PREVIEW: Ball State track and field hosts Ball State Challenge
Ball State track and field is preparing for its only home meet of the outdoor season as it hosts the Ball State Challenge this Friday and Saturday.
The Cardinals will face a couple Mid-American Conference opponents in the meet. Western Michigan, Toledo and Eastern Michigan will all be competing in Muncie this weekend.
In last year’s Ball State Challenge, Ball State beat Butler 127-36 and Fort Wayne 113-57, but fell short to Toledo 97-88.
The first event for the Cardinals is at 11 a.m. Saturday with the discus throw.
The team ended up with 15 career-bests during that meet. Most significantly, sophomore Peyton Stewart and junior Anna-Kay West each came out of the meet with two career-bests.
Stewart had her two career-bests with first in the 100-meter dash at 11.80 and third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.74. West grabbed two career-bests placing fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.14 and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.67.
During the indoor season, Ball State hosted the Ball State Tune-Up. Although the Cardinals won three events, Western Michigan defeated Ball State 110-59.
Fort Wayne was also part of the Ball State Tune-Up earlier this year. The team beat Wright State 83.5-72.5, but lost to Ball State 83-72 and Western Michigan 119.50-61.50.
Nevertheless, head coach Brian Etelman is not worried about how his team has fared with these teams in the past.
“We always perform really well at home because there is something to be said about defending your turf,” Etelman said. “The quality of the meet will really bring out a competitive side to us as well.”
One-third of the MAC will be competing at the Ball State Challenge, so the Cardinals have a chance to get a look at conference competition.
“This meet is really important because it will kind of set us up rhythmically for the rest of the year,” Etelman said. “If we do well here, it will continue over the next few weeks and give everyone confidence going into the MAC Championship.”
Despite not racing last weekend, Etelman thinks they will get the scores they need to continue on with their momentum forward to the MAC Championship.
“I think we will do significantly better, especially at this time in the year,” Etelman said. “Rest is crucial as we go into the last three or four weeks of the season, so I think the weekend off really freshened everyone up.”
Even though Etelman is confident his team will do well this weekend at home, he knows that it will still be an exciting meet.
“It’s going to be a good one for sure," Etelman said. "Everyone will be a challenge, but I know we are ready for it.”