Track and Field Weekend Preview

Updated 1/17/2013

Akron 
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron track and field program will open its home schudule Friday night when local rival Kent State comes to Stile Athletics Field House for dual-meet action.

Field events will begin at 6:30 p.m., with running events getting underway at 7:15 p.m. Scoring in the meet will be on a 5-3-2-1 basis for individual events with two athletes per school eligible to score. Relays will be scored 5-3 with one score per team.
 
Live results will be posted to FinishTiming.com with a live web stream available through MAC-Sports.com. All tickets are $6 with Family Packs (2 adults and 2 youth) available for $20. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
 
The Zips will feature nine defending winners from this meet a year ago. The group includes Nick Banke (shot put), Daryl Baptiste (long jump), Brad Hough (3,000-meters), Shawn Light (pole vault), Nick Stroemple (mile) and the men's 4x400 relay team. On the women's side, the list includes Ariane Beaumont-Courteau (pole vault), Alex Bowers (3,000-meters) and Brittany Cheese (long jump).
 
In team scoring, Akron split the meet in Kent with the men claiming an 80-71 victory and the Zips' women sufferring a 91-59 setback to the Golden Flashes.
 
The Zips men's and women's teams each finished second at the Eastern Michigan University Triangular last weekend in Ypsilanti, Mich.
 
It was a grand debut for freshman pole vaulter and reigning Mid-American Conference Men's Field Athlete of the Week Shawn Barber, who enters the competition ranked No. 1 in the nation after posting a school-record jump of 18-04.50. Not only will Barber be looking to claim his second collegiate win in as many weeks, the Texas native will be gunning for the field house facility record of 18-01.00, which was initially set by five-time Zips' All-American John Russell in 2006.
 
Barber was one of six individual winners on the day for the Zips, who finished just four points behind the host Eagles. Sharing the spotlight on the women's side were strong performances from pole vaulters Beaumont-Courteau and Clarie Lucas, who finished 1-2 with like jumps of 13-01.50, and Brittany Funk, who smashed her personal best with a winning toss of 64-10.50 in the weight throw.
 
Ball State
MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State indoor track & field team travels to Bloomington, Ind., for the second time this season when it competes in this weekend's Gladstein Invitational at Indiana's Gladstein Fieldhouse.
 
The two-day meet is scheduled to begin Friday at noon with competition in the multi-events. Individual track & field events are slated to begin at 4 p.m. Friday. Action for the BSU squad picks back up at 11 a.m. Saturday beginning with finals in the weight throw and 200m dash.
 
In its 2012-13 season debut, the Ball State indoor track & field team scored 12 top-five efforts at the Hoosier Open hosted by Indiana. Senior MaryKate Mellen led the way for the Cardinals by kicking off the season with a first-place showing in the 5000m run open race with a career-fast time of 17:41.81. She also placed third in the mile with a time of 5:06.06.
 
In addition to the team's top-five performances, Ball State's student-athlete were able to post 17 career-best efforts in the opening meet of the season. Below is a complete list of Ball State's top performances this season.
 
Bowling Green
Bowling Green, Ohio
– The Bowling Green track and field team heads to the University of Michigan Saturday to compete in the annual Red Simmons / Jack Harvey Invitational. Field events are tentatively scheduled to begin at the U-M Indoor Track Building at 10:30 a.m. and running events will begin at 12:30 p.m.
 
LAST TIME OUT
BGSU hosted the Bowling Green Opener this past Saturday and the Falcons placed a competitive fourth out of five teams. Brooke Pleger continued her domination in the weight throw, remaining undefeated on the year by winning the event with a personal best toss of 61-feet-7. Brittany Sinclair, competing for the Falcons for the first time, placed third in the 400 and helped the team to a second place finish in the 1600 relay at 3:56.15. Redshirt freshmen Andrea Alt and Jasmine Redman ran strong races in the 3000, placing second and third respectively.
 
Central Michigan
MOUNT PLEASANT - This weekend, the Central Michigan track and field squads will be heading over to the University of Michigan to compete in the Simmons-Harvey Invitational, at the U-M Indoor Track Building. Field events will start at 10:30 a.m., followed by running events around 12:30 p.m.
 
The Chippewas will be competing versus Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green State, Detroit-Mercy and host Michigan.
 
This meet will again be a preparation meet for the Chippewas, getting ready for the GVSU Quad held at Grand Valley State University.
 
"This weekend's preparation is to continue getting our bodies sharp and ready to go for Grand Valley and meets after that. The biggest thing right now is that we won't have all of our major contributors running on the track," Willie Randolph, Director of Track and Field, said of this weekend. "We're going to have some people sitting out, still getting more training, and then our throwers are not going to compete, maybe Alex [Rose] will compete, and some of our top jumpers will stay back as well."
 
Junior Clay Holman won the 200m dash at the CMU Open this past weekend, with a time of 22.80. Also taking first for the Chippewas was sophomore Ethan Lievense in the mile race with a time of 4:20.25.
 
Heat sheets will be posted later this week.
 
Eastern Michigan 
YPSILANTI, Mich.–  The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team will hit the road for the first time this season, but will stay in Washtenaw County. The Eagles will compete in the Simmons-Harvey Invitational, Saturday Jan. 19, at the University of Michigan Indoor Track Building with action beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Green and White will face competition from the University of Detroit-Mercy, Central Michigan University, Bowling Green State University and host school, University of Michigan.
 
EMU enters Saturday's invitational ranked No. 9 nationally in the Track and Field News Magazine women's dual meet rankings. This will be the Eagles' first meet away from the friendly confines of Bowen Field House and Bob Parks Track, a place where they found success earlier this season. As the host of the Eagle Holiday Meet and the EMU Triangular, the Green and White came away victorious in both meets.
 
“We were pleased with our win last weekend, but it was just a starting point,” commented EMU Head Coach Sue Parks. “We are looking forward to improving with each meet, and it will be exciting to compete against our Big Ten rival (Michigan) down the road this weekend.”
 
Not only has Eastern competed impressively as a team, but there have been many individual athletes that have shined in their respective events. Victoria Voronko and Vanessa Clerveaux lead the Eagles with three victories in as many events on the young season. Clerveaux was named Mid-American Conference Women's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan. 15, following her two-victory performance at the EMU Triangular.
 
Freshman Brittany Crew has made an immediate impact to begin her EMU career, breaking the 22-year old school record in the shot put during both meets this season. Team captains Asia Rawls and Tatijana Jacobson have each recorded two wins during the 2012-13 campaign as well.
 
For a more in-depth look on the EMU women's track team, check out the Eagle All-Access video above, featuring senior team captain Morgan Churchwell.
 
Kent State
KENT, Ohio – After a five-week layoff between competitions, the Kent State indoor track and field teams will compete for the second time in seven days at the Akron Dual on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Stile Athletics Field House.
 
Friday will be the first time this season that Kent State competes in a meet that is scored. Last season, the Golden Flashes split the meet. The women came away with a decisive 91-59 win while the men dropped a 79-72 decision.
 
The top four finishers will be scored for individual events (5-3-2-1) and the top two places will be scored for relay events (5-3). Live results and web stream of the meet will be available online.
 
Field events, starting with the women's pole vault, begin at 6:30 p.m. Running events will begin on the track with the men's 1-mile run at 7:15 p.m. Admission is $6 for all individuals and Family Packs are available for $20. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
 
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois track & field team will make their longest trip of the indoor regular season this weekend when they compete in Minnesota’s Jack Johnson Classic.
 
The meet starts Friday at 3 p.m. with the pentathlon, along with the pole vault, long jump, 200 meters and 5000 meters. The action continues Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the high jump, while running events start at noon with the preliminary rounds of the 60 meters.
 
“The staff is expecting to see each athlete compete with confidence,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “We have to conquer the mental negativity to produce quality.”
 
NIU will take part in their first scored meet this weekend following two strong showings at open meets. Last weekend in Champaign, Ill., the Huskies notched one event title – Sidra Sherrill in the shot put – and 13 top five finishes. Additionally, the team saw numerous personal records fall inside the UI Armory.
 
“The benefit of competing in a scored competition is the accountability of the athlete to perform,” Teaberry said. “An athlete’s sense of pride rises when they know they have contributed to the team’s final finish. Scored meets also allow the athlete to see where they measure up to the rest of the athletes in their events.”
 
This weekend, Northern will face some of the best programs in the upper Midwest. The field is headlined by the host Golden Gophers and five-time defending Summit League champion North Dakota State. Other teams in the field include Mid-American Conference rival Western Michigan, South Dakota State, South Dakota, Division II power Augustana (S.D.) and Manitoba.
 
Toledo, OH - The University of Toledo women's track team will compete in the Indiana Gladstein Invitational this weekend in Bloomington, IN. The two-day event will run all day on Friday and Saturday inside the Gladstein Fieldhouse on the campus of Indiana University.
Friday's schedule begins with multi-events at Noon, as the field events are slated to begin at 4:00 p.m. and track at 4:25 p.m. Saturday's multi-events will  begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by field event finals from Noon to 1:00 p.m. and track finals from 11:00 a.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m.
 
The Midnight Blue and Gold are coming off a second-place showing at the Bowling Green Opener last weekend. The Rockets finished second in the five-team meet with 90.50 overall points.
 
Sophomore Mackenzie Chojnacky won the mile and finished second in the 800-meter run 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.
 
Juniors Amber Brown and Jillian Sledge are the other Rockets to automatically qualify for the conference indoor championships, thus far. Brown tops the MAC performance list in the 60-meter dash with a mark of 7.61 at the Eagles Holiday Meet hosted by Eastern Michigan on Dec. 7, 2012. Sledge qualified by posting an 8.70 time in the 60-meter hurdles at the same meet.
 
Junior Kaylin Belair and freshman Brooke Tullis are close to qualifying as they sit right behind Chojnacky on the performance list with fourth and fifth place in the mile. Senior Kiah Douglas only needs to improve her long jump by .03 meters to reach the qualifying mark of 5.75 meters.
 
Follow the Rockets on Twitter (@UTRocketsDotCom) and visit www.utrockets.com for more information.
 
 

Western Michigan 
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan track and field heads to the University of Minnesota for the Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic on Friday and Saturday.

For the third straight week the Broncos will be competing in a scored meet, going up against hosts Minnesota, North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Manitoba and Augstana. Western Michigan is 2-0 this season in scored meets with a dual-meet win over Toledo and a big win at the Bowling Green Opener last weekend.
 
"This should be an all-around good competition," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "Minnesota is a very strong program and so are all the Dakota schools. NIU has also improved and has some very talented sprinters."
 
WMU is fresh off a convincing win at the BG Opener in which the team racked up 215 points. 
 
"I thought we took some steps forward. The jumpers were a lot more consistent in their approaches. Our throwers executed better and the 3k racers did a great job."
 
One Bronco who impressed was junior middle-distance specialist Aisha Hodge. Hodge took first in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:15.71, shaving off two seconds from her previous performance against Toledo. 
 
"Last year it took her a while to hit 2:15," added Lycan. "She was still figuring out who she was last year and is really starting to show the signs of being one of those top runners that expects to be up in the front, no matter who she is running against."
 
Events begin at 4 p.m. EDT on Friday and resume at 11 a.m. on Saturday.