“The University of Akron’s track and field teams each took first place this weekend in the All-Ohio Championships at Miami University. The meet, held Saturday, was the last regular-season scored tournament, which means teams are awarded points overall instead of just individually.””
The University of Akron’s track and field teams each took first place this weekend in the All-Ohio Championships at Miami University.
The meet, held Saturday, was the last regular-season scored tournament, which means teams are awarded points overall instead of just individually.
Fourteenth-year head coach Dennis Mitchell said that he likes the scored tournaments more because they encourage a team-first mentality among the players.
It’s a big deal to us, said Mitchell. It’s the entire state, so we have some bragging rights.
The men’s team (176.5 points) took first place from Cincinatti by a mere 5.9 points, but the women (181 points) owned the day, beating second-place Cincinatti by a whopping 33 points.
In 33 events, UA’s men or women finished first or second in 15, dominating the day.
Six athletes earned spots in the upcoming NCAA regional meet, bringing the total number of representatives from UA to 15.
Last year, the Zips sent 24 athletes to regionals, and the team is on pace to send even more this year.
We hope to end up in the top 20 or 15 teams in the NCAA, said Mitchell.
On the big stage each team needs one or two high performers.
This year, UA seems to have several elite competitors to show off.
Phil Ferguson, who clocked a 10.55 and a 21.28 in the 100m and 200m, respectively, is already set to represent the Zips in the NCAA’s men’s Mideast regional in the 100m, 200m, and 4×100 relay.
Ferguson is ranked in the top 20 in the region in all three events.
Sophomore Akron Firestone product Collister Fahie ranked third in the MAC in the long jump and will also appear in the regionals.
The top Zips prospect who stole the show is Tyshaun Peoples, who ranked first in the MAC in both long jump and 4×100 relay. Coach Mitchell said that they will let Peoples rest this weekend in anticipation for the MAC Outdoor Championships.
On the women’s side, one must consider senior thrower Stevi Large to be the elite performer coach Mitchell mentioned. She has set the women’s record in both indoor and outdoor shotput, indoor weight and outdoor discus and hammer. She will compete in the regional tournament in hammer, shotput and discus.
Lesser known is sophomore Valerie Wert, who Mitchell says is overlooked because of being overshadowed by Large. Wert deserves attention as well and has earned a slot at regionals.
The Zips look to send a select group of athletes to San Diego, Des Moines and Philadelphia for the Penn relays, Drake relays and Triton Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The MAC Outdoor Champtionships will be held at Lee Jackson Field here at Akron on May 14-16.