TRACK AND FIELD: Cardinals begin MAC Championships today
Team looking to improve from last year's performance
Over the past two months the Ball State women’s indoor track & field has traveled throughout the state Indiana. It wasn’t until last weekend that the Cardinals competed in their first home meet.
The team now has to prepare themselves for another meet on the road and the team’s biggest meet of the season.
Eastern Michigan is hosting the 2013 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship in Ypsilanti, Mich. For several of the athletes on this team this will be their first time competing in MAC Championship, but for others this will be the last time competing in an indoor meet.
Seniors such as distance runner MaryKate Mellen, who is coming off a victory in the 800 meter run this past weekend, will be competing in the both the mile and 3000 meter run.
Mellen was one of the three Ball State athletes to automatically qualify for the meet by posting a time of 4:54.50 in the mile and a 9:54.44 in the 3000. Fellow distance runner Katelyn DeVries (5000 meter run) and long jumper Haley Austin have also automatically qualified for the meet.
All together Ball State will be placing at least one entrant in ten individual events, as well as competing in the 4x400 meter relay and the 400 meter distance medley relay.The weight throw, shot put and triple jump are all events that Ball State will be placing more than one competitor in.
Earlier in the year freshman Zenee Gadson had a streak of three consecutive weekends winning the triple jump. Gadson and teammate Alyssa Hurlburt have been neck and neck with each other throughout the year and hope to continue their success this weekend.
On the other hand, the throwers on the team should be thankful that there was still one last meet before this weekend championship. Coming into last weekend’s home meet neither one of the throwers in the shot put or weight throw were placed inside the MAC top 20.
After several personal records were broken, the team will have freshman Michaela Hull and junior Melissa Melgarez throw in the shot put event as well as freshman Marie Lumpkin and junior Erin Walker in the weight throw.
Other field event athletes consist of sophomore high jumper Haley Austin, who is coming off her first individual victory at the Ball State Quad meet this past weekend.
Rounding out the field event participants will be sophomore pole-vaulter Hannah Ciasto-Poor. She too also has a victory to her name this year as she won the Tom Hathaway Challenge in Indianapolis earlier this season.
Ball State is hoping to improve from a 12th place finish last year that saw the team tally only a total of 10 team points.