Track and Field Weekend Preview

Updated 2/8/2013

AKRON, Ohio – With the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championship meet just two weeks away, The University of Akron track and field team will split up into three groups this weekend to stay sharp.

In all, 56 Zips will be in action with 45 competing at the SPIRE D1 Team Invitational in Geneva, Ohio, eight at the "Doc" Hale Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Va., and three more at the Grand Valley State Big Meet in Allendale, Mich. The competition is expected to be tight at all three sites as many of the nation's top athletes will be in action.
Seven Zips pole vaulters – including the nation's No. 1-ranked jumper Shawn Barber and 2012 MAC Outdoor Champion Ariane Beaumont-Courteau – and defending MAC long jump champion Tryshaun Peoples will make the trip to the prestigious Virginia Tech meet. Also competing will be Chelsey Detwiler, Claire Lucas and Alexandra Wood from the women's team and Shawn Light and Joe Wesley from the men's side. Additionally, the meet will feature athletes from Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), NC State, Virginia and Wake Forest and others.
Peoples will jump at 5 p.m. Friday while the pole vaulters will wait until Saturday to compete with the women starting at 11 a.m. and the men following at 1:30 p.m. Fans can follow live results by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Akron's trio of heralded throwers – Alexis Cooks, Brittany Funk and Nick Banke – will head north to the Wolverine State. Cooks, who was named MAC Women's Field Athlete of the Week Tuesday, is ranked eighth in the nation in the weight throw while Funk is rated 14th. Banke enters the week ranked 58th in the shot put. All three Zips are scheduled to throw at 3 p.m. Friday.
The rest of the Zips squad – including Gabriel Genovesi, who is ranked 17th nationally in the 800-meters, and Martel Durant, who is ranked 32nd in the high jump – will make the short trip north to the Spire Institute. There, UA will face off against athletes from a number of regional schools, including Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Purdue, Kent State and others.
The two-day meet will begin Friday at 2 p.m. Field events will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with running events getting underway at 10:40 a.m. Click here for live results.
Ball State
MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State indoor track & field team continues its run towards the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships this weekend when it heads to Bloomington, Ind., for the Hoosier Hills Invitational which runs this Friday & Saturday.
Action in the two-day meet gets underway at 5 p.m. Friday with the women's long jump and 60m hurdles prelims. Saturday's events open at 10:30 a.m. with the finals in the 60m hurdles.
So far this season, Ball State's student-athletes have combined to post 44 career-best marks through the first five meets and are poised to continue their stellar efforts this weekend. With qualifying standards in place for this year's MAC Championships, two Cardinals have already locked up slots in the league's premier event.
 Senior MaryKate Mellen has earned a spot in the league meet in the mile run with her career-best time of 4:54.50 last weekend, and is poised to qualify in the 5000m run ranking 13th in the MAC.
 Freshman Katelyn DeVries has also posted a MAC automatic qualifying mark in the 5000m run with her career-best clocking of 17:30.74 in January.
 Sophomore Hannah Ciasto-Poor and freshman Zenée Gadson are also poised to qualify for the meet, ranking 17th in the pole vault and 11th in the triple jump, respectively, in the league.
On Friday, Feb. 15, Ball State fans can catch a glimpse of their Cardinals at home, when Ball State Track & Field hosts the Ball State Quadrangular in the Field Sports Building beginning at 5 p.m.


Bowling Green
Akron, Ohio – The Bowling Green track and field team will compete in its final event before the 2013 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday at the Grand Valley State University Big Meet. One of the largest meets in the country, the GVSU Big Meet has 2,465 entrants across all collegiate divisions. The meet will start at 9 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.


Central Michigan
ALLENDALE, Mich. - This weekend the Central Michigan track and field teams will be heading down to Grand Valley State University to compete in the GVSU Big Meet. The Big Meet will consist of 64 different teams.

Friday's events will all be invitational, with running events starting at 11 a.m. Saturday will feature all open events, which will start at 11 a.m., also.
Most of the Chippewas will be competing in Friday's events, with a few going down on Saturday for the open events.
"Going into this weekend we are looking to get a few more athletes to qualify for the indoor championship meet. We are moving toward our goals of preparation, both mentally and physically," director of track and field Willie Randolph said.
The Chippewas are coming off of a successful team weekend at the University of Notre Dame. Three female and five male athletes recorded qualifying marks for the MAC Indoor Championships.
YPSILANTI, Mich –  The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team will participate in a pair of meets this weekend, Feb. 8-9. While some athletes will take part in the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio, the majority of the team will travel to Allendale, Mich. to compete in the Grand Valley State University “Big Meet.”
“This will be a big weekend for us in terms of improving seed marks two weeks out from the MAC Championships,” discussed EMU Head Women's Track and Field Coach Sue Parks. “We are sending a small group to the SPIRE Invitational and a larger group to the Big Meet.  We feel like everyone who competes this weekend will have a great opportunity to perform well against top competition.”
Those headed to the SPIRE Invitational include: Morgan Churchwell, Vanessa Clerveaux, Marina Manjon-Rivadulla, Kayla Pfund, Asia Rawls and Victoria Voronko.
While the remaining majority of the team will be headed to the GVSU Big Meet, Brittany Crew, Alysha Newman and Tatijana Jacobson will have the weekend off to rest for the upcoming MAC Championship.
The SPIRE Invitational and GVSU Big Meet are two meets where the Eagles can still qualify for the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Bowen Field House, Feb. 22-23. With the conference championship just around the corner, there have already been 16 Eagles that have automatically qualified for the meet, breaking the marks set by the MAC.
Clerveaux, Manjon-Rivadulla and Voronko lead the EMU in qualifying events with two apiece. A list of EMU qualifiers can be found below.
Freshman sprinter and hurdler Clerveaux joins Eagle All-Access for Women's Track and Field Weekly to talk about her stellar freshman campaign as well as if she has the school's 60-meter hurdles record in her sights.


YPSILANTI, Mich. –  The Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team is set to participate in the SPIRE Invitational, Feb. 8-9, at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

“We are looking forward to giving our athletes the opportunity to compete in another high level competition at an outstanding facility,” commented EMU Head Men's Track and Field Coach John Goodridge.
The SPIRE Invitational is just one of two remaining meets prior to the Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Bowen Field House, Feb. 22-23. With the conference championship just around the corner, there have already been 27 Eagles that have automatically qualified for the meet, breaking the marks set by the MAC.
Cameron Bolton leads EMU with three automatic qualifying marks. A plethora of Eagles have qualified in two events including: Jeff Elam, Terefe Ejigu, Solomon Ijah, Grzegorz Kalinowski and Matthew Williams. A list of EMU qualifiers can be found below.
Assistant coach Steve Manz joins Eagle All-Access for Men's Track and Field Weekly to talk about individual performances at the Meyo Invitational as well as discussing automatic qualifiers for the MAC Championships.
Kent State 
With the Mid-American Conference Championships just around the corner on Feb. 22, the Kent State indoor track and field teams will continue preparation at the SPIRE NCAA DI Track & Field Invitational, hosted by the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio on Friday and Saturday.
The Golden Flashes will have the entire team back in action this weekend after several of the team's top field athletes did not compete in the jumps at this previous weekend's Akron Invitational.
Friday kicks off with the pole vault, which is the only field event of the opening day, at 5 p.m. Running events will begin with the 600-meter dash at 5:30. Saturday's action will begin at 11 a.m.
Northern Illinois
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois track & field team heads to the Great Lakes State this weekend where they will compete in the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Mich.
The meet begins Friday at 10 a.m. CT with the 5000 meters, while field events start at 2 p.m. with the invitational pole vault and weight throw. Things start back up on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT with the DMR, weight throw, long jump and high jump.
“This weekend, the staff is looking for improved performances from two weeks ago,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “The athletes have had quality workouts and have worked on mental preparation as well. We have two remaining opportunities to move up in the MAC qualifying standards. Therefore, we must compete with urgency. We have some key athletes out, so others must step up.”
The Huskies posted a successful weekend at Indiana with an event title and eight other top 10 finishes. Senior Rebecca Cronin won the open division of the 600 meters, while Ellen Renk, Ida Burbulla, Megan Gregory, Sidra Sherrill, Juliane Totzke and Leah Raffety all found themselves in the top 10 in their events. Cronin highlighted the day on Friday for NIU by taking top honors in the 600 meters with a near career-best time of 1:35.71.
At Grand Valley State, NIU will take on 63 other colleges from across the nation. Among the headliners at the meet include national powers Michigan State, Indiana State, Notre Dame, Southern Illinois and the top-ranked school in Division II with the host Lakers. The field also includes seven MAC schools, as Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Western Michigan all join the Huskies inside the Kelly Family Sports Center
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University women’s track & field team will head to Bloomington, Ind., this weekend to compete in the Hoosier Hills event, hosted by Indiana University.
In addition, junior Juli Accurso (Casstown, Ohio) will travel to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the Husky Invitational. Accurso will run the 5,000m Friday at 5:30 p.m. (PT).
Friday's action at the Hoosier Hills begins at 5 p.m. ET, with the invitational sections of the distance medley relay running at 5:40. All field events will be contested on Friday. Saturday is a shortened, action-packed schedule consisting of only invitational sections and short-sprint finals. Action begins at 10:35 a.m.
Senior Alexis Geiger (Gallipolis, Ohio) will compete in two events for the Bobcats, including the long jump and 60m dash. Geiger jumped a season-high 5.51m at the Tom Wright Classic on Jan. 25, which is the 14th-best finish in the long jump in the MAC this season.
Coming off her impressive 5,000m performance at the Meyo Invitational this past weekend, freshman Kayla Scott (Canal Winchester, Ohio) will look to post a strong finish in the 3,000m on Friday in Bloomington.
Sophomore Janiece Rose (Franklinville, N.J.) will compete in the shot put and weight throw events, after posting strong finishes in both at the YSU National Invite last weekend. She placed fourth in the shot put (12.76m) and third in the weight throw (15.56m) at the meet in Youngstown, Ohio.
For a complete list of all Ohio student-athletes competing and event times at the Hoosier Hills, please see the above links.
ALLENDALE, MI - The Toledo women's track and field team continues the indoor season on Friday at the Grand Valley State Big Meet, one of the largest meets in the country with 2,465 individual entries. The Rockets are two weeks out from the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships where they hope to avenge last year's runner-up finish.
The Midnight Blue & Gold most recently sent split-squad teams to the Findlay Open and Notre Dame Meyo Invitational last weekend. At Findlay, freshman Akili Barnes placed third overall in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.37, while freshmen Kortney Mabone (fifth; 1:02.02), Te'Anne Townsend (sixth; 1:02.39) and senior Antalesha Ballard (11th; 1:02.99) also ran the event.
Junior Megan Wright ran unattached in the mile and ended up in second place with a time of 5:01.78, followed by freshman Megan Gaysunas (5:05.83) and junior Devyn Ramsay (5:09.15). Sophomore Jackie Koza finished at 5:22.69 for sixth place.
The Rockets overwhelmed the 3,000-meter competition with six runners finishing in the top 10. Sophomore Priscilla Timmons (unattached), junior Megan Vogelsong, freshman Lindsey Burdette (unattached) and junior Mackenzie Phelps finished in the top four spots, respectively. Freshman Kelsey Calhoun and senior Richelle Gray finished ninth and 10th overall.
Kaylin Belair led the way at the Meyo Invite with a first-place mile finish, posting a mark of 4:52.26. That time currently ranks the junior as the third-fastest on the MAC indoor performance list.
Freshman Brooke Tullis and Sophomore Mackenzie Chojnacky were also among the top-10 finishers, posting times of 4:54.88 and 4:55.85, respectively. Both times are good enough to qualify for the conference indoor championship, as Chojnacky had already qualified at the Bowling Green Opener on Jan. 12.
Junior Sarah Woodrum teamed up with Tullis, Chojnacky and Belair to form the distance medley relay for UT. The quad finished in third place with a combined time of 11:35.41.
Western Michigan 
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan women's track and field splits up this weekend with some of the team heading to the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio and the rest heading up to the Grand Valley State Big Meet.
The Broncos are coming off a weekend of mixed results at the Meyo Invitational but will find strong competition at both the SPIRE and GVSU. WMU is one of 65 teams heading up to Allendale, Mich. Western Michigan has been a regular at the GVSU Big Meet and will battle against several Mid-American Conference programs.
WMU will also see MAC competition at the SPIRE Invitational. It is the Broncos' first trip to the invite-only meet at the SPIRE Institute. Along with battling the MAC, Western Michgian will also be up against some of the top programs from the Big 10, Conference USA and the Big East.