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Aisha Hodge took first in the 800-meter run.
Courtesy: Zolton Cohen

Broncos Win Seven Events, Wrap Up EMU Twilight Meet

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 04/20/2013
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YPSILANTI, Mich. -- The Western Michigan track and field team closed out the EMU Twilight Invitational earning seven event wins on the final day of competition at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday.

The Broncos still had to battle through strong winds and cold temperatures but the competitive effort helped the team come out on top.

"There are so many things to be learned from a meet like this," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "A lot of our sport is so focused on qualifying for the conference championship or the national championship that you can lose focus on winning."

One of those strong efforts was put in by junior Chiara Allen. Allen needed her final jump to take first place in the triple jump. She hit the distance of 11.47 meters (37-7.75) after battling winds through her first few tries.

"Chiara was struggling because the wind was swirling," explained Lycan. "She had one jump left and I told her to just worry about one jump, one thing at a time and learn how to win. I put the pressure on them in practice with short approaches to create a meet atmosphere. She brought it and was really aggressive and ends up winning it on her last jump."

Allen also led the 4x400-meter relay "B" team to a first place finish with a time of 3:54.81. She received the baton with the squad in third place behind Eastern Michigan and WMU's "A" team but was able to gain ground and edge out the "A" team by .03 seconds. Jordan Anderson, Ariel Arnold and Brittany Calhoun also populated the Bronco "B" team.

After winning the 400-meter hurdles on Friday, Iris Campbell responded with two more wins. The senior took first in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash.  She finished with a time of 14.36 seconds in the hurdles and was part of three Broncos to finish in the top three in the 400-meter dash.  Her first place time of 56.38 seconds was nearly a second better than Andrea Arnold, who took second, and Alexis Hull, who finished in third with a time of 57.67. Arnold went on to take second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.86, while sophomore Lindsey Hufnagel was just behind her in third with a time of 25.15.

Aisha Hodge claimed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.28. She battled teammate Rachel Whitley throughout the race, with Whitley taking second just .36 seconds behind Hodge.

"Aisha and Rachel had a really smart race," added Lycan. "They went out slower in the first lap because the wind was really blowing and then just kicked and turned it on in the second lap."

WMU also claimed wins in the shot put and the discus throw. Chelsea Gerbers took first in the shot put with a distance of 13.87 meters (45-6.25). Andrea Hiler took first in the discus with fellow junior Stephanie Negrete just behind her in second. Hiler's throw of 48.97 meters (160-8) claimed her the event, while Negrete threw a distance of 45.46 meters (149-1).

Western Michigan heads to the famed Penn Relay Carnival next week. The week-long event kicks off for WMU with the heptathlon on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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