The Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in a few events at the Toledo Invitational in Toledo, Ohio on Friday, May 9. The Eagles had a strong showing at the event as many of the Green and White recorded personal-bests or came within close range of their record marks in the week before the 2014 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The event was held on the outdoor track of Fetterman Stadium. This event marked one of the final opportunities for the harriers to earn qualifying marks for the 2014 MAC and also for the NCAA East Regional coming up at the end of the month.
In the women’s long jump, senior Tiara Oates finished with the highest placement for the Eagles in the runner-up position. Oates jumped a personal-best 5.71 meters (18 feet 8.75 inches). This mark added five inches to her previous mark.
The lone win for the Eagle men came from sophomore Jeff Elam, who claimed a victory in the 400m hurdles in 52.92 seconds. Finishing close behind Elam was sophomore Bryce Lindsey who finished with a time of 56.60 seconds, which was good for third place. Lindsey also picked up another third-place finish in the 110m hurdles, finishing in 14.78.
EMU men’s coach John Goodridge said the Toledo Invitational was the last step for his athletes’ preparation for the MAC tournament.
“The Toledo Invite provided some of our athletes a final tuneup in their training for the upcoming MAC Championships and, for some, an opportunity for the coaching staff to make a further evaluation of their readiness for event selection, while the majority of the team remained on campus training,” he said.
Other News & Notes
In other track news, the Mid-American Conference announced Wednesday, May 7 that junior Victoria Voronko has been named the MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week. The award marks the first time during the 2014 season, and the third time in her career, that Voronko has received this honor. The exercise science major maintains a 3.77 GPA.
Voronko is just coming off another MAC weekly award, as she was named the MAC Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, April 29. The award came after Voronko had a record-breaking performance in the 3000m steeplechase at the Drake Relays, April 30.
This week, Voronko shaved nearly two seconds off her time in the 1500m run to win the invitational section at the Billy Hayes Invitational, May 3 at Indiana University. She ran more than one and a half seconds under her nearest competitor, crossing the line at 4:20.87. Her mark not only tops the MAC standings by nearly four seconds, but it also ranks in the top-20 of the NCAA East Region and stands as the fourth-fastest time in EMU history.
The EMU harriers will head to Athens, Ohio on Thursday, May 15 for the three-day 2014 Outdoor MAC Championships for the culmination of their season. The conference will run from May 15-17. The Eagles are looking to improve on their fifth-place finish from the 2013 competition.