Riley's record-setting throw leads team in Cannon Classic

For the women's team, Katie Nowak improves personal-best time in mile to 4:52, placing second

The men's track team is used to seeing the same names finish high in the same races. Last weekend, though, head coach Jim Sprecher was pleased to see those names get beat by teammates.

B.J. McKay came into the unscored Cannon IV Classic this weekend undefeated in the pole vault. McKay vaulted well, but managed a third-place finish behind Indiana State's Peter Skoumal and teammate Paul Panning.

"Paul came into this year very sick and he is just now getting back into rhythm," Sprecher said.

Another new top finisher for the Cardinals was junior Victor Johnson. Johnson, a long jumper, beat teammate Corey Eloms for the first time this season on his way to a second-place leap. Sprecher said Johnson just came back from a broken hand.

"Vic finished third in the MAC last year while Corey red-shirted, so this wasn't a surprise to me," Sprecher added.

A name that didn't change was Zach Riley. The senior thrower improved his national ranking from 24th to fifth with his school-record toss in the weight throw. Riley threw 69 feet 5 1/4 inches to win the event.

Women's head coach Sue Parks said the Ball State women also had a good showing in Indianapolis.

"It was a big improvement over our performance last week," Parks said, "but I still feel like we have a way to go to be where we want to be."

Parks said one of the most impressive performances came from Patricia Soman. The junior had personal bests in the long jump (second place), the triple jump (fourth place), and the 400-meter run (seventh).

Another junior, Katie Nowak, improved her personal best in the mile, running a 4:52, and placing second.

Both teams will tune up once more before the MAC Championship meet in two weeks. The women will participate in their only home meet of the season, and the men's team will travel to Bloomington for the Indiana Invitational.


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