WMU - Hull Claims 400 Title; Broncos Finish Fifth
Provided by WMU
ATHENS, Ohio -- Junior sprinter Alexis Hull earned her first Mid-American Conference title and the Western Michigan track and field team finished in fifth place at the 2014 Outdoor MAC Championships at Ohio University on Saturday evening.
Hull ran a time of 54.80 seconds to edge out teammate Andrea Arnold to claim her first title. The 18 points earned between Hull and Arnold helped the Broncos finish ahead of rivals Central Michigan, with a total of 70 points. Kent State claimed the overall MAC Championship with 132 points and Akron took second with 127.
"I kept telling people that she was coming along," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "We talked a bit before the race and Andrea and Alexis are good friends and Alexis has always looked up to her. I warned Andrea that if she wasn't careful that Alexis could pass her. Alexis got a little better last year and a little better during the indoor season and boom, now she's a MAC Champion."
Hull and Arnold also teamed up to lead WMU's 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams to second place finishes. In the 4x100 the two combined with freshmen Sarita Dotson and Naiomi Dulaney for the squad's best time of the season at 45.67 seconds. In the 4x400 they combined with Dotson again and Kathryn Pickett to finish with a time of 3:40.42.
"Andrea's been one of the best lead-off runners we have ever had and she gave us a great leg today," said Lycan on the 4x400 race. "We had the lead and it held until Buffalo caught us just at the end. Pickett did a great job on her leg and it was her 11th event on the weekend. Dotson had a disappointing day yesterday but came back today and ran a great 54-second split for us to hold the lead. Alexis ran a really strong anchor leg but we were just caught at the end."
Arnold, Dotson, Pickett and Dulaney were all named Second Team All-MAC for their contributions, while Hull was named First Team All-MAC for the first time in her career.
Pickett also scored in the 100-meter hurdles, along with senior Chiara Allen. Allen broke 14 seconds with a legal wind reading for the first time in her career to take fifth place with a time of 13.97 seconds. Pickett finished just behind her with a personal-best time of 14.02.
"It was really satisfying to see Chiara come on at the end of the year in the hurdles," Lycan added. "She showed a lot of persistence and it was nice to see her finally get under 14."
Allen wasn't done there, though. The Lake Orion, Mich., native went out and took third place in the triple jump with a distance of 12.10m (39-08.50).
Seniors Andrea Hiler and Stephanie Negrete both scored in the discus. Hiler took fourth with a distance of 50.21m (164-09), while Negrete took seventh at 48.39m (158-09). Hiler also scored in the shot put, taking seventh with a distance of 14.78m (48-06).
Senior and Bangor, Mich., product Aisha Hodge took third in the 800-meter run. Hodge held strong through the first 600 meters of the race with the leaders but was just passed at the end after running a season-best time of 2:08.14.
"I really appreciate the effort the seniors put in this season," concluded Lycan. "They have taken us a long way in their careers and I am going to miss them."
While some will have their careers end the Broncos must wait to see who qualifies for the NCAA East Regional Championships. Hiler has qualified in the discus but several remain on the bubble.