Track and Field Weekend Preview

Updated 1/25/2013


AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron track and field program will have the opportunity to compete against individuals from some of the best schools across the East Coast and a number of high-level professional athletes this weekend at the Penn State National.
The two-day, unscored meet begins with multi events starting at Noon Friday and continues with a mixture of finals and preliminary running events throughout the afternoon. Field event finals are split across the two days with the seeded running event finals starting Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Penn State Athletics will provide a live results feed on-line.
In addition to the host Nittany Lions, the Zips will be competing against individuals from East Carolina, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Temple, Saint Joseph's, Syracuse and more. In all, Akron will send 36 men and women to compete at Ashenfelter Indoor Track on the campus of Penn State University.
The Zips men's team, which is listed No. 14 in the country in the Collegiate Dual Meet rankings according to Track and Field News, is coming off an 80-71 victory over local rival Kent State last weekend in Stile Athletics Field House.
It has been a historical couple of weeks for UA freshman and the nation's No. 1-ranked pole vaulter Shawn Barber, who smashed the school's indoor record at the Eastern Michigan Triangular with a jump of 18-04.50 then took down the facility record by clearing 18-02.75 at the Kent Duals. Barber (field) and teammate Gabriel Genovesi (track) – who was a double winner in the 800-meters and 4x400 relay team last weekend – were named Mid-American Conference athletes of the week Tuesday. Genovesi enters the week ranked sixth in the country in the 800m after finishing in 1:50.87 against the Golden Flashes.
Alexis Cooks, the MAC's reigning Female Field Athlete of the Week, and defending conference hammer throw champion Brittany Funk are ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the nation, respectively, in the weight throw to highlight the Zips' women competitors.
Ball State 
Ball State's gymnastics team, which defeated the 16th-ranked team in the nation last week, will host Northern Illinois Friday at 7 p.m. in Irving Gym.
The meet will be the team's Alumni Meet.
The Cardinals managed a 194.5 to 194.175 victory last Friday over Central Michigan, which entered the meet ranked 16th in the nation as the defending Mid-American Conference Champion.
Under the direction of head coach Nadalie Walsh, Ball State will host Northern Illinois this week.  The Huskies enter the meet 2-0 on the season after opening with wins over Illinois State and Bowling Green.
With the win over CMU, the Cardinals improved to 1-2 on the season and 1-0 in the MAC.  Ball State's 194.500 team score tied for the 13th best mark in school history and was the team's top score since the 2002 season.
Friday's meet is free admission and will take place in Irving Gym, which is located in Ball State's Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Bowling Green track and field team will compete at home for the final time during the indoor season as the Falcons host the Tom Wright Classic Friday night at Perry Field House. Field events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with running events at 6 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for non-BGSU students with ID. BGSU students are admitted free of charge. Doors open at 4 p.m.
The Bulls travel to the SPIRE Midwest Open in Geneva, OH this weekend. It will be the first of two appearances at the SPIRE facilities this season as UB returns for the Division I Invitational in February. The SPIRE facility will also host the Big Ten and Big East Indoor Championships later this season.
Central Michigan 
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan track and field teams head to Allendale, Mich., this Saturday to compete in the Grand Valley State University Quad. The meet will be held in the Kelly Family Sports Building.
Field events will start at 1 p.m., with running events following at 2 p.m.
The GVSU Quad is a scored meet, and the Chippewas will be putting together their first full squad of the season, on both the men's and women's sides.
"We've been looking forward to [being a full squad]. They are working on their chemistry with each other and feeding off of each other energy-wise," director of track and field, Willie Randolph said, "It's going to be a great meet, something the athletes really need to have as a dress rehearsal before our conference meet."
The Chippewas will be competing against Eastern Michigan, GVSU, and Hillsdale College. Admission is $7 per spectator.
Coming off of a good weekend, the Chippewas are looking to improve in the distance events.
"Our main thing is trying to get our distance runners to achieve major automatic qualifying times for the Mid-American Conference Championships, so they can be in the right heats."
On Friday, distance runners senior Maddie Ribant, sophomore Ethan Lievense, and sophomore Kyle Stacks will be competing at the Indiana Relays at the University of Indiana before heading to the GVSU Quad to compete with the team.
"Success is something you can grow from, but it was yesterday. We are trying to work toward the future, and always moving forward. What we took from our successes is that we are achieving great things, but we want to make sure we are supporting each other also."
Eastern Michigan 
YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team will once again compete in-state, traveling to Allendale, Mich. (to face host Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University and Hillsdale College in the Grand Valley State Quad, Jan. 26.) The meet begins with field events at 1 p.m. followed by running events at 2 p.m. in the Kelly Family Sports Building.
EMU enters Saturday's quad ranked No. 9 nationally in the Track and Field News Magazine women's dual-meet rankings. The GVSU Quad will be EMU's third scored meet of the indoor season and fourth meet overall. The Eagles won their previous two scored meets this season, the Eagle Holiday Meet against four competing schools, Dec. 7, as well as the EMU Triangular against Akron and Buffalo, Jan. 11.
Not only have the Eagles performed well as a team to start the season, but there have been many individual accomplishments, including three performances which rank in the top-20 nationally.
With a six-foot leap in the high jump at the Eagle Holiday Meet, senior team captain Tatijana Jacobson not only won the event, but the Woodville, Ohio native recorded a mark that ranks sixth in the nation. In her final season at EMU, Jacobson already has recorded two victories along with a second-place finish.
Freshman Vanessa Clerveaux crossed the finish line in 8.38 in the 60-meter hurdles at the EMU Triangular. Her winning time is currently the 18th-best in the nation, and helped the Brockton, Mass. native earn MAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week honors, Jan. 15. Three meets into her collegiate career, Clerveaux has three wins and a runner-up finish.
Another freshman turning heads this year is pole vaulter Alysha Newman. The Delaware, Ontario native currently holds the 17th highest vault in the nation at 13-feet and 1.50-inches. Newman accomplished this feat at the EMU Triangular, where she took third. Along with her third-place finish, she also has placed first and second in her other two meets to begin her EMU career.
For more on the EMU women's track and field team, check out this week's edition of Women's Track and Field Weekly on Eagle All-Access. This week's edition features senior team captain Asia Rawls.
YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team will once again compete in-state, traveling to Allendale, Mich. (to face host Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University and Hillsdale College in the Grand Valley State Quad, Jan. 26.) The meet begins with field events at 1 p.m. followed by running events at 2 p.m. in the Kelly Family Sports Building.
“We are looking forward to Saturday's quad as another opportunity for us to be involved in a team-scored competition as well as the opportunity for us to continue making progress,” noted EMU Head Coach John Goodridge.
EMU enters Saturday's quad ranked No. 8-nationally in the Track and Field News Magazine men's dual meet rankings. The GVSU Quad will be EMU's third scored meet of the indoor season and fourth meet overall. The Eagles won their previous two scored meets this season, the Eagle Holiday Meet against Central Michigan and Oakland, Dec. 7, and the EMU Triangular against Akron and Buffalo, Jan. 11.
OXFORD, Ohio - For the first time this year, the Miami University women's track and field team will split up this weekend with some RedHawks heading to the Tom Wright Classic, hosted by Bowling Green, while others will head south to the Rod McCravy Memorial, hosted by the University of Kentucky.
The Tom Wright Classic, held at BGSU's Perry Field House, is on Friday only. The meet begins at 5 p.m. with multiple field events while the first track event is the 3000m run at 6 p.m. Among the RedHawks competing in Bowling Green are Miami's throwers and pole vaulters, as well as a handful of sprinters, jumpers and distance runners. The meet, which is women only, concludes at 8:45 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
Miami will face mostly Mid-American Conference competition at the Tom Wright Classic, as both Ohio and the host Falcons will be in attendance. In addition, Wayne State will also be competing. Toledo was scheduled to take part in the meet but after its coach resigned Thursday, the Rockets pulled out of the meet.
The RedHawks will see a much larger and tougher field at the Rod McCravy Memorial, which is both Friday and Saturday in Lexington at UK's Nutter Field House. Miami will be sending its top distance runners and sprinters to the Rod McCravy Memorial, while a few will also compete in the jumps.
The Kentucky meet gets underway at 10 a.m. Friday with men's heptathlon and women's pentathlon, though no RedHawks are competing in the pentathlon. The first event Miami will compete in is the invitational long jump at 4 p.m., which features junior Erica Mudd (Cincinnati, Ohio). The first track event Friday is the 5000m run at 8 p.m. while day one concludes at 8:40 p.m. with the distance medley relay. The meet resumes Saturday at 10:15 a.m. with the 3000m run and concludes with the 4x400m relay at 4:30 p.m.
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois track & field team wraps up their first full month of competition this weekend when they head to Bloomington, Ind., for the Indiana Relays.
The meet begins Friday at 2 p.m. CT with the long jump and sprint prelims. Saturday’s jam-packed schedule begins at 9 a.m. with invitational field events, followed by semi-finals, finals and invitational track events.
“This weekend, we are taking a small group to Indiana,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “The ladies are prepared physically after completing another quality week of training and mentally starting with believing in their abilities to compete against any challenger. There will be strong competition in every event, so we will be ready.”
The Huskies are coming off an up-and-down weekend at Minnesota’s Jack Johnson Classic. As a team, NIU finished in seventh place with 25 points. Megan Gregory paced the Huskies on the track with a second place finish in the 60 hurdles.
This weekend, NIU will go up against several top-notch programs, including the host Hoosiers, Alabama, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Purdue. In addition, MAC rival Western Michigan, instate foe Eastern Illinois, Murray State, Belmont, Jacksonville State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Xavier make up the 30-plus team field.
Fans can follow along with the action online with live results at