Track and Field team prepares for the outdoor season, looks ahead to MAC Championships

Aaron Parker and Aaron Parker

The Bowling Green track and field team will start its outdoor season this weekend with high hopes for the spring.

“We are excited to get the outdoor season started at one of the best meets in the nation this weekend. Our goals for the season are high,” head coach Lou Snelling said. “At the end, we would like to achieve at a level that has not happened at Bowling Green for more than 15 years. This weekend is our opportunity to take a step towards doing that in a great environment against some of the best in the country.”

The opening meet of competition is the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina and will be the third year in a row the Falcons have begun their season at the event. It is one of the biggest meets that they will compete in this year.

The team scored 60 points at last year’s Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championship, which was the most since 1999, and will look to go even further this season.

One of the strongest sections overall for the team will be throws, specifically the hammer. Sophomore Kori Reiser and senior Brooke Pleger both qualified for the NCAA Regional Preliminary Round last year and will look to do the same this year. Sophomore Makenzie Wheat also qualified for the meet, but in the shot put.

For Wheat, she will look to capitalize on the momentum she had in the indoor season after breaking the school record.

Pleger, one of the best hammer throwers in the country, placed third last year at the NCAA National Championship. That was the best by any Falcon ever in the program.

She is now one of the best collegiate athletes to ever compete in the event, sitting at the 10 spot on the all-time list.

Nationally, she is currently ranked at 10 among all athletes in the country regardless of age. She is the only one in that top ten that is still competing in college.

In addition to those three throwers, the Falcons return Andrea Alt, Alicia Arnold, Tiera Parker, Natalie Sommerville and Kayla Velasquez. All of them scored in the MAC championship last year and combined with the throwers, they scored 32 of last year’s 60 points at the meet.

Arnold competed in five events at the MAC Outdoor Championship last year with the long jump, 100 and 200 sprints and the 400 and 1600 relays. She placed fourth in the long jump and just missed qualifying for the 100 final.

The Falcons begin in North Carolina at 9 a.m. on Friday.

“They just keep getting better, across the board,” Snelling said. “For this meet, we want to look at personal bests and see how many we get. Automatic qualifying marks as well, that will be the judge of how well we open but we feel pretty good.”