WMU - Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season Strong at Victor Lopez Classic

WMU - Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season Strong at Victor Lopez Classic

Provided by WMU

HOUSTON – The Western Michigan track and field team wrapped up competition at the Victor Lopez Classic at Rice University on Saturday, earning top-eight finishes in eight events to open the outdoor season.

The top finish of the weekend came in the final event of the meet, the 4x400-meter relay. Ashley Worford, Davonne Bolden, Sarah Anderson and Erin Dowd combined for a time of 3:45.86 seconds to take first place and edge out Houston by .02 seconds. The Broncos were behind early on but fought back to take the lead and then held on as Dowd faced a challenger from the Cougars down the final straight.

"We did a good job for the first week of the season," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "We had a lot of people getting their first taste of outdoor season and I thought the freshmen responded well in their first meets. For an opening meet, that's all we could ask for. We were really competitive and I thought the 4x400 really set the tone for us."

Anderson was the top collegiate finished in the 800-meter run, taking second place with a time of 2:11.65. Anderson finished just behind former Bronco Jordan Anderson, who ran unattached. Jordan Senior Maria McDaniel took sixth overall in the 800 after running a tie of 2:15.73, while freshman Juliane Sormain finished in eighth with a time of 2:16.04. McDaniel also went on to take fourth in the 1,500-meter run after running a time of 4:39.10. Her teammate and fellow senior Claire Gilbert took sixth with a time of 4:40.48

Dowd turned in a personal-best performance in the 400-meter hurdles. She took third overall with a time of 1:00.97, breaking 61 seconds for the first time in her career. Allison Hufnagel took seventh with a time of 1:04.02. Collins took eighth in the 100-meter hurdles after finishing with a time of 14.30 seconds.

Worford placed seventh in the 400-meter dash after running a time of 56.38 seconds. Bolden finished just behind her in eighth with a time of 56.38.

Erica Sheahan took fourth in the long jump with a personal-best distance of 19' 1.50" (5.83m). It was the first time breaking 19 in her young career. Freshman Diamond Mitchell took seventh with a distance of 18' 10.75" (5.76m).

On Friday, senior Brittany Casey kicked off the outdoor season with a sixth place finish in the hammer throw after reaching a distance of 171' 3" (52.21 meters).

Western Michigan travels to N.C. State for the Raleigh Relays next Friday and Saturday.