Relay Work Highights Finale of Sea Ray Relays
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Western Michigan track & field team saw success in a number of relays, and the Broncos concluded their weekend at the Sea Ray Relays hosted by Tennessee on Saturday.
Taking part in a number of uncommon relays, the Broncos showed their versatility by not just excelling in races, but by setting marks at or near the top of the record books at Western Michigan. The 4x1500m Relay team of Samantha Draney, Jeriesha Tucker, Amber Brunmeier and Teresa Marin broke the school record with a time of 19:14.76. The mark broke the previous school record of 19:26.51, set in 2004 by Sarah Hinkley, Christi Valnty, Leah Godfrey, and Meryl Marsh.
"The 4x1500m Relay team was very steady today, especially with individual splits," said head track and field coach Kelly Lycan. "They broke the school record without doing anything spectacular, just posting steady splits and performing well."
The Broncos took first place in the Distance Medley Relay, with the team of Hodge, Whitney Freeman, Tucker and Cara Cremeans easily clearing the field with a time of 11:56.73; the closest competition came from Eastern Kentucky, who finished more than nine seconds behind the Broncos.
"They cleared 12 minutes, which is a great time for this time of year," said Lycan. "They put up good solid times."
The Shuttle Hurdle Relay team of Iris Campbell, Chiara Allen, Amanda Fenton, and Whitney Freeman came within 0.3 seconds of breaking the school record in the event, finishing second in the field with a time of 56.66. The Broncos and Blue Raiders were tight throughout the race, but the Broncos fell just short.
Lycan also cited the performance of the Showcase 4x400m Relay team as one of his personal highlights, with the team of Campbell, Hufnagel, Victoria Chatman, and Leya Munwam taking second in the race behind Tennessee with a time of 3:40.55. The teams were neck and neck through two legs when Campbell and Hufnagel executed a "perfect" handoff, according to Lycan, giving the Broncos a sizable lead. Despite the Lady Vols eventually passing and taking the lead, Lycan was still encouraged by the performance.
"It was an excellent job of matching speeds by those two," said Lycan.
In the field, the Broncos had their second straight strong day in the throwing events, with Andrea Hiler making the finals of the Discus and finishing eighth with a toss of 48.85m/160-03. For Hiler, it was the second straight week in which she's broken 160 feet in the Discus. Elsewhere in the field, Chelsea Gerbers took seventh in the Shot Put with a toss of 14.00m/45-11.25.
"Chelsea had a very consistent day in the Shot Put," said Lycan.