KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Nine student-athletes will represent the Western Michigan track & field team at the 2008 Mideast NCAA Regional Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on May 30-31.
Danielle Brown, Alexis Brown, Victoria Chatman, Irene Cooper, Joy Eloms, Becky Horn, Ashley Hunualt, Kari Richards and Jennifer Sabra represent the largest group head coach Kelly Lycan has taken to the NCAA Regional Championships. The Broncos earned 15 points and finished tied for 15th with Michigan State and saw Horn, Danielle Brown and Kristalyn Mauch advance to the NCAA Championships along with the 4x400 relay team.
Eloms qualified in the 100-meter dash, the triple jump and as a member of the 4x100 relay team. A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., her best time in the 100 came at the Mid-American Conference Championship. Her time of 11.71 seconds not only improved her previous qualifying time of 11.75, but crowned her as MAC Champion in the event. She also turned in her top distance in the triple jump at the MAC Championship. Her jump of 39-feet 8.5-inches took first place and helped Eloms capture the Most Valuable Performer award.
Horn, an indoor All-American in the 800-meter run, finished in fifth place in the event at the 2007 Mideast Regional Championships. She is qualified in the 400-meter dash, 800-meter run and as a member of both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Horn’s qualifying time of 2:08.31 in the 800 run currently ranks her 46th in the nation. Horn turned in her top qualifying time in the 400-meter dash at the Central Collegiates. Horn went on to win both the 400 and the 800 at the MAC Championships and was later named Most Outstanding Track Performer for the fourth time in her career.
Danielle Brown, who competed at the NCAA National Championships in 2007, qualified in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and as a member of the 4x400 relay team. Brown’s turned in her qualifying time of 13.64 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles at the Jack Shaw Invitational. Brown’s time of 58.20 in the 400-meter hurdles currently ranks 16th in the nation, an event she later went on to win at the MAC Championships.
Sabra and Alexis Brown both qualified in the 400-meter hurdles and Sabra also qualified in the 400-meter dash and as a member of the 4x400 relay squad. Brown’s qualifying time of 1:00.60 came at the Central Collegiates on April 19, while Sabra’s top qualifying time was at the MAC Championships. Her time of 58.92 seconds landed her in second place, in an event in which the Broncos took first, second and third place. Sabra’s qualifying time of 54.34 in the 400-meter dash came at the Compass Classic.
The Broncos will be taking along a pair of freshmen to regionals. Chatman, a freshman from Taylor, Mich., qualified in the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter run and as a member of both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Chatman’s top qualifying time of 23.86 seconds in the 200-meter dash came at the Jack Shaw Invitational, and remained a season-best time on the team. She set a Kanley Track record with her qualifying time of 53.74 seconds in the 400-meter dash at the Compass Classic on April 5.
Hunault, a freshman from Alpena, Mich., qualified in the long jump and as a member of the 4x100 relay team. Hunault’s qualifying jump came at the Jack Shaw Invitational, when she turned in a distance of 20-feet 3.5-inches.
Cooper and Richards were the only field performers to qualify for regionals for the Broncos. Richards, a senior for Fox Lake, Ill., turned in her top qualifying distance in the discus at the MAC Championships, throwing 159-feet four-inches and taking sixth place. Cooper, one of four underclassmen making the trip to Arkansas, turned in her top qualifying distance in the hammer throw at the Jack Shaw Invitational on May 3. A sophomore from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cooper’s distance of 194-feet six-inches broke a WMU record and currently stands as the 31st best distance in the country.
The 4x400 relay team’s time of 3:35.49 is currently ranked 15th in the nation. The team consisting of Danielle Brown, Chatman, Sabra and Horn turned in the nationally ranked time at the Sea Ray Relays on April 12, and later went on to win at the MAC Championships. This is the fourth straight season that coach Lycan has sent a 4x400 squad to the NCAA Regional Championships. The 4x100 relay team consisting of Hunault, Chatman, Horn and Eloms turned in their top time in a first place finish at the MAC Championships.
Events begin at 11 a.m. on Friday morning, with the last event scheduled for 8:50 p.m. More information, including live scoring and a detailed schedule, can be found by visiting the University of Arkansas’s website at www.ladybacks.com.