Track off to strong start in first meet

EMU Women’s Track and Field performed well in events like the 60-meter dash and the 4X400-meter relay during their first meet Saturday, the EMU Open Invitational.

Indoor track and field for Eastern Michigan University began Saturday at Bob Parks Track inside Bowen Field House.

After falling short last season and placing second in both indoor and outdoor track and field in the Mid-American Conference, the mindset for the men’s track and field team hasn’t changed from previous years.

“Every year we want to win the MAC,” men’s coach Brad Fairchild said. “If you don’t win better get second.”

Fairchild is in his 10th season after replacing EMU legend Bob Parks. Fairchild was an assistant for Parks for 34 years.

“As a whole, we did pretty well, we competed well, first meet of the year,” Fairchild said. “I am just glad we had no injuries. No injuries are always good.”

Senior Gerald Gersham started the season on the right foot, setting a school record by hurling his 16-pound shot put 62-01.25 feet.

In 2009, Gersham was a MAC champion with his career best shot put. He became a provisional NCAA qualifier in the event.

Senior sprinter Clint Allen had a good outing as well, falling just .01 seconds shy of qualifying for NCAA provisionals. His time of 6.72 won the race.

The EMU women’s track and field team did exceptionally well. Under coach Sue Parks, EMU placed first in five of the eight running events; was second in the mile and 3,000-meter runs; and took third in the 60-meter hurdles.

Angela Scarber excelled, picking up first-place finishes with a career-best toss of 52-02.50 in the weight throw, and another win with a throw of 41-07.00 in the shot put.

Ashlee Abraham started strongly in her first collegiate race. In the 60-meter dash, she coasted to a victory with a 7.57-second finish. Abraham’s finish fell .13 seconds shy from a qualifying provisional for the NCAA.

“We had a good start,” Parks said. “This was a good outing for our girls. Our freshman girls are vital this year, young and full with talent.”

EMU women’s 4X400-meter relay team won its event with a 3:57.29.

The men are slated to take on Central Michigan this Friday, while the women travel to Grand Valley to compete in the “Mike Lints” Open on Friday as well.

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