WMU Broncos Make Way to Prestigious Sea Ray Relays
Provided by WMU
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan track & field team will compete in the prestigious 46th Annual Sea Ray Relays at Tennessee this weekend, starting with the heptathlon early in the week and extending all the way through Saturday evening.
The meet will feature a number of unusual relays on Saturday, including the 4x200m Relay and the Shuttle Hurdle Relay. According to head track & field coach Kelly Lycan, the introduction of some athletes into unfamiliar relay events - and the presence of high-level competition from the Southeast, Big Ten, and Atlantic Coast conferences - could provide a competitive spark.
"It's a very prestigious meet with team from all over the country, and those are the meets where you see fast times produced," said Lycan. "When you're running against fast teams, your competitive juices start flowing and you work harder, especially in the relays. You get out of your comfort zone and into chase mode, and maybe you start posting faster splits than normal."
Last weekend was a good one for those Bronco relay teams, as the 4x400m Relay team took first place at the Miami Invitational and the 4x100m Relay team took second. Lycan believes that the individuals from those teams will be key in Knoxville this weekend, especially Ariel Arnold, who sparked the 4x400m win last week with a blazing split in the third leg.
"Ariel is probably having the best season of her life right now," said Lycan. "She's gotten much stronger this year and is working really hard; I'd imagine her split from the 4x400m last weekend was her best ever, too."
"She'll get the opportunity to run the open 400m this week, and hopefully she'll go out and do something similar to what she did in the relay," said Lycan. "She should have the confidence to do it now."
The meet will actually begin on Wednesday with the Heptathlon, with three Broncos - Lindsey Hufnagel, Kathryn Pickett, and Amanda Fenton - participating in the event. Lycan says the event should be fun for both competitors and spectators.
"The heptathlon is a funny event; it giveth and it taketh away," said Lycan. "Short memory is definitely a good attribute. It's all about being consistent."
The heptathlon begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. with the 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, and the 200m. It will continue on Thursday with the Long Jump, Javelin, and the 800m. The remainder of the meet will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday with the women's Hammer Throw, and the remainder of the events will begin at 12:35 p.m. on Friday.