WMU - Track & Field Wins EIU Big Blue Classic

WMU - Track & Field Wins EIU Big Blue Classic

Provided by WMU

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The Western Michigan track and field team earned a hard-fought win at the Eastern Illinois Big Blue Classic on Saturday, finishing 3.5 points ahead of Illinois State.

The Broncos totaled 204 points, followed by the Redbirds at 200.5. Hosts EIU took third place with 173 points, followed by Milwaukee at 101, Indiana State and UIC at 18 and Bradley at 12. WMU had the top collegiate finisher in four events on the weekend.

"You throw out the stop watch on days like today and just focus on competing and earning points," said head coach Kelly Lycan on the cold and windy conditions that the Broncos faced on Saturday. "In meets like this, you gain a lot of experience in trying to learn how to win and we did a great job doing that."

Senior Brittany Casey had the best result, winning the hammer throw. Casey bested her performance last weekend and threw a distance of 177' 6" (54.11 meters). Classmate Savannah Dugan fifth overall but second in scoring, due to unattached or Division II athletes not counting in the scoring, with a distance of 161' 2" (49.12m). Dugan finished in second place in the shot put, throwing a distance of 46' 1.25" (14.05 meters) for her best performance on the early season. Freshman Abena Atuobi finished in fifth place with a distance of 44' 1.25" (13.44m).

Freshman Diamond Mitchell took third overall, but first in the points, in the 100-meter dash after running a time of 12.00 seconds. Madison Meredith took sixth overall, but third in the points, with a time of 12.50. Senior Davonne Bolden had the top scoring spot and finished second overall in the 200-meter dash, finishing with a time of 25.87 seconds. Teammate Erin Dowd finished just behind her with a time of 26.11, while Alex Bryant took seventh overall at 26.44. Bolden claimed another 10 points after finishing in the top scoring spot, and second overall once again, in the 400-meter dash. Bolden ran a time of 58.48 to just edge out Illinois State's Emily Cowan, who took third with a time of 58.72. Former Bronco Jordan Anderson won the race, running unattached. Kaniya Weatherspoon finished seventh overall and picked up three points.

Dowd had a personal-best performance by nearly .30 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, taking second with a time of 1:00.36. Junior Allison Hufnagel also had a personal-best time, finishing in fourth with a time of 1:02.76. Bryant also scored with a time of 1:03.38 to take sixth. Dowd also scored in the 100-meter hurdles, taking seventh with a time of 15.02 seconds. Junior Diana Holsey was WMU's top finisher in the event, taking fourth at 14.63.

Western Michigan also had a strong weekend in the relays. WMU took first in the 4x100 with a team of Mitchell, Meredith, Bryant and Bolden. The team combined to run a time of 47.68, while it's "B" team of Erica Sheahan, Claire Lycan, Tiere Richardson and Ashley Worford took second with a time of 50.12 seconds. The 4x400 team of Weatherspoon, Bryant, Mitchel and Meredith finished just behind Eastern Illinois in second place. On Friday night the 4x800 team of Juliane Sormain, Courtney Allen, Haley Ritsema and Mattie Goodwin combined for a time of 9:36.90 to take third overall.

Sormain also had a successful first time running in the 1,500-meter run on Friday, taking sixth overall with a time of 4:49.09.

The Broncos also had strong performances in the jumps, led by Hufnagel and her tie for second place in the high jump. Hufnagel reached a height of 5' 3" (1.60m) to earn seven points. Kaydon Fosler finished in fifth overall in the event. WMU also scored in the long and triple jumps. Mitchell took third in the long jump with a distance of 18' 7.25" (5.67m). Sophomore Erica Sheahan finished in fifth in the long jump after reaching 18' 2.50" (5.55m) and then went on to reach a personal-best distance in the triple jump at 36' 9.75" (11.22m), to take fifth. Richardson also scored in the event, taking seventh at 34' 6.25" (10.52m).

Junior Riley Wilhelm scored big points in the discus in her first time competing in nearly two years. The junior threw 135' 11" (41.43m) to finish second in the points and fourth overall. The Broncos also got points in the javelin, with Audrey Oswalt taking fourth with a distance of 106' (32.32m).

Freshman Emily Fonzie and senior Makenzie Evers both scored in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Fonzie ran a time of 12:09.12 to finish third in the points and fourth overall, while Evers took sixth overall and fifth in the points with a time of 12:11.76.

Over at the Raleigh Relays, Sarah Anderson and personal-best performances in the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run. Anderson took third overall in the 800 with a time of 2:08.04 and then ran a time of 4:25.41 in the 1,500. Maria McDaniel ran her first outdoor 5,000-meter run since her injury and nearly broke 17 minutes, finish with a 17:09.05. Senior Claire Gilbert competed in the 5,000 for the first time in her career and finished with a time of 17:26.41.

Western Michigan heads to Indiana State next weekend.