MAC Announces Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Updated 5/7/2012
Female Track Athlete of the Week
Brooklynn Ventura, Buffalo
Junior, Waterloo, NY/Waterloo

Brooklynn Ventura set a pair of Cornell stadium records in winning the women's 100-meter hurdles on Sunday at the Big Red Invitational. Ventura was the fastest qualifier in the preliminary heats turning in a time of 13.83, lowering the Kane Complex record by a tenth of a second. She lowered the record further in the finals as she won in 13.71, three-tenths of a second ahead of the second-place finisher. At the Penn Relays, she was part of UB's record setting 4x100-meter shuttle hurdles along with Jasmine Thompson, Ayo Ehindero and Kristina Arcury as they finished in 57.98, winning their heat and placing fourth overall among the eight schools entered in the event.

Female Field Athlete of the Week
Lydia Gomez-Diaz, Eastern Michigan University
Freshman, Tarragona, Spain (IES Collblanc)

Freshman Lydia Gomez-Diaz threw a 190-feet and one-inch toss in the hammer throw to take the top-spot at the Penn Relays on Thursday afternoon. Gomez-Diaz' throw was good for second-best in Eastern Michigan history, while it was also the best toss to this point in the 2012 season by any MAC athlete.

Male Track Athlete of the Week
Joshua Schmidt, Kent State 
Junior, Ashwood, Australia

Schmidt took second place in the unseeded heat of the men's 800-meter run at the Drake Relays this weekend, finishing in 1:50.60 for the team's fastest time of the year, is eighth in program history and is second-best in the MAC this season. Schmidt also aided Kent State's 4x800-meter relay team to a sixth place finish at the Drake Relays with a time of 7:31.48. 

Male Field Athlete of the Week
Tyshaun Peoples, Akron
Senior, Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville HS

Tyshaun Peoples finished third in the championship division of the long jump at the Penn Relays last weekend with a huge mark of 25-06.25. It was a personal record for the Cleveland native and a top-5 mark nationally. With the jump, Peoples, who now owns the top jump in the MAC, easily surpassed his previous best of 25-02.75, set at the Texas Relays last May. 

Other Nominees
Victoria Voronko, Eastern Michigan University
Freshman, Moscow, Russia (Univ. of Moscow)

Additional Info: Freshman Victoria Voronko earned second place honors at this weekend’s Hillsdale Gina Relays when she broke the Eastern Michigan University record for the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Voronko finished the race in 10:33.50 which is the best time by anyone in the Mid-American Conference by more than 13 seconds. Voronko broke Courtney Calka’s record set in 2011 by almost eight seconds.

Mindy Sawnor, Kent State
Junior, Rochester, N.Y.

Sawnor took first place in the women's 800-meter run at the Hillsdale College Relays April 27 with a time of 2:08.29, a PR that ranks fifth in Kent State history. Sawnor beat a field of 44 runners and moved into 87th place nationally with her time. 

Kelley Miller, Miami University, Senior
Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman HS/Michigan State)

Miller had a stellar showing Saturday at the famed Drake Relays as she broke the school record in the 1500m run with a time of 4:23.64. Her time is tops in the MAC this year and four seconds faster than anyone else in the league while she broke the school record for the second time this year, topping her previous-best time by over a second. She first set the record of 4:24.71 at her season-opening meet this year. Miller finished seventh in the race in a very competitive field of 17 that included runners from the Big 12, the Big Ten and the SEC. Nebraska’s Ashley Miller won the race in a Drake Relays record of 4:15.61, which ranks in the top 10 nationally, while Kelley Miller was the only MAC athlete in the race.

Northern Illinois' 4x100 Relay Team
Chanel Kellyman (Senior - Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Janay Mitchell (Junior - Teaneck, N.J.), Roneisha Frye (Junior - Fairview Heights, Ill.) and Rasheta Butler (Senior - Chicago, Ill.)
The 4x100 relay team turned in a spectacular weekend at the Drake Relays, finishing in third place and breaking a school record in the process. The quartet of Chanel Kellyman, Janay Mitchell, Roneisha Frye and Rasheta Butler originally broke the NIU mark Friday morning with a 45.52 run in the prelims to finish with the third-fastest time and move on to the finals. In Saturday's final, the relay blazed to a 45.38 clip to take bronze, trailing only Texas and Arkansas while beating UTEP, Cincinnati and Mississippi. Their time currently ranks as the fastest in the MAC, 40th in the West Region and tied for 71st in the country.

Emily Pifer, Ohio
Sophomore, Canal Winchester, Ohio/Canal Winchester

In the 10k championship race at the GINA Relays, Emily Pifer ran the fastest time of any attached athlete. The sophomore finished with a PR time of 34:55.33, the best time this season for a Bobcat and the second-best time in the Mid-American Conference.

Rachel Whitley, Western Michigan
Junior,Leroy, Mich./Leroy Pine HS

Performance: Whitley ran her fastest time of the season and an outdoor personal best to win the open 800 meter run at the Drake Relays with a time of 2:08.18. Her time was the third-fastest in WMU history and is currently second-fastest in the MAC. Whitley also contributed to the 4x800 relay team's school record-breaking performance. The team took sixth place with a time of 8:48.75, in which Whitley ran the anchor leg.

Rachel Roberts, Buffalo
Rachel Roberts  won the women's Eastern shot put at the Penn Relays with a toss of 50-8 (15.44m), nearly three feet better than her top throw this season and setting a personal best.

Domenica Rossi, Kent State
junior, Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Rossi won the women's pole vault at the Ashland Alumni Invite April 28. Rossi cleared a height of 12-08.25 to take first place for her best vault of the season.

Alexandra Roberts, Miami University, Senior
Hilliard, Ohio (Columbus School for Girls)
Roberts competed in the shot put Friday at the famed Drake Relays and finished 15th out of 30 in a very tough field that included athletes from the Big 12, the Big Ten, the SEC and the Missouri Valley Conference. She posted a heave of 15.29m/50-2, which was the same distance as Nebraska’s Carlie Pinkelman, who was 14th, but Pinkelman’s second-best throw was further than Roberts’. Roberts set the school record in the shot put (15.69m/51-5.75) earlier this year while her throw Saturday was the fourth-best in school history, all of which are owned by Roberts and were set this year. She finished ahead of Kent State’s Joh’vonnie Mosley, who took 22nd as the only other Mid-American Conference athlete in the event and who is the only MAC competitor that ranks ahead of Roberts in the shot put this year.

Jenner Sio, Northern Illinois
Senior, Rockford, Ill. (Christian Life HS)
Senior Jenner Sio posted an outstanding performance in the triple jump at the 103rd annual Drake Relays, leaping 40-02.00 (12.24m) to place seventh at the event. In addition, Sio broke the NIU record in the event, which she held with a 39-10.75 (12.16m) mark. The senior from Rockford, Ill., also vaulted herself into contention for a spot at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary Round, as her record jump puts her in a tie for 45th.

Janiece Rose, Ohio
Freshman, Franklinville, N.J./ Delsea Regional
Freshman Janiece Rose set an Ohio best for 2012 with a throw of 13.75 meters in the shot put. She also broke into the top-10 among MAC student-athletes and her PR was good for third in the event. She also had a PR in the hammer.

Chelsea Gerbers, Western Michigan
Sophomore, Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran HS
Performance: Gerbers took first place in the shot put with a personal-best, and throw of 47-06.50. Her throw was the best among any Bronco this season in the shot put. She also placed eighth in the hammer throw with a distance of 156-09. 

Brad Hough, Akron
Sophomore, Imperial, Pa./Imperial HS

Brad Hough's impressive sophomore campaign continued with a school-record setting performance at the prestigious Penn Relays last weekend. With a time of 14:18.98, the Pennsylvania native shattered the UA standard in the championship division of the 5,000-meters by nearly 10 full seconds. Hough, who has also posted top-five all-time marks at UA in the 1,500-meters and 3,000-meters this spring, topped Scott Meyers' previous standard of 14:28.34 set in April of 2011. 

Miles Lewis, Buffalo
Miles Lewis advanced into Saturday's men's 100-meter championship at the Penn Relays as he turned in a 10.48 clocking in his heat, shaving a hundredth of a second off his previous record set at the Florida Relays. Lewis finished third in his heat as the top two finishers in each of the three heats automatically advanced to the final with the remaining three slots determined by time. Lewis finished sixth in Saturday's championship final in 10.69.

Josh George, Eastern Michigan University
Sophomore, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Frontinac Secondary)

Additional Info: At the 2012 Hillsdale “GINA” Relays, sophomore Josh George completed the 800-meter run in 1:51.38, good for third place. The time is also the second-best to this point in the Mid-American Conference. He trails just Willie Brown of Akron University who holds the best time in the MAC.

Rob Golabek, Buffalo
Rob Golabek finished sixth among 12 entrants in the men's shot put championship at the Penn Relays. Golabek posted a top throw of 61-9 (18.82m).

Arron Davis, Eastern Michigan University
Senior, Southfield, Mich. (Lathrup)

Additional Info: Senior Arron Davis was able to leap 46-feet and 11.50-inches at the Hillsdale “GINA” Relays over the weekend. The jump earned him top-honors in the triple jump, while it also ranks as the third-best in the Mid-American Conference for the 2012 outdoor track and field season.

Matthias Tayala, Kent State
freshman, McDonald, Ohio

Tayala had strong showings at both the Drake Relays and Simpson College Kip Janvrin Open this weekend. At Simpson, Tayala captured a first-place finish in the hammer throw (185-11) and took second in the discus throw (175-10), a mark that beat the previous meet record for the event and is third-best in the MAC this season. Then, at the Drake Relays, Tayala finished 15th in the hammer throw (186-08).

Adam Ruiz, Miami University, Senior
Mascoutah, Ill. (Mascoutah HS)

Ruiz had a stellar showing Saturday in his final home performance, finishing in the top three in three events at the RedHawk Invitational, which was Miami’s last home meet of the year. He won the hammer throw with a personal-best toss of 57.98m/190-3 in a field of 12 while his winning throw was 12 feet further than anyone else in the competition. He topped his previous best throw by nearly 10 feet while his new mark ranks him fifth in school history in the event. Ruiz now ranks seventh in the MAC in the hammer this year and 88th nationally. In addition to the hammer throw, he was the runner-up in the discus, also with a personal-best throw of 50.74m/166-6, just seven inches behind the event’s winner in a field of nine. He ranks seventh in the MAC in the discus now as well after improving his previous best discus throw by  nearly 20 feet. Ruiz rounded out competition by taking third out of seven in the shot put with a heave of 16.00m/52-6.