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Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Broncos Claim 4x400m Hurdle Relay Title at EIU Big Blue Classic

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 03/30/2012
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CHARLESTON, Ill. -- The Western Michigan track and field team saw improvements over their performances from last week after wrapping up day one of competition at the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic on Friday night.

The Broncos stood out in two areas on the day, the 400 meter hurdles and the 5,000 meter run. In the 400 hurdles, WMU saw two runners earn personal-best performances. Chiara Allen took a second off of her previous career-best time that she set last week with a time of 1:04.29. Freshman Kathryn Pickett improved her season's best with a time of 1:06. Iris Campbell had the top time on the team at 59.97 seconds for a fourth place finish.

"The 400 hurdles is a very technical race," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "It was good to see some improvements but it is a race that they need to get some reps in to work all the kinks in their strides out."

The hurdlers got a second chance at the race when they ran the 4x400 meter hurdle relay, successfully defending their title from last year's Big Blue Classic. Brittney Calhoun started the race for the Broncos, giving them a lead that they never relinquished. Allen held the lead for WMU, while senior Amanda Fenton pushed the team further ahead. Campbell ran the anchor leg but just nearly missed breaking the team's event record set last year. In total the four combined for a time of 4:16.91, over 13 seconds ahead of EIU.

Samantha Draney and Amber Brunmeier finished just one second apart to finish in the top four of the 5,000m run. Draney finished slightly ahead of her teammate with a time of 17:17.35 to finish third overall, while Brunmeier was just behind her at 17:18.59 in fourth place.

In the field events Chelsea Gerbers improved her performance in the hammer throw with a distance of 153 feet, six inches to take seventh place.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday to wrap up the EIU Big Blue Classic with events beginning at 11 a.m.
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