MAC Announces Track and Field Athletes of the Week

Updated 1/15/2013

Women's Track Athlete of the Week
Vanessa Clerveaux, Eastern Michigan, Sprints/Hurdles
Freshman, Brockton, Mass. /Brockton
In just her second collegiate meet of her career, Vanessa Clerveaux raced to two victories to help Eastern Michigan defeat MAC foes Akron and Buffalo in the EMU Triangular, Friday Jan. 11, in Bowen Field House. The freshman Clerveaux won the 60-meter dash in 7.63 seconds while also taking the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.38 seconds. Her two first-place finishes were good enough for 14-of-119 points scored by Eastern Michigan during the tri-meet.

Women's Field Athlete of the Week
Dior Delophont, Kent State, Jumps/Multi
Freshman, Nancy, France /Lycee Henri Poincare
Freshman Dior Delophont make quite a collegiate debut at the Doug Raymond Invitational, recording the nation's third-best mark of the season in the High Jump by clearing 6'-00.50" to win the event. That mark is second in program history for the Golden Flashes. Delophont attempted to clear 6'-02.00", which would have been the best jump in the nation this season and broken both the school and Kent State Field House record, but was unsuccessful. In the 60-Meter Hurdles, Delophont advanced to the finals and finished with a time of 9.26 for seventh-place.

Men's Track Athlete of the Week
Jay Saunders, Eastern Michigan, Sprints
Senior, Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester 
Eastern Michigan senior team co-captain Jay Saunders sprinted his way to two wins in the EMU Triangular, Jan. 11, leading the Eagles past Akron and Buffalo in a scored meet between three MAC schools. Saunders’ time of 6.93 seconds was good enough for a victory in the 60-meter dash, and he also took the 200-meter dash in 22.18 seconds. Tallying 14 points helped Eastern Michigan total 113 points as Akron and Buffalo scored 109 points and 77 points, respectively.


Men's Field Athlete of the Week
Shawn Barber, Akron, Pole Vault 
Freshman, Kingwood, Texas /Kingwood Park HS
Shawn Barber hit the ground running in his first collegiate meet by smashing the school record in the pole vault at the EMU Triangular last Friday night in Ypsilanti, Mich. The freshman jumped a winning height of 18-04.50 to surpass the previous standard of 18-02.50, which was originally established by five-time All-American John Russell in 2006. Barber's huge jump is the top mark in the country entering this week and believed to be the seventh-best, dual meet jump in NCAA history.

Other Nominees: 

Brittany Funk, Akron, Throws
Junior, Jeromesville, Ohio/Hillsdale HS
Brittany Funk was in mid-season form at the EMU Triangluar last Friday night, launching a winning toss of 64-10.50 in the weight throw. The mark represented a personal best for the junior and reigning MAC Outdoor hammer throw champion and is the 13th-best throw in the country entering the week. Funk's previous PR was 60-05.25, established at the MAC Indoor Championships a year ago. 

Tyshaun Peoples, Akron, Jumps
Senior, Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville HS)
Tyshaun Peoples was one of six individual winners for the Zips men's team at the EMU Triangular last Friday night as the senior crossed the line first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.05 seconds. It is the top time reported in the MAC this season and is tied for the 39th-fastest mark in the nation. 
Brooke Pleger, Bowling Green, Throws
Redshirt Sophomore, Saline, Mich. /Saline 
Week’s Achievements (detailed description of week’s events):
Brooke Pleger remained undefeated in the weight throw during the indoor track and field season, tossing it a career-best 61-feet-7 to win the Bowling Green Opener by almost three feet. Pleger's toss ranks among the top 30 in the country so far and is tied for the second longest in the MAC this year. Her throw was almost two feet further than her previous best, when she had a weight throw mark of 59-8.25 at the Eagle Holiday Meet to open the season.
Jonathan Jones, Buffalo, Throws
Junior, Portville, NY/Portville
Competing in his first meet for the Bulls after transferring from Buffalo State College and sitting out the 2012 season, junior Jonathan Jones won the shot put with a top throw of 59-5.50 (18.12m), more than five feet better than the second-place finisher at the Eastern Michigan Triangular. Jones also finished fifth in the weight throw at 53-3 (16.23m).
Kelly Truppo, Buffalo, Pole Vault
Sophomore, Alden, NY/Alden
Sophomore Kelly Truppo finished sixth in the pole vault at the Eastern Michigan Triangular as she set a new personal best of 12-7.50 (3.85m) and earned an automatic qualifying spot in the event for the upcoming MAC Championships.
Brooklynn Ventura, Buffalo, Hurdles/Sprints
Senior, Waterloo, NY/Waterloo
An All-Mid-American Conference honoree in 2012, Brooklynn Ventura picked up a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles in the 2013 season-opening Eastern Michigan Triangular. Ventura clocked 8.66 seconds and earned an automatic qualifying spot in the event at the upcoming MAC Championships in February. Ventura also finished third in the women’s 200-meters in 25.91.
Dee Smith, Central Michigan, Jumps
Sophomore, Stone Mountain, Ga./Redam HS
Took first out of a field of 10 competitors in the long jump with a personal record of 7.16m (23-06.00) at the CMU Chippewa Open on Jan. 11. At the Eagle Holiday Meet Smith set a new career-best en route to winning the men’s long jump with a mark of 23-00.75.
Shawntoreah Turk, Central Michigan, Sprints
Junior, Saginaw, Mich. /Carrollton HS
Took first place in the 600m with a time of 1:37.46 at the CMU Chippewa Open on Jan. 11.  At the Eagle Holiday Meet, Turk won the 500m dash in a tentative nation-best 1:13.55, according to’s rankings Dec. 8. She was just a half-second away from breaking the fastest time in Bowen Fieldhouse history, held since 1985.
Shaya Wilkerson, Central Michigan, Triple Jump 
Freshman, Mount Laurel, N.J /Lenape Regional HS
Won the triple jump with a leap of 11.44m  (37-06.50) at the CMU Chippewas Open. Directly following the triple jump, Wilkerson made her way to the high jump, where she finished third with 1.58m (5-02.25). At the Eagle Holiday Meet on Dec. 7, Wilkerson won the women’s triple jump with a mark of 38-03.5 in her first collegiate competition.
Brittany Crew, Eastern Michigan, Throws
Freshman, Toronto, Ontario, Canada/Birchmount Park 
After shattering the school shot put record in her collegiate debut, Dec. 7, at the Eagle Holiday Meet, Eastern Michigan freshman Brittany Crew broke her own record with a 15.67-meter (51-feet, 5-inches) toss to win the shot put at Friday’s EMU Triangular, Jan. 11. Crew’s record-breaking performance helped the Eagles soar past Akron and Buffalo in scored meet between the three MAC schools.
Solomon Ijah, Eastern Michigan, Multis
Sophomore, Murrieta Calif. /Murrieta Valley 
Eastern Michigan’s Solomon Ijah contributed to his team’s win over Akron and Buffalo at the EMU Triangular, Jan. 11, by taking top honors in the long jump with leap of 6.98 meters (22-feet, 11-inches). The sophomore also scored points for the Eagles while leaping to a fourth-place finish in the triple jump to help the EMU defeat two conference opponents in a rare, scored meet.
Brandon Bailey, Kent State, Sprints
Senior, Pittsburgh, Pa. /Penn Hills
Senior Brandon Bailey captured titles in individual and relay events at the Doug Raymond Invitational on Saturday. Bailey’s day began by taking first-place in the 400-Meter Dash. His time of 48.76 was nearly two seconds faster than his closest competitor in the event. Bailey was a member of the Golden Flashes’ relay team that won the 4x400 Relay in 3:20.68 to conclude the meet.
Megan Gregory, Northern Illinois, Sprint
Senior, Chicago, Ill. /Plainfield North HS
Gregory made her 2013 debut Saturday at the Illini Open with a pair of finals appearances in the sprint events. In the 60 hurdles, the senior took fifth place with a time of 9.02 while going up against Illinois' vaunted sprints group. She followed that up with a seventh place finish in the 60 meters, clocking in at 8.02 to handily defeat Illinois' Kristin Morrison, Saint Louis' Kita Alvares and fellow Huskie Natalie Tarter. 
Sidra Sherrill, Northern Illinois, Shot Put 
Sophomore, Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop HS
Sherrill continued her impressive sophomore campaign at the Illini Open, taking first place in the shot put with a personal best toss of 45-08.00 (13.92m) - her second shot put PR in as many meets this year. The sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind., topped Illinois' Kristen Wilson by nearly six inches and Saint Louis' Hannah Kuenzel by almost three feet. The win was the second event title in Sherrill's career and the first indoor win.
Mackenzie Chojnacky, Toledo, 
Sophomore, Jerome, Idaho (Jerome)
Sophomore Mackenzie Chojnacky won the mile and finished second in the 800-meter run at the Bowling Green Opener on Jan. 12. In her first meet of the season, Chojnacky ran the mile in 4:54.82, which automatically qualified her for the MAC Indoor Championships. The two-time 2012 MAC cross country runner of the week finished one second shy of qualifying in the 800-meter run as well, recording a mark of 2:14.39. The Rockets finished second in the five-team meet with 90.50 overall points.
Chelsea Gerbers, Western Michigan, Throws
Junior, Ft. Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran HS
Gerbers took second place in both the weight throw and the shot put as WMU dominated the BG opener, racking up 215 points. Gerbers threw a personal-best distance of 58-7.50 in the weight throw. In the shot put she tossed 45-9 to take second, falling .25 inches shy of first place. 
Rebecca Hall, Western Michigan, 
Sophomore, Barrien Springs, Mich. /East Kentwood HS
Hall was the top collegiate finisher in both the 60 and 200 meter dash and helped the 4x400 relay team take first place. In the 60 meter dash she took second overall but first among scored collegiate runners with a time of 7.79 seconds. She did the same in the 200, taking second with a time of 25.37 seconds. Hall also ran the lead-off leg in WMU's 4x400 "A" squad that finished in first place, helping them to a time of 3:55.89.