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The Eastern Echo Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Eastern Michigan Track at UofM Invitational feb 17th

EMU crowned men’s and women’s MAC indoor track and field champions

Parks named men’s and women’s MAC Coach of the Year.

The Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s track and field programs collected team titles at the 2023 Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25 inside the Perry Fieldhouse in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

Senior Baldvin Magnusson put on an outstanding performance for the Eagles, collecting three championships in the mile, 3,000m and 5,000m runs, scoring 30 total points. 

Magnusson led the two-day event with a total five men winning eight individual titles. The Iceland native won gold in the 5,000m run on Friday night in a meet-record time of 13:58.24. On Saturday, he excelled in the mile run with 4:15.29, then proceeded to claim gold in the 3,000m run, in another meet-record of 8:02.59. The senior passed former Eagle Boaz Cheboiywo’s mark of 8:04.53.

The men's team were able to retain their championship title from the previous year as they tallied 171 points against Kent State University’s second place with 168 points. The women's side scored 89.5 points ahead of Ball State University’s 83.0 points.

Junior Kaleb Simpson saw two titles as he won gold for the 60m and 200m dashes. Simpson marked 6.76 in the 60m dash which would tie his personal-best and the ninth overall time in program history. The junior would then place first in the single-lap race with a time of 21.60.

Freshman Connor McCoy finished the 800m dash in 1:51.97 during his MAC indoor debut. 

On Friday night, EMU won a pair of events in the field. Graduate student Newlyn Stephenson was stellar in the weight throw competition with a winning throw of 22.27 meters, while junior Yvan Lopes Riberio jumped to gold in his first MAC indoor meet.

Lopes Riberio won in the long jump contest with a best of 7.38m. 

The Eagles had one individual title with senior Angel Gazaway winning gold in the 60m hurdles. Gazaway was the top-qualifier for Friday's preliminary round with a time of 8:46. She won the title on Saturday in 8:41, the sixth-fastest time in program history. 

For the women's team, sophomore Saraiah Walkes was the top scorer with 16 points coming in second place for both the 60m dash with 7.53 and the 200m dash in 24.29. Graduate student Mair Edwards tallied nine points, placing second in the 400m dash in 56.31 and eighth for the 200m in 24.94. Sophomore Chloie Musta also placed second in the 800m dash while junior Maura Lane finished the pole vault in second.

Parks collected a pair of awards as well as she was named the MAC Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year after her team’s sweep. Parks earned four women’s honors with the Eagles and has been honored with the men’s accolades in the past two years. Winning both awards, Parks has become the first coach to sweep the accolades since University of Akron coach Dennis Mitchell in 2017. 

The Eagles swept the team titles for the fourth time in program history as both teams held the trophy in the same meet in 1997, 2000 and 2018. With the sweep, the Eagles have brought MAC Championships No.156 and No.157 back to Ypsilanti. The titles won in the meet records the 17th crown for the indoor men's team and eighth for the women's team. 

Up next, the Eagles that qualify on both men's and women's teams will be heading to the NCAA Championships held on March 10-11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Eagles will then travel to Miami, Florida, for the outdoor season that is scheduled to gun-off on March 17-18 for the Black and Gold Invitational hosted by the University of Central Florida.