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Aisha Hodge picked up her first win of the season in the 800-meter run.
Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Broncos Take Fourth at Victor Lopez Classic

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 03/24/2013
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HOUSTON -- The Western Michigan track and field team opened up the 2013 outdoor season taking fourth place out of 21 teams at the Victor Lopez Classic hosted by the Rice University on Saturday.

WMU finished with 62 points on the weekend behind third-place Harvard, Rice and champions Notre Dame. Junior Aisha Hodge was the lone Bronco to win an event, taking first place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.73. Senior Rachel Whitley also placed seventh with a time of 2:14.61.

Despite the lack of outdoor practice due to snowy weather in Kalamazoo, head coach Kelly Lycan liked the overall effort of his team.

"We had some pretty good performances," said Lycan. "It was a pretty decent start to the season for us."

Lycan had expressed some concerned for the 4x100-meter relay and the 400 meter hurdles, due to the inability to replicate them in practice indoors. But the Broncos performed well in both events.

Rebecca Hall, Andrea Arnold, Iris Campbell and Daijah Ruffin combined for a time of 46.57 in the 4x100 to take eighth overall.

"They ran really well for the first meet of the season," Lycan added. "The first two exchanges of the race went really well."

Sophomore Lindsey Hufnagel ran the 400-meter hurdles for the first time in her career, taking seventh overall with a time of 1:01.10. Campbell placed third in the event with a time of 1:00.16 to earn eight total points in the event for the Broncos.

Junior Andrea Hiler took third in the discus and fourth in the shot put. The Watervliet native tossed 47.96 meters (157-4) to earn six points. In the shot put she threw 14.04 meters (46-0.75) to edge out teammate and fellow junior Chelsea Gerbers. Gerbers took fifth with a distance of 13.89 meters (45-7).

WMU also took second and third in the triple jump with Chiara Allen placing third just ahead of Whitney Freeman. Allen jumped 11.78 meters (38-7.75), while Freeman finished just behind her at 11.72 meters (38-5.5).

Western Michigan's 4x400-meter relay squad of Arnold, Hall, Hufnagel and Campbell took fifth overall with a time of 3:41.41, just .51 seconds shy of second place. Fatigue factored in as all four had competed in other events on the day.

"I was pretty pleased with our time but wasn't happy where we finished," concluded Lycan. "It was a very tight race but I think we were a tired group because of all the events they ran in but think our time is pretty good to start the season."

The Broncos head to Purdue on Friday and Saturday for the Mike Poehlein Invitational.


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