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Senior Andrea Hiler won both the shot put and weight throw.
Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Seniors Shine as WMU Downs Toledo

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 01/05/2014
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Western Michigan won seven events with its senior class accounting for five as the Broncos opened up the 2014 indoor track and field season beating Toledo 81-58 at University Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Andrea Hiler and Aisha Hodge each won two events and fellow senior Andrea Arnold also claimed an event title for the senior class. Juniors Kathryn Pickett and Rebecca Hall accounted for WMU’s other two wins, while Jordan Anderson, Ariel Arnold, Andrea Arnold and Naiomi Dulaney combined to take the 4x400 meter relay to close out the meet.

“The seniors did a nice job of showing the freshman what you need to do,” said head coach Kelly Lycan. “They set a good example on the track and really did a good job.”

Hiler took first in both the shot put and the weight throw, throwing 16.92m (55-06) to win the weight throw. Hiler nearly broke the 45-foot mark in the shot put with a distance of 13.70m (44-11.5). Fellow senior Stephanie Negrete finished just behind her in both events with distances of 16.60m (54-5.50) in the weight throw and 13.30m (43-7.50) in the shot put. Sophomore Maria Tomlinson had a strong start to the season with a new personal-best of 13.24m (43-5.25) to take third place in the shot put.

Pickett took first place in the long jump with a distance of 5.76m (18-10.75) and was trailed by freshman Jade McKnight, who took second with a distance of 5.32m (17-5.25). Pickett also claimed second in the high jump at 1.60 meters and was followed by freshman Kara Craig.

Andrea Arnold set the Ice Breaker meet record with a winning time of 56.23 seconds in the 400 meter dash, breaking former Bronco great Becky Horn’s best time of 56.54 from 2007. Arnold then helped Anderson, Dulaney and Ariel Arnold to break the meet record in the 4x400 meter relay with a first-place time of 3:54.12

“Andrea, that was big for her,” added Lycan. “You could see it from day one in the Fall. She just came in on a mission and she just ran with aggression and reckless abandon. If she keeps running like that she is going to have a good season.

Hodge claimed first place in both the mile run and the 800 meter run. In the mile she finished with a time of 5:13.93 with fellow senior Teresa Marin claiming fourth place at 5:27.08. Hodge just edged out Ariel Arnold in the 800 by .42 seconds with a time of 2:21.37. Arnold finished with a time of 2:21.79 and Anderson took third with a time of 2:22.11.

“The 800 was a very competitive race,” Lycan said. “Aisha and Ariel did a great job and it was great to see Jordan Anderson out there. She can really run and is finally healthy and could have a good year in the 800 and the 400 this year.”

Hall opened up her season with a victory in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.55 seconds. Freshman Sarita Dotson opened up her collegiate career taking second place in the event with a time of 26.01. Dotson also took second place in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.82 seconds and edged out Dulaney’s third-place time of 7.85.

Alex Forsythe claimed second place in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 10:25.18. Forsythe was in the top pack of the race until the final few laps when Toledo’s Devyn Ramsay pulled away for the win.

Toledo’s Tyshai Freeman won both the high jump and the triple jump on the day.

Western Michigan battles more Mid-American Conference foes when it heads to Bowling Green for the BGSU Challenge next Saturday.