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Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Hufnagel Breaks Hepathlon Record at Drake Relays

Courtesy: Adam Bodnar, assistant director of media relations
Release: 04/26/2012
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DES MOINES, Iowa -- One program record fell and four Broncos had personal-best performances as the Western Michigan track and field team wrapped up day two of competition at the 103rd running of the Drake Relays on Thursday night.

Freshman Lindsey Hufnagel set a new program record in the heptathlon with a total of 4,957 points after the six event competition to finish seventh overall and as the fifth collegiate finisher. Fellow freshman Kathryn Pickett set a personal-best to finish ninth with 4,851 points. For both it was just the second time competing in the heptathlon in their shot careers.

"I think that's pretty good for just her second ever heptathlon," said head coach Kelly Lycan on Hufnagel's record-setting performance. "5,000 points is a benchmark in the heptathlon and to have two freshman knocking on that door in just their second time ever is pretty special."

Junior middle-distance specialist Rachel Whitley turned in a new personal record time in the 800 meter dash, finishing with a time of 2:08.18, taking second place in the unseeded race.

Whitley got boxed in after the first lap, leaving her near the back of the pack. The Leroy, Mich., native was able to battle back and in the final 200 meters ran a split of 31.5 seconds to pass a majority of the field and move into second.

"It was a nice breakthrough for Rachel," said Lycan. "She has been consistently running around the same time all year and we could see her getting ready to pop a good time."

To close out the night Samantha Draney and Amber Brunmeier finished back-to-back to take third and fourth place in the 10,000 meter run. Draney, who holds the WMU record in the event, took third with a time of 35:34.83. Brunmeier was just behind her with a personal-best time of 35:35.28, bumping her up to fifth all-time on the WMU 10k performance list.

"They started out very conservatively," said Lycan. "They had a good plan and ran a very smart race. After the first mile they were cranking it up and moving through the field and just started consistently knocking down their splits and moving up in the pack. They ran the whole race as a team and worked very well together. It was a good performance by both of them for their first 10k this year."

Friday brings an early and busy day for the Broncos, starting off with the 4x100 meter relay at 9:30 a.m.