Courtesy of Eastern Michigan
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team protected its home track, capturing its 14th Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship Saturday afternoon, Feb. 23, inside Bowen Field House on Bob Parks Track.
EMU's 157.5 points were enough to take the conference crown and award EMU Head Coach John Goodridge Coach of the Year accolades. The University of Akron finished in the runner-up position with 142 points. Kent State University, the University at Buffalo and Central Michigan University placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
Not only did the Eagles win its first conference championship since 2010, but individual performances by the athletes in green and white received attention as well, including seven individual conference titles.
Terefe Ejigu was named MVP of the meet due to two victories and a runner-up finish, giving EMU 28 of its 157.5 points. Ejigu defended his title in the 5,000-meter run on Friday night, Feb. 22. The senior followed up with conference championship victory in the 3,000-meter run (8:24.43) and a runner-up finish in the one-mile race (4:12.02).
It is only fitting that the only person to beat the MVP, Ejigu, would be a teammate that was named Most Outstanding Track Performer by the coaches. Grzegorz Kalinowski took the MAC Championship in the mile, sprinting the last 200-meters towards the finish line with a time of 4:10.65. Kalinowski finished runner-up in the 800-meter run in 1:51.76, and he was also the anchor of the distance medley relay team that claimed a conference title on day one of the MAC Championships.
Matthew Williams won the 200-meter dash in 21.68 as teammates Cameron Bolton (21.75) and Jay Saunders (21.87) finished in third place and fourth place, respectively. Bolton edged out Williams in the 400-meter dash, standing on the podium in second with a 48.38 while Williams (48.41) settled for third.
In the field events, Donald Scott brought home an individual conference championship in the triple jump with a leap of 49-feet 10.50-inches. Teron Turner and Anthony Jones turned in career-bests in the weight throw. Turner's toss of 61-feet 3.50-inches gave him third place along with the seventh best mark in school history. Jones followed closely behind in fourth with a launch of 60-feet 9.25-inches that is eighth in the EMU record books.
Lost in all of the EMU victories was a new school record. Max Babits broke his own record that he set this year, Jan. 11, in the pole vault. Babits leaped 17-feet 5.75-inches, 3.50 inches higher than his previous mark, to finish runner-up to the top pole vaulter in the nation, Shawn Barber, from Akron.
To end the competition, EMU put an exclamation point on its MAC Championship with a victory in the 4x400-meter relay. The team of Jason Ervin, Jeff Elam, Williams and Bolton crossed the finish line in 3:13.63 as the rest of the Eagles stormed the track to celebrate its 2013 MAC Championship.
EMU track and field athletes will have one last chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships as they compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame, March 1-2.
1. Eastern Michigan: 157.5
2. Akron: 142
3. Kent State 113.5
4. Buffalo: 73
5. Central Michigan: 39
MVP (Men): Terefe Ejigu, Eastern Michigan
Most Outstanding Track Performer (Men): Grzegorz Kalinowski, Eastern Michigan
Most Outstanding Field Performer (Men): Jonathan Jones, Buffalo
Coach of the Year (Men): John Goodridge
Men’s All-MAC First Team
Alex McCune, Akron (Heptathlon)
Tyshaun Peoples, Akron (60m Hurdles, Long Jump)
Martel Durant, Akron (High Jump)
Shawn Barber, Akron (Pole Vault)
Gabriel Genovesi, Akron (800m)
Jonathan Jones, Buffalo (Shot Put)
Miles Lewis, Buffalo (60m)
Matthew Williams, EMU (200m, 4x400)
Grzegorz Kalinowski, EMU (Mile, DMR)
Terefe Ejigu, EMU (3000m, 5000m)
Jason Ervin, EMU (4x400)
Jeff Elam, EMU (4x400)
Cameron Bolton, EMU (4x400)
Ian Hancke, EMU (DMR)
Chris Scott, EMU (DMR)
Scott Bradley, EMU (DMR)
Donald Scott, EMU (Triple Jump)
Brandon Bailey, KSU (400m)
Matthias Tayala, KSU (Weight)
Men’s All-MAC Second Team
Malachi Freeman, Akron (60m)
Nicholas Banke, Akron (Shot Put, Weight)
Bjorn Johansson, Akron (Heptathlon)
Chris Reape, Bufflao (High Jump)
Austin Price, Buffalo (Triple Jump)
Ryan Billian, Buffalo (60m Hurdles)
Nathan Sanchez, CMU (DMR)
Clay Holman, CMU (DMR)
Anderson Lee, CMU (DMR)
Ben Wysnma, CMU (DMR)
Diavonte Smith, CMU (Long Jump)
Max Babits, EMU (Pole Vault)
Wayne Gordon, KSU (200m)
Michael Heller, KSU (3000m, 5000m)
Laron Brown, KSU (4x400)
Miles Dunlap, KSU (4x400)
Jacob Swords, KSU (4x400)