Super Bowl Sunday capped off this past weekend in sports. Ball State had a couple sports in action prior to the big game. Here's what you may have missed in Cardinal athletics.
Stewart, Rodriguez shine for Ball State Track and Field in South Bend
Ball State recorded multiple personal-best performances at the Meyo Invitational hosted by Notre Dame.
The 60-meter dash proved to be the most successful event for the Cardinals on both Friday and Saturday. Three runners finished within the top five in the preliminary heats on Friday. Junior Bryeana Byrdsong finished in third with a time of 7.53 seconds, senior Peyton Stewart finished fourth at 7.56 and senior Jazmin Smith ended in fifth at 7.59. These were career-best times for Byrdsong and Smith. This set Stewart up to win the 60-meter final with a time of 7.50.
Smith was also able to seize a Mid-American-Conference-qualifying standard score with a time of 8.41 in the 60-meter hurdles.
"Overall, the sprints and hurdles squad did a great job," head coach Brian Etelman said. "We are being smart with how much we are demanding of them before the championship, but you see the glimpses of championship quality they possess.”
Day two of tournament play was partly headlined by junior Maritza Rodriguez who earned a personal-best time of 9 minutes, 51.63 seconds in the 3000-meter run. This places her fifth on the all-time program list. Rodriguez finished third in her heat and 16th overall on the weekend.
"Maritza has done a great job for us," Etelman said. "As a junior, you're starting to see her grow with experience, and her confidence has yielded some really impressive results. We know she is capable of much more and look forward to her getting better by the time the MAC meet rolls around."
The Cardinals will hit the track again Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Doug Raymond National Qualifier in Kent, Ohio.
Cardinals dominate doubles play against Youngstown State
Ball State sealed a near sweep in Saturday’s match against the Youngstown State Penguins. Seniors Audrey Berger, Peyton Gollhofer and Isabelle Dohanics, along with junior Rebecca Herrington, each won in two sets. No. 1 singles senior Sarah Swiderski won in three.
“I was extremely pleased with the whole match,” head coach Max Norris said. “It was a culmination of the work we put in this week, and meetings we had between myself and them and their own team meetings. It was fun to see that pay off.”
While Swiderski lost in her first set, she came back and won set two, 6-1, and continued her momentum into set three with a 10-4 victory.
The Cardinals’ doubles teams managed to finish 3-0, and the only Cardinal loss of the day came from sophomore Victoria Sec after a three-set match. Sec won set one, 6-3, then traded with the Penguins’ No. 6 singles Lucia Zagar in set two, 6-3. Set three went to Zagar, 10-8.
“At any time in sports, you can have one good match or one good game,” Norris said. “Them seeing their work pay off helps, but you move on to the next one and keep working just as hard.”