Track and field team prepares for Jesse Owens Classic

Aaron Parker and Aaron Parker

With only two weekends remaining until the Mid-American Conference Championships, the Bowling Green track and field team will compete in the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State this weekend.

Athletes from over 35 teams are expected to compete in the meet.

“This is our last big weekend to move up all of the lists and finish preparations for the MAC Championships,” head coach Lou Snelling said. “We need to take advantage of our opportunities.”

Going into the meet, the Falcons are ranked No. 14 in the Great Lakes Region by the United States Track and Field Coaches Association. Out of the MAC schools ranked in the region, Bowling Green is ranked fifth. Nationally, the team has moved five spots since last week to take 53.

Well into the season there have been standout performances that the team will look to build on against tough competition.

Redshirt senior Brittany Sinclair has dominated the 400 hurdles this year in the conference, breaking the school record with a time of 58.97 seconds. She ranks first in the conference in the event and is more than a full second ahead of her closest competition. She is the only athlete in the MAC to run the event in under a minute and has done so twice already this year.

Sinclair is also ranked fourth in the MAC in the 400.

Junior Alicia Arnold has also put herself in scoring position come tournament time, qualifying for three separate events. She is ranked fourth in the MAC in the long jump and is less than five inches behind the number one spot.

Arnold is currently third in the 100 and sixth in the 200.

Senior Brooke Pleger has also dominated this year, but she has been doing so on a national scale. She is ranked first in the nation in the hammer throw and broke the school and MAC record this past Friday at the Ashland Alumni Open.

Her throw of 225 feet 11 inches broke a MAC record that has been standing since 2009. She is five feet ahead of any athlete in the country so far this year. In addition, the throw moved her up to seventh all time in collegiate event history.

Overall, the team has 18 marks that are ranked among the top 10 in the conference and have another 15 marks in the top 20. Four of those marks currently qualify for the NCAA East Region Preliminary Round in Florida.

The Classic will start on Friday with the first Falcon scheduled to compete at 2 p.m.