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Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Broncos Sit in Fourth After Day One at MAC Championships

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 02/22/2013
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YPSILANTI, Mich. -- After strong performances by its sophomore class, the Western Michigan track and field team finished the first day of the 2013 Indoor MAC Championship in fourth place at Eastern Michigan's Bowen Fieldhouse on Friday evening.

The Broncos tallied 23 points on the day, sitting just six back of third-place Toledo. Akron sits in second with 42 and Kent State holds a commanding lead with 58 points after day one.

"If we can hit that 20 point mark after day one with a lot of people heading into the finals on Saturday we are usually in good shape," said head coach Kelly Lycan.

Sophomores Lindsey Hufnagel and Kathryn Pickett shined in the pentathlon, each shattering the school record in the process. Hufnagel ended up with the actual record of 3,871 points but her classmate took the second-best score in program history at 3,866.  The previous record had been held by All-American Phyllis Brooks for 16 years at 3,793,

A big key to Hufnagel's strong performance was getting off to a good start in the 60 meter hurdles. The hurdles had been a point of struggle for her in the past but she took third place in the race with a personal best of 8.88 seconds. Pickett was just in front of her at 8.83.

The event came to a finale in the 800 meters with Hufnagel edging out Akron's Skyler Willis with a time of 2:19.85, beating her by .14 seconds. Pickett to third in the race to secure third place overall.

"Those two just did a great job," added Lycan. "That was 14 big points for us and it really got us fired up early in the day."

Pickett also scored a point in the long jump, finishing eighth overall and one behind teammate Iris Campbell.

Aisha Hodge, Cara Cremeans, Ariel Arnold and Rachel Whitley combined to take third place in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:51.35. Cremeans ran one of her best races to get the Broncos off to a lead out of the gate. Arnold helped WMU stay near the top with a 56.64 second split in the 400 meter leg with Hodge and Whitley finishing off the race to take third.

WMU qualified runners in the 60 meter hurdles, 60 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash and the 800 meter run. Campbell ran her fastest hurdle time this year with a mark of 8.71 seconds. Rebecca Hall earned the final qualifying spot in the 60 dash with a time of 7.67.

The Broncos qualified all three entrants in the 200 with Hall running a blazing 24.56 seconds for the second-fastest qualifying time on the day. Campbell and Andrea Arnold also get a shot at the final after both running sub 24.90 second races. Arnold, along with Alexis Hull, qualified for the finals in the 400 as well.

Hodge was the lone qualifier for WMU in the 800.

Western Michigan looks to make their move during tomorrow's final day when events begin at 10:30 on Saturday morning.