PREVIEW: Ball State track and field splits up for Gina Relays and Southern Miss Open
This weekend, Ball State track and field will be competing in two separate meets. Part of the team will head to Hillsdale, Michigan to compete in the Gina Relays and the others will head to Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the Southern Miss Open.
The sprinters, hurdlers and sophomore high jumper Regan Lewis will be attending the Southern Miss Open.
The distance runners and field athletes will be going to the Gina Relays.
Southern Miss Open:
Bryeana Byrdsong, Peyton Stewart, Kassidy Swenson, Amber Jones, Anna-Kay West and Regan Lewis
Stephanie McElhaney, Maritza Rodriguez, Kelsey Walters, Peyton Kneadler, Ericka Rinehart, Jordan Timmons, Brooke Talhelm, Adrienne Mayfield, Hannah Cummings, Jazmin Smith, Gabby Sims, Danielle Dahl, Emily Tromp and Olivia Ashba
In order to benefit everybody going into the Mid-American Conference Championship and the post season, head coach Brian Etelman thought that now would be the best time to separate the team in order to get the best times.
The athletes going to Mississippi will have warmer weather, but the athletes going to the Gina Relays will be competing against many teams in the MAC.
The distance and field athletes of Ball State will get a sneak peak of what the Outdoor MAC Championship will look like.
Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Akron, Miami, Central Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green and Ohio will all be competing in the Gina Relays.
“The goal was to split the squad so that people who need certain conditions will be [in] the best possible situation for what they need to get done,” Etelman said. “The sprinters and hurdlers who need warm weather will head down south and get some wins. The field event athletes and the distance runners that need a close meet and tough competition are going up to Michigan.”
Senior Danielle Dahl is one of the runners that will be competing in the Gina Relays. Etelman said that Dahl always competes well in Michigan because she is from Michigan and is excited to be close to home.
“We feel like Dani has a big race for a personal record this weekend and will get toward the top of the MAC standings in the 800 [dash],” Etelman said.
Sophomore Peyton Stewart ran in the 200-meter relay last weekend - a run she has not done this season - and did very well, said assistant coach Raynee DeGrio.
“Peyton will have some good wins in the heat and will have a chance to make it to the NCAA this weekend in the 100 [dash],” Etelman said.
The Gina Relays at Hillsdale College in Michigan will begin Thursday at 3 p.m. and conclude on Saturday. The Southern Miss Open at the University of Southern Mississippi will begin on Friday and end on Saturday.