The University of Akron women’s track and field team was tabbed to capture the 2008 MAC Women’s Track and Field Championship as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Akron women have won the last two MAC Outdoor titles and a total of five straight between the indoor and outdoor seasons. Junior Stevi Large swept the 2007 MAC Indoor and Outdoor Field Performer of the Year honors, as well as the 208 MAC Indoor Field Performer of the Year. The women's team returns Outdoor All-MAC champions Large (discus and hammer) and sophomore Larisa Arcip (1,500m). Also back is second team All-MAC honoree Crystal Goldsmith Dunn (pole vault). Goldsmith Dunn leads a strong group of Zips' pole vaulters. She, along with senior Jessica Hafner Miller (he 2007 MAC Indoor pole vault champion), Carrie Kayes and Jennifer Peck each participated in the 2007 NCAA Mideast Regional.
Picked to finish second for the second year is Western Michigan. The Broncos return all of their MAC Champions from last season, except Shayna Sangster and Kristalyn Mauch. Leading the team are All-American Becky Horn (800m/4x400 relay/4x100 relay), Danielle Brown (400m hurldes/4x400 relay), Joy Eloms (4x100 relay) all return for this season. WMU finished second in 2007's outdoor season and finished second in the 2007-08 indoor season, both falling to Akron. Last season the Broncos finished tied for 15th in 2007's NCAA Mideast Regional.
The Miami RedHawks were chosen to finish third this season. Miami’s Kristina Bolterstein (high jump) is a three-time MAC indoor champion and will look to add an outdoor title to her resume in her senior season. Also returning for the RedHawks are Laura Neufarth who was the individual champion of the 2007 MAC cross country championships and also won the 5,000 meters at the 2008 MAC indoor championships and Margarita Pogorelov finished first and second in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash, respectively, at the 2008 MAC Indoor Championships.
Ball State and Central Michigan were selected to finish fourth and fifth. The Cardinals’ Amber Williams is coming off of a fourth place finish at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championship in the 60-meter hurdles. Williams was last year’s MAC Most Valuable Performer and was honored as an All-American. The Chippewas’ return All-MAC selection Jenaie Edwards who finished third CMU in the 400m at last season’s league championship.
Buffalo and Toledo were tabbed to finish sixth and seventh. Buffalo returns senior Tina Villa who claimed the MAC Indoor Championship in the shot put this season. The Rockets return junior Breezie Gibson and Joyce Kennedy who each finished in the top five in their events at the MAC Indoor Championship.
Rounding out the rest of the poll were Kent State and Eastern Michigan to finish eighth and ninth, Bowling Green to finish tenth and Ohio and Northern Illinois to finish eleventh and twelfth, respectively.
The 2008 MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Bowling Green State University May 15-17.
Women’s Track and Field Poll Results
2. Western Michigan
4. Ball State
5. Central Michigan
8. Kent State
9. Eastern Michigan
10. Bowling Green
12. Northern Illinois