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Chelsea Gerbers had a big PR in the weight throw.
Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Track & Field Wins Big at BG Opener

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 01/12/2013
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Western Michigan track and field team continued its strong start to the 2013 season, winning its second-straight scored meet by taking the Bowling Green Opener on Saturday.

The Broncos routed the field of five teams, winning with the meet with 215 points. Second place Toledo finished with 90.5, Dayton finished with 80, hosts BGSU finished with 72.50 and IPFW finished in last place with 28. WMU won seven events outright on the day and finished with the highest collegiate finisher in three to earn first-place points in those events.

"Overall I thought it was an improvement from last week," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "I saw some really good and competitive performances today."

Junior thrower Chelsea Gerbers continued her strong start to the season. Gerbers hit a personal-best distance in the weight throw with a toss of 58 feet, 7.50 inches to take second place. She also finished second in the shot put with a distance of 45 feet, nine inches. She finished just .25 inches from first place, falling just shy of IPFW's Rachel Dincoff.

"Chelsea had a really big PR today and when you start closing in on 60 feet in the weight throw, that is a pretty good day," added Lycan. "Just missing first place in both events, those are the things that these early season meets are for. Learning how to compete and how to win. I think she'll keep this one in her memory bank and use it down the road."

Sophomore Becca Peacock also had a big personal-best on the day. Peacock came from behind to win the 3,000 meter run. She finished with a time of 10:31.36, just edging out Bowling Green's Andrea Alt by .18 seconds. With four laps remaining Peacock started to gain ground on the pack of four runners in front of her. She eventually picked off each of them to earn her first collegiate race win.

"It was one of the most exciting distance races we have seen in a while," said Lycan of the 3,000. "She just kept chewing into the lead down the stretch. it was a great finish."

The sophomore class "A" team of  Rebecca Hall, Lindsey Hufnagel, Alexis Hull and Kathryn Pickett earned the win in the 4x400 meter relay. While the first three did not run the best race, according to coach Lycan, Pickett saved the day with a strong anchor leg to help the team to a time of 3:55.89.

Although they struggled in the relay win, individually the four did well on the day. Hall was the top collegiate finisher in both the 60 and 200 meter dash. Pickett was the top collegiate finisher in the high jump and also took fourth place in the 60 meter hurdles. Teammate Iris Campbell finished two spots in front of her in the event and also picked up a a win in the 600 meter run and a second-place finish in the long jump.

In the middle distance races the Broncos earned a win in the 800 meter run with Aisha Hodge improving on her time from last week with a first-place time of 2:15.71. WMU also had a strong performance in the mile run with Jeriesha Tucker taking second place and Rachel Whitley finishing in fourth.

Also seeing improvements were Western Michigan's freshmen pair of pole vaulters. Reagan Engstrom took third place and improved her height from last week by six inches to 11 feet, 5.75 inches. Alexia Dahl was able to best a competitor that beat her last week with a height of 10 feet, six inches and earned a point for WMU on the day.

Western Michigan heads to Big 10 country and the University of Minnesota for the Jack Johnson Invitational on Friday and Saturday next weekend.
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