Weekend Track and Field Preview

Updated 4/19/2013

Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments 

AZUSA, Calif. – At the nation's largest collegiate invitational combined events meet, University of Akron senior Brittany Cheese finished 11th in the women's heptathlon among 34 entries Thursday at the California Invitational.
 
In doing so, Cheese posted a total of 5,002 points over the seven-event competition, which was the fourth-best tally in school history and just short of her career-high.
 
After starting the day in 12th place through the first four events, Cheese improved her position five ranks thanks to a first-place finish in the long jump with a personal-record mark of 20-03.50. The native of Hilliard, Ohio, attained the PR, which ranks her second all-time in the Zips' record book, on her second attempt after going 19-04.25 in her initial try.
 
It was the second time Cheese has surpassed the 20-foot barrier in the event – but first during the outdoor season – after going 20-00.25 at the SPIRE D1 Invitational during the indoor campaign. The senior's previous career-high for the outdoor season was 19-03.25, achieved at the Tennessee Challenge last year.
 
She was the only competitor to clear 20 feet on the day as her mark was nine-and-a-quarter inches better than the next closest competitor; Chari Hawkins from Utah State who went 19-06.25.
 
Cheese then placed eighth in the javelin with a mark of 109-07 and 21st in the 800-meters with a time of 2:46.89. Hawkins was the top point-earner in the event overall with a total of 5,441 points to win the heptathlon.
 
More than 100 athletes representing 35 collegiate track & field programs throughout the U.S. and Canada competed in three sections of the men's decathlon and two divisions of the women's heptathlon this week.
 
Cheese will be joined in the Golden State by a number of teammates, including many of UA's pole vaulters, this weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. while the rest of the team will compete at the Jesse Owens Classic, which is hosted by Ohio State University.
 
Ball State 
MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State outdoor track & field team returns to action Saturday, when it travels south to Bloomington for the Polytan Invitational hosted by Indiana University.
 
Action in the meet gets underway at 4:30 p.m. with both the women’s hammer throw and the women’s 100m hurdles at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex.
 
This season’s Polytan Invite will feature the Cardinals and host Hoosiers, as well as Notre Dame, Butler, South Florida and several other schools. Fans can follow the action with live results at: http://www.iuhoosiers.com/livestats/c-track/polytaninv13/
 
At last weekend’s Cardinal Invitational, sophomore high jumper Haley Austin became the first Ball State student-athlete to officially qualify for the 2013 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, by successfully clearing 5-6/1.68m in the high jump. Austin’s effort currently ranks her fourth in the league in the event.
 
This weekend’s meet is one of three final chances for Ball State’s track & field athletes to post MAC Championship qualifying marks, as next week the team will compete in the 47th Annual Hillsdale College Gina Relays (April 25-27) and the following week they will head back to Bloomington for the Billy Hayes Invitational (May 3).
 
The 2013 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held May 9-11 at Akron’s Lee R. Jackson Track & Field Complex.

 

Central Michigan
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan track and field team will be competing at the University of Louisville and Ohio State University on Friday Apr. 19.

“We are looking forward to some solid weather, and getting more MAC qualifying marks.  We are focused on the task at hand and looking forward to competing together. We are headed off to Louisville and Louisville native Muhammad Ali said it best, ‘Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.’” said director of track and field Willie Randolph.
 
A majority of the team will be sent to the Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood Invite at Louisville, while a handful of distance runners will be competing at the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State.
 
The Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood invite will take place at Cardinal Park of the campus of the University of Louisville. The participating teams include Southeast Missouri, East Tennessee and host Louisville.  Field events will start at 10:30 a.m. while running events start at 3 p.m.
 
The Jesse Owens Track Classic will be held at the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State. The distance events will start around 8 p.m.
 
Seniors Renaldo Powell and Maddie Ribant, sophomore Ethan Lievense and freshman Devene Brown are all currently ranked in the top-48 in the East Regional for their respective events according to TFRRS.com. The top-48 athletes in the East Region go on to compete at the NCAA East Regional in Releigh, N.C. on May 23.
 
Lievense and Ribant will not be competing in their ranked event; the 3000m steeplechase at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, while Powell (110m hurdles) and Brown (discus) will be competing to better their marks at the Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood Invite.
 
Powell was honored this week by the Mid-American Conference earning Male Track Athlete of the week for his personal record time of 14.15 seconds in the 110m hurdles.
 
Eastern Michigan 
Women 
YPSILANTI, Mich.  – The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team returns to Ypsilanti after beginning its outdoor season on the road for the past three weeks. The Eagles will serve as host of the EMU Twilight, April 19-20, for its only home meet of the outdoor campaign. Action will take place inside Rynearson Stadium on Olds/Marshall Track, beginning Friday, April 19, at 3 p.m.
 
The following teams will have athletes participating in this non-scored meet: Adrian, Concordia (Mich.), Detroit, Hillsdale, IUPUI, Macomb Community College, Marygrove, Michigan, Oakland, Wayne State and Western Michigan.
 
“After a strong showing in Knoxville, we are excited to compete on our home track in front of our friends and families,” noted EMU Head Coach Sue Parks. “We will be honoring the group of seniors who helped propel our program to the top of the MAC and the region.  This is a special group of athletes who have faced adversity at times but have continued to battle to the end of their careers.  Captains Morgan Churchwell, Asia Rawls, and Tatijana Jacobson will be among those seniors recognized.”
 
The Green and White return home following impressive performances at the Sea Ray Relays, April 11-13, starting with freshman Alysha Newman. The Delaware, Ontario native tied a Canadian Junior National outdoor record with her victory in the pole vault, leaping 13-feet 9.25-inches (4.20 meters). Newman already holds the Canadian Junior National indoor record as well as the EMU indoor record in the pole vault. The Mid-American Conference Indoor champion's mark at the Sea Ray Relays was just two inches short of the EMU outdoor record held by Jessica Hemmingway set back in 2011. The leap also puts Newman at the top of the MAC as she has jumped four inches higher than the second-best conference pole vaulter so far this outdoor season. Newman earned MAC Field Athlete of the Week for record-tying jump.
 
Another feat not to go unnoticed this past weekend was sophomore Victoria Voronko breaking her own EMU record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossing the finish line first in 10:23.23. Voronko's old school record was 10:30.41 set during the 2012 season, and the sophomore distance standout currently holds a time that is 13 seconds faster than her nearest competitor in the MAC.
 
Prior to the beginning of the 4x100-meter relays at noon on Saturday, April 20, senior members of Eastern's men's and women's track and field teams will be recognized for their successful careers at EMU on the homestretch of the track.

Men
YPSILANTI, Mich. – After begnning the first few weeks of the 2013 outdoor campaign on the road, the Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team returns to Ypsilanti to host the EMU Twilight, April 19-20, its only home meet of the outdoor season. The action will take place inside Rynearson Stadium on Olds/Marshall Track, beginning Friday, April 19, at 3 p.m.
 
The following teams will have athletes participating in this non-scored meet: Adrian, Concordia (Mich.), Detroit, Hillsdale, IUPUI, Macomb Community College, Marygrove, Michigan, Oakland, Wayne State and Western Michigan.
 
“We had a solid team performance at Tennessee and now look forward to competing at home in Rynearson Stadium,” noted EMU Head Coach John Goodridge. “We are also sending four athletes to California to the famed Mt. SAC Relays who we feel have earned the right to compete at this very high level event.”
 
Four of the team's top athletes will not compete at the home meet; instead, they will travel west to Walnut, Calif. to participate in the Mt. SAC Relays, one of the most famous relays in the nation. Numerous Olympians such as three-time gold medalist Allyson Felix will also compete in the meet, April 18-20. Eagles Cameron Bolton, Terefe Ejigu, Grzegorz Kalinowski and Matthew Williams will represent the Green and White at historic Hilmer Lodge Stadium. Bolton and Williams will race in the 200- and 400-meter dash while Ejigu will run the 5,000-meter run and Kalinowski will test his speed against top-notch competition in the 800- and 1,500-meter run.
 
Coach Goodridge had reasons to be pleased with his team's performance at the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., April 11-13, as a few athletes shined in the spotlight. Max Babits jumped 17-feet 0.75-inches (5.20 meters) in the pole vault to finish in fifth place, keeping him at the fourth-best mark in EMU laurels and a few inches short of the outdoor record of 17-feet 5-inches (5.31 meters) by Mark Smith. Smith notched his place at the top of the EMU record books back in 1991. Bolton earned his trip to the Mt. SAC Relays with a runner-up 47.74 in the 400-meter dash, and Kalinowski began his 2013 outdoor season with a fourth-place finish in the showcase division of the 1,500-meter run, crossing the finish line in 3:49.19.
 
Prior to the beginning of the 4x100-meter relays at noon on Saturday, April 20, senior members of the Eastern Michigan University men's and women's track and field teams will be recognized for their careers at EMU on the homestretch of the track.
 
EMU Assistant Coach Steve Manz joins Eagle All-Access for another addition of Men's Track and Field Weekly. Coach Manz talks about the team's performance at the Sea Ray Relays while also looking ahead to the EMU Twilight as well as the athletes competing at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Kent State 
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State men's and women's outdoor track and field teams will look to build on their success from last weekend at the All-Ohio Track and Field Championships when they compete this Friday (April 19) and Saturday (April 20) at the 2013 Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Memorial Track in Columbus, Ohio.
 
Athletes from all levels, including individuals from more than 35 colleges are scheduled to compete in the two-day event. Colleges will get the action underway at 4 p.m. April 19 with the women's javelin and men's discus. The running events will also open Friday with the women's 5,000-meter run at 8 p.m. under the lights.  Saturday's events will start at 10:30 a.m.
 
The Kent State men's and women's outdoor track and field teams were sensational April 12-13 at the All-Ohio Track and Field Championships hosted by Ohio University's Goldsberry Track. 
 
On the men's side, the Golden Flashes won the overall title in the 12-team field with 216 points to pass second-place Akron who scored 190.  The women's team earned overall runner-up honors in the 13-team field with 148 points, finishing behind Ohio State's 212 total.  Akron was third on the women's side with 99 points. 
 
The All-Ohio meet featured Division I, II and NAIA Ohio schools.  Team standings were split into two flights: Division I and Division II/NAIA.
 
It didn't matter what group the Flashes were in for the men's competition as they were dominant en route to the title.
 
Freshman Wayne Gordon (Amherst, N.Y.) won the 100-meter dash in 10.57 seconds; senior Brandon Bailey (Pittsburgh, Pa.) won the 400 in 47.21; and sophomore Jacob Swords (Akron, Ohio) won the 800 in 1:50.94.
 
Sophomore Miles Dunlap (McDonald, Ohio) placed first in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.96.
 
The 400 relay also took top honors as Gordon joined junior Cody Seifert (Bowling Green, Ohio), freshman William Barnes (Columbus, Ohio) and junior Nate Scales (Hilliard, Ohio) to finish in 41.67.
 
Kent State placed 1-2 in the high jump with senior Kenneth Agee (Shaker Heights, Ohio) winning the title with a leap of 2.03 meters.
 
The Flashes also swept the top three spots in the decathlon with senior Dexter Shreve (Redkey, Ind.) scoring 6,750 points to win the title.
 
In the women's competition, the Flashes had several standout efforts including sophomore Chanitta Westbrooks (Cleveland, Ohio) who won the 200 title in 24.26.
 
Freshman Dior Delophont (Nancy, France) won the triple jump with a leap of 12.55 meters, while junior Joh'vonnie Mosley (Youngstown, Ohio) placed first in the shot put with a toss of 16.08 meters.
 
 
Northern Ilinois
WALNUT, Calif. - The Northern Illinois track & field started their weekend Thursday, as sophomore Meghan Heuer (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North/Kansas State) ran at the 55th annual Mt. SAC Relays in southern California.
 
Heuer took 16th place in the third section of the open 1500 meters with a time of 4:38.15. Overall, she placed 108th in a field of over 170 runners.
 
"We came to Mt. SAC looking for a stronger performance," said NIU assistant coach Greg Hipp. "We'll talk through what went wrong today and look for a stronger run on Saturday."
 
After hanging toward the back of the field for the majority of the race, Heuer looked to make a strong comeback on the last lap of the race, only to come up short. However, the Huskie sophomore snuck past BYU's Jessica Hilton by 23 hundredths of a second and easily defeated Alyssa Selve of Adams State in the third heat.
 
Heuer and fellow middle distance runner Jamie Burr will run again out west Saturday at the Beach Invitational. Meanwhile, the rest of the team will host the Huskie Open on Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the NIU Track & Field Complex.
 
Ohio 
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University women’s track & field team makes its annual trek to Columbus this weekend to take part in the Jesse Owens Classic at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State.
 
The meet begins at 4 p.m. Friday with many of the distance events set for that evening. Saturday’s action gets underway Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Fans can follow the meet by visiting the live results page here.
 
Ohio State welcomes more than 450 student-athletes from a variety of Division I Midwest schools for the two-day event.
 
Junior Juli Accurso (Casstown, Ohio), currently ranked No. 33 in the nation in the 10,000 meters, will change it up and compete in the 5,000m run for Ohio Friday at 9:45 p.m.
 
Accurso will be joined in the race by sophomore Morgan Reichert (Pataskala, Ohio) and freshman Kayla Scott (Canal Winchester, Ohio).
 
Junior Melissa Thompson (Westerville, Ohio) will look to repeat her victory in the 1,500m at last weekend’s All-Ohio Championships Friday at 8:40 p.m.
 
Freshmen Tessa Weigand (Akron, Ohio) and Sarah Kaufman (Zanesville, Ohio) and senior Emily Skidmore (Athens, Ohio) will join Thompson in the 1,500m run.
 
Sophomore Chanda Cuckler (Athens, Ohio) finished seventh in the high jump last weekend and will look to improve upon that performance in Columbus Saturday at 1 p.m. Cuckler also will compete in the javelin (Friday, 4 p.m.) and the 100m hurdles (Saturday, 12:20 p.m.).
 
Also in field action, sophomore Janiece Rose (Franklinville, N.J.) will look to lock up a berth at next month’s MAC Outdoor Championships with spots in the shot put (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.) and hammer throw (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.) this weekend.
 
Senior Lauren McCullough (Lancaster, Ohio) already has qualified for the MAC Outdoors in the javelin and will compete in the event on Friday. McCullough also will see action in the hammer throw on Saturday.


Toledo
TOLEDO, Ohio - Eight members of the Toledo women's track and field team, including five distance runners and three jumpers, will compete at the 55th Annual Mt. SAC Relays on Friday, April 19 in Walnut, Calif. The prestigious national meet runs Thursday through Saturday at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College, and features running and field events for elite, collegiate and high school athletes.

Distance runners Mackenzie Chojnacky, Brooke Tullis, Megan Wright, Priscilla Timmons and Devyn Ramsay will run the 5,000-meter, while Kiah Douglas and Katie Bollin participate in the long jump. Yuhong Fu will be the lone Rocket to leap in the triple jump.

 
Chojnacky, a first-team all-league performer in indoor this season, will run her first race of the outdoor season. The sophomore is slated to compete in the Olympic Development Elite finals at 8:00 p.m. Friday night in the first 5,000-meter race of her outdoor career.
 
Sophomore Tullis, also an all-league honoree during indoor, will run in the first "open" 5,000-meter race at 9:55 p.m. in her second outing this spring. Wright, a junior, will line up at approximately 10:33 p.m. for the second "open" heat in her first outdoor appearance.
 
Freshman Timmons and junior Ramsay will cap off Friday night in the third "open" 5,000-meter slated for 11:10 p.m.
 
Field events will take place earlier in the day, as senior Fu is the first Rocket scheduled to compete with the triple jump taking place at 11:30 a.m. She is currently eighth on the MAC outdoor list and needs to improve her season-best leap by three inches to meet the automatic-qualifying mark of 38' 7.25".
 
Veteran seniors Douglas and Bollin will take off in the long jump at 2:00 p.m., while Bollin looks to improve on her season-high distance  of 18' 5.25" by eight inches to meet the auto-qualifying standard. Douglas has already qualified and sits third on the conference list with a season-long 19' 6.25.
 
The rest of UT's track and field squad will take part in the Eastern Michigan Twilight Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Ypsilanti, Mich.
 
Western Michigan
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan track and field team heads to Ypsilanti,  Mich., for the Eastern Michigan Twilight Invitational on Friday and Saturday. 
 
The Broncos will battle against Division I programs Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Oakland and Detroit Mercy. Friday's events include the hammer throw, pole vault,  400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 1,500-meter run and the 5,000 meter run. The meet kicks off with the hammer and the 400 hurdles at 3 p.m. and will wrap up at 6:30 p.m. with the 5k.
 
Saturday consists of the remaining field events and sprints and ends with the 4x400-meter hurdle relay at 4:50 p.m. The meet will not be scored. 
 
WMU has been hampered by poor weather all season with cold weather and show preventing them from training outside early on and rain and storms recently forcing the team inside at times. Friday's weather in Ypsilanti calls for rain and thunderstorms, but Saturday's forecast is predicting cold temperatures but no precipitation.