
Eastern Michigan will look to continue its strong season as they try to take home its first in the MAC Championship. Leading the way for the Eagles is ReJeana Margina. Margina holds the second best time in the 60 meters and the third best time in the 200 meters in the MAC Season. Her times in those races were 7.56 and 24.69 respectively.
Kent State heads into the MAC Championships led by Diana Dumitrescu. Dumitrescu distance of 40-06.25 was the best distance in the triple jump this season. She also recorded top ten jumps in the long jump and high jump.
Miami is lead by two-time MAC Athlete of the Week, Rachel Patterson. Her time of 16:40.13 in the 5,000 meter was the best time in the MAC this season. She also had top ten times in the 3,000 meter as well as the mile. Miami's best finish this season was at the BGSU Invitational where they took third place.
Northern Illinois will look to Rhonda Lee this weekend. Lee is a two time MAC Athlete of the week. As a freshman, she has stepped up and performed exceptionally well, coming close to a few school records on her way to an impressive freshman season. Northern Illinois best finish this season was when they came in first against Carthage.
Coming into the MAC Championships, the Ohio Bobcats are led into action by Bahiyaui Allen. Allen recorded the third best distance in the shot put in the MAC this season with a throw of 49-06.25. Ohio will also be led by high jumper Cathy Udeani whose jump of 5-08.00 was fourth in the conference. Ohio took first place in the Alumni Classic with a total of 202.87 points.
Toledo is led into the conference championships by Amanda Kaverman. Kaverman recorded top ten times in the 60 meter and 200 meter races. Toledo's best finish this season was in the Great Dane Classic. The Rockets took second in the event.
Rounding out the field of 12 is Western Michigan. The Broncos are led into the championships by Irene Cooper. Along with being named MAC Athlete of the Week, Cooper also holds top ten distances in the shot put and the 20 lb throw. Her throw of 67-10.25 in the 20 lb throw is the best distance in the MAC this season. Western Michigan's best finish this season was at the Ball State Triangular. The Broncos earned 168 points to take first place.
Competition begins Friday, Febuary 26th at 10 a.m. and concludes on Saturday evening. For more information check out the MAC Track and Field Championship Site.