Track finishes 10th at MACs

Erik Bell and Erik Bell

The throwers helped lead the Falcons to a 10th place finish at the Mid-American Conference Championships for the indoor season on Saturday.

Mary Willems set a new school record for the weight throw with a mark of 62 feet 1.25 inches in finishing second in the event for the Falcons. The previous school record holder was Lori Williams. Williams posted a mark of 60 feet 3 inches last year. Willems also finished fifth in the shotput with a throw of 42 feet 7.25 inches. Kerri McClung also contributed to the strong performance by the throwers with a first place finish in the shotput. McClung threw for a mark of 49 feet 3 inches, a season high for her. Also finishing in the top ten in the event was Chassity Gulley, throwing for a mark of 42 feet 11.5 inches.

In other field events, Nicole Carter finished 10th in the triple jump with a mark of 36 feet 7 inches. Carter also finished 20th in the long jump with a mark of 15 feet 9.5 inches. Rachel Perme finished 14th in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet 3 inches.

The Falcons had season best times in the relays, finishing seventh in both of them. In the distance medley, the team of Melissa Kreuger, Ellen Alkire, Amber Walker and Amber Culp finished with a time of 12 minutes 10.38 seconds. That time was more than 12 seconds better than their previous high, set at the All-Ohio Championships.

In the 4 by 400 meter relay, the team of Alicia Taylor, Erin Leeper, Ellen Alkire and Amber Walker had a mark of 3:50.27, improving by more than six seconds their previous season-best time, set at the BGSU Women’s Open on February 8.

Taylor continued to perform strongly for the Falcons in the hurdles. Taylor finished third in the 60-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 8.62 seconds. Taylor also finished eighth in the 60-meter dash.

Short-distance runner Christy Paine feels the performance on Saturday was an indicator of good things to come.

“I was very proud of our team because we all came together as a team,” Paine said. “A lot of us improved our times and we had several season best times, so it was an indication that we are improving.”

In the long-distance events, Kreuger finished up the indoor season in a solid way. Kreuger finished ninth in the one-mile run with a time of 5:03.05. Katrina Kerns finished 19th in the event for the Falcons with a time of 5:13.92.

Kreuger was happy with her performance.

“I was very pleased with my performance,” Kreuger said. “My time was very good and it paid off for all the hard work I put in this season.”

Although Kreuger felt the end team result was a little disappointing, she said the team camaraderie will help them improve in the outdoor season.

“We put all of our effort into it, but it was a little disappointing,” Kreuger said. “However, the team is very supportive of each other and it will help us improve as a team in the future.” In the 3000 meter run, Culp finished 18th for the Falcons with a run of 10:22.78.

Kent State won the championships with 88 points, finishing ahead of Ball State, who had 84.33 points. The Michigan teams finished in third through fifth as Central, Eastern and Western Michigan finished in that order. Finishing in sixth through ninth in order were Toledo, Akron, Miami and Buffalo. Finishing behind the Falcons were Ohio and Marshall.

The indoor season is over, but the outdoor season will get under way on March 22 when the Falcons travel to Clemson, S.C. for the Clemson Relays.