MAC Announces Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Updated 5/9/2012
Female Track Athlete of the Week
Shanequa Williams, Kent State
Sophomore, Akron, Ohio

In a busy weekend for Williams, Kent State's sophomore had four top-five finishes at the Mt. SAC relays April 20 and the Beach Invitational at Long Beach State April 21. At the Beach Invite April 21, Williams won the women's 200-meter dash against a field of 107 competitors with her time of 23.74, which is second best in team history and 52nd in the nation; in Williams' 200m heat, she also defeated current Olympic 400-meter champion, Christine Ohuruogu of England. Williams also finished fourth in the women's 100-meter dash against a field of 62 competitors with a time of 11.95. At Mt. SAC, Williams had a 52.9 split in the women's 4x400-meter relay team, which posted a time of 3:41.04, good for fourth best in team history and is in the top 100 nationally this season. She also took fifth place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 53.87. Williams is now in the top 100 in the nation in three categories (200, 400, 4x400).

Female Field Athlete of the Week
Alexis Cooks, Akron
Freshman, Colorado Springs, Colo./Doherty HS

Freshman Alexis Cooks was an easy winner in the discus thanks to a huge mark at the All-Ohio Outdoor Championships in Oxford, Ohio, last weekend. Competing in just her fourth collegiate meet, Cook won the event with a throw of 173-07, which is the fifth-best mark in school history and more than seven feet better than any other competitor that day. On the strength of that toss, she enters the week ranked 24th in the country and No. 1 in the MAC. 

Male Track Athlete of the Week
Jahquil Hargrove, Miami University, 
Sophomore, Norristown, Pa. (Norristown Area HS)

Hargrove captured a pair of first-place finishes Saturday at the All-Ohio Championships, held at Miami’s cold and wet George Rider Track. First he won the 400m dash in a personal-best 47.23 seconds, which ranks him sixth in school history, while competing in a field of 23 that included runners from Ohio State, Cincinnati, Akron and Kent State among others. His time is the best in the MAC so far this year and ranks 72nd in the country. Hargrove then went on to capture the 200m dash in another personal-best time of 21.77, beating out a field of 21 that also included runners from OSU, UC, Akron and KSU. His 200m dash time ranks sixth in the MAC this year. By winning both races, he totaled 20 points to help Miami take third at the meet. Hargrove also ran on Miami’s 4x400m relay team that finished fifth in a season-best 3:14.65, the school’s fastest time in nearly five years, while he helped pick up another four points towards the team score.

Male Field Athlete of the Week
Jordan Goffena, Miami University, Senior
Sidney, Ohio (Sidney HS/Cal Poly SLO)

Goffena captured the decathlon Friday and Saturday at the All-Ohio Championships, hosted by Miami at a cold and wet George Rider Track, as he totaled a personal-best 7,314 points, which is the top decathlon score in the MAC this year and ranks 23rd nationally, putting him in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships. He beat out the runner-up, Akron’s Bryan Jones, by 253 points, while competing against a field of 13. His score was over 300 points better than his previous best total while he now ranks third in Miami history in the decathlon. Of his 10 events, Goffena posted personal bests in five of them and finished first in all four races on the track. He won the 100m dash in a personal-best 11.03 and the 400m dash in a personal-best 49.34 while also crossing first in the 1500m run (4:40.45) and the 110m hurdles (14.49).  He took second in the discus with a personal-best throw of 38.68m/126-11, while taking fourth in both the shot put (12.26m/40-2.75) and javelin (49.98m/164-0), both of which are also PRs. Goffena also took fourth in the long jump with a non-wind-aided season-best jump of 6.98m/22-11, which ranks seventh in the MAC this year. By winning the decathlon, Goffena picked up 10 points to help Miami take third overall at the meet.

Other Nominees:
Brooklynn Ventura, Buffalo
Brooklynn Ventura broke the UB women's record in the 100-meter hurdles at the Cortland Classic Invitational. Ventura was the fastest competitor in the preliminary race of the event, finishing in 13.60 seconds, taking two-tenths of a second off her 2012 season-best and bettering Lataya Dixon's mark of 13.77 set in the 2009 season

Holly Anderson, Central Michigan University
Senior, Fruitport, Mich. (Fruitport H.S.)

Additional Information: Anderson made her 5,000m season debut count with a third-place finish in a career-best time of 16:44.06 at the Polytan Invitational on Saturday. With her time, she is ranked 126th in Division I, according to the Track and Field Results Reporting System. Her time seeds her as the second-fastest MAC woman student-athlete in the 5,000m, behind teammate Raeanne Lohner.

Shantavia Williams, Eastern Michigan University
Senior, Homestead, Fla. (South Dade)

Senior Shantavia Williams was able to set a new Mid-American Conference standard as she took the 200-meter dash over the weekend at the Al Owens Classic in Allendale, Mich. Williams completed the distance in 23.73, which also ranks seventh in Eastern Michigan University history. Williams was also a member of the first place 4x100-meter relay team that finished the race in 46.14. 

Rachael Clay, Miami University, Senior
Rossford, Ohio (Rossford HS)

Clay had another strong outing Saturday at the All-Ohio Championships, hosted by the RedHawks, as she won the 400m dash in 54.60 to earn 10 points for Miami, helping them earn runner-up at the meet. She finished nearly two seconds ahead of the runner-up in the race from Cincinnati while competing in a field of 30 that included athletes from MAC schools Ohio, Bowling Green and Akron. The time is the second-best of her career, just behind her 54.43 clocking last week, while her mark is the seventh-fastest time in school history, despite running in cold, wet conditions. Clay also ran the anchor leg on Miami’s 4x400m relay team that clocked a school-record 3:40.90, topping the previous record, which Clay also ran on, by nearly two seconds (3:42.72). She led Miami to a runner-up finish and nearly caught Cincinnati at the finish line as she was edged out by 16-hundredths of a second. In doing so, she helped the ‘Hawks pick up another eight points in the meet while the 4x4 time ranks third in the MAC this year.

Rebecca Cronin, Northern Illinois
Junior, Bartlett, Ill. (Bartlett HS)

Rebecca Cronin recorded an impressive showing in the 800 meters Saturday at the 85th annual Kansas Relays, breaking both a personal record and a school record in the event with a 2:08.98 clip - good for a second-place finish. The junior's run topped the old school record (a 2:10.98 mark set by Lorene Skipper in 2006) by over two seconds and demolished her personal best by over three seconds. Cronin also put herself on the inside track for a berth in the NCAA West Preliminary Round, as she currently sits in 45th place in the region for the 800 meters.

Hope McCarty, Ohio
Senior, Hudson, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit

McCarty finished third in the 800 meters at the All-Ohio Championships. Her PR time of 2:11.03 moved her up to seventh among MAC athletes in the event this season. She also helped the Bobcats gain points with a fifth-place finish in the 4x4 event and scored in a third event with a seventh-place mark in the javelin.

Rebecca Hall, Western Michigan
Freshman, Berrien Springs, Mich./East Kentwood

Hall picked up the first two individual wins of her collegiate career at the Dave Rankin Invitational. Hall took first place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.99 seconds, while also winning the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.48. Hall also ran the lead-off leg of first-place 4x100 meter relay team. Hall and her teammates combined for a time of 46.82 seconds.

Milica Kulidzan, Central Michigan University
Freshman, Windsor, Ontario (Riverside S.S.)

Additional Information: In just her second collegiate javelin competition, Kulidzan won the title at the Cal. State Univ.-LA Twilight Open with a career-best mark of 145-09. She is just over four feet shy of the school record. Her mark ranks her 69th in Division 1, according to the Track and Field Results Reporting System.

Tatijana Jacobson, Eastern Michigan University
Junior, Woodville, Ohio (Woodmore)

Junior, Tatijana Jacobson placed first in the high jump at the 2012 Al Owens Classic by leaping just under five-feet and seven-inches. She leapt 1.7-meters, while the next closest in the competitions jumped 1.65-meters. The Woodville, Ohio native’s jump was also the second-best by anyone in the Mid-American Conference this season.

Penina Acayo, Kent State
Senior, Kampala, Uganda

Acayo was victorious at the Beach Invite at Long Beach State April 21, taking top honors in the women's triple jump. Acayo won the triple jump with her effort of 40-10.50 at the Beach Invite. On April 20, Acayo was third overall and second among collegiate competitors in the triple jump with her distance of 41-08.75, which leads the MAC in that category and is 33rd in the nation.

Ashley Zaper, Miami University, 
Redshirt sophomore, Whitehouse, Ohio (Anthony Wayne HS)

Zaper won the heptathlon Friday and Saturday at the cold and wet All-Ohio Championships in Oxford, competing in the seven-event competition for the first time in her career. She totaled 4,876 points, which ranks her sixth in school history, while beating out runner up Skyler Willis from Akron by 107 points in a field of 14. Her score is the highest in the MAC this year and ties for 71st in the country. Zaper posted personal bests in four of the seven events and had the top time/mark in three of them. She posted a personal best in the 100m hurdles to win the race in 14.12, which ranks seventh in the MAC this year and puts her eighth all-time at Miami. She tied for first in the high jump with an outdoor personal-best leap of 1.67m/5-5.75, which ties for fifth in the MAC this year. Her other win came in the javelin (32.54m/106-9), which was her first time throwing the javelin. She also posted PRs in the 200m dash (26.09), placing third, and in the shot put (10.03m/32-11), placing fourth. By winning the heptathlon, she earned 10 points toward Miami’s team score, helping the ‘Hawks earn runner-up at the meet.

Sidra Sherrill, Northern Illinois
Freshman, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Northrop HS)

Sidra Sherrill kept her fantastic freshman season going this weekend at the Kansas Relays with personal bests in the shot put and discus. The Fort Wayne, Ind. native topped her shot put record Friday with a 45-03.50 (13.80m) heave to finish in 12th place. Sherrill would follow that up Saturday morning with a throw of 150-00 (45.73m) to take ninth place in the discus. As a result, she now sits in fourth place in the conference in the shot put and seventh in the discus.

Alexa Macri, Ohio
Junior, St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. John Central

Macri helped the Bobcats finish sixth at the All-Ohio Championships this past weekend with two of her best performances of the season. The junior finished in the top-10 with a PR mark of 32.18 meters (MAC – 13th) in the javelin and then attained a second PR in the hammer (43.26 meters, 18th MAC).

Andrea Hiler, Western Michigan
Sophomore, Watervliet, Mich./Vatervliet

Hiler became the first Bronco in program history to surpass 170 feet in the discus, setting the WMU record with a throw of 172-4 at the Dave Rankin Invitational. Hiler took second overall but was the top collegiate finisher in the event. The previous record was 169-7, while Hiler's previous personal-best was 166-3. Her record setting distance was the second best in the MAC so far this season.

Tecumseh Adams, Central Michigan University
Sophomore, Harbor Springs, Mich. (Harbor Springs H.S.)

Additional Information: In his first 1,500m run of the season, Adams finished fourth in a career-best 3:46.83 at the Polytan Invitational on Saturday. Adams was just two seconds off the long standing school record of 3:44.1 set in 1983. He is ranked 105 in Division 1, according to the Track and Field Results Reporting System.

Cameron Bolton, Eastern Michigan University
Freshman, Missouri City, Texas (Hightower)

At the Mt. SAC Relays, Cameron Bolton placed 15th in the 400-meter dash in 47.70, the second-best time by a Mid-American Conference athlete, while also setting a new standard in the MAC with a 21.41 finish in the 200-meter dash. Bolton was also a member of the 4x400-meter team at the relays that took 20th, with a 3:17.02, fifth-best to this point in the Mid-American Conference.

Princeton Bryson, Kent State
Senior, Toledo, Ohio

Bryson was part of Kent State's 4x100-meter relay win at the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State April 21, as the team won with a time of 41.26. The day previous at the Mt. SAC Relays April 20, Bryson took eighth place in the men's 100-meter dash in a field of 47 competitors. His time of 10.49 from the race is 81st nationally. Bryson also aided 4x400-meter relay team to a 16th place finish at Mt.SAC.

Alex Rose, Central Michigan University
Junior, West Branch, Mich. (Ogemaw Heights H.S.)

Additional Information: Rose won the discus at the Cal. State Univ.-LA Twilight Open with a season-best mark of 179-00 last Friday. He also finished 27th in the discus at the Mt. SAC Relays with a mark of 169-04 the following day. Ranked 31st in Division 1, according to the Track and Field Results Reporting System, he is the top-ranked MAC student-athlete in the event.

Robert Tarpley, Eastern Michigan University
R-Freshman, Lansing, Mich. (Michigan State)

Redshirt-freshman Robert Tarpley leapt 5.81-meters at the Al Owens Classic this weekend which was good for first place by almost 0.1-meter. The Lansing, Mich. native jumped 0.09-meters further than Fernando Williams to take the top-spot at the meet held by Grand Valley State University.

Rob Falchi, Kent State
Senior, Winmalee, Australia 

Falchi jumped 49-09.75 in the men's triple jump at the Mt. SAC Relays April 20, a mark that is 63rd in the nation this year and the best in the MAC.