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Aisha Hodge now sits third all-time on WMU's indoor 800 meter performance list.
Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Hodge Makes History at SPIRE Invitational

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 02/10/2013
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GENEVA, Ohio/ALLENDALE, Mich. -- The Western Michigan track and field team turned in some quality performances at the SPIRE Invitational, with several Broncos turning in their best marks of the season.

Junior Aisha Hodge earned a spot on WMU's all-time performance list after running the third-fastest time in program history in the 800 meter run. Hodge took 17th overall in an elite field with a time of 2:08.84. Senior Rachel Whitley also ran her fastest time of the season with a time of 2:13.07.

"It was a really good performance by both Aisha and Rachel," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "It's the time of the year when you have to get things going and it was good to see them step it up and run really good races."

Senior Iris Campbell turned in her best mark of the season so far in the long jump. Campbell made the finals with a distance of 18 feet, six inches. She also ran her fastest 200 meter dash time of the year along with sophomore Rebecca Hall. Campbell finished with a time of 24.35 while Hall turned in a time of 24.81. Hall also turned in her fastest time of the year in the 60 meter dash with a mark of 7.76 secodns but just missed out on the finals.

Junior Ariel Arnold ran her fastest time of the year in the 400 meter dash with a time of 56.29 to round out the highlights at the SPIRE Invitational.

Over in Allendale, Mich., at the GVSU Big Meet the Broncos shined in several events.

Stephanie Okolo and Cha'nese Mendenhall both placed in the top eight of the 60 meter dash. Okolo took fourth overall with a time of 7.84 seconds and Mendenhall was just behind her in sixth with a time of 7.94. The two also competed in the 200 meters but finished outside of the top 10.

Senior Ariel Arnold took fourth overall in 400 meter dash with a time of 56.40 seconds. Sophomore Alexis Hull also placed int he top eight, taking seventh with a time of 57.24. For Arnold it was the first time in her career she had run under 57 seconds.

"Ariel is fighting for a spot at the MAC Championships right now," said Lycan. "She is doing the right stuff, getting faster and getting after it."

In the middle distance events the Broncos placed in the 800 meter run and just missed the top 10 in the mile run. Jeriesha Tucker took fourth overall in the 800 with a time of 2:16.92. In the mile Tiffany Rauch took 15th overall with a time of 5:19.13.

Becca Peacock and Alex Forsythe both finished in the top eight of the open 3,000 meter run. Peacock was the top collegiate finisher not running as unattached and took second overall with a big personal-best time of 10:15.95.

"We had some pretty good improvements this weekend," added Lycan. "This is the time of year where you want to get the momentum going and it looks like everyone is getting a little bit sharper. Looking forward to head down to Ball State and get some good performances under our belt before the MAC Championship."

Western Michigan heads to the Ball State Quad meet in their final meet before the 2013 Indoor MAC Championships at Eastern Michigan.