Written by: Parker Parry
The University of Akron men’s track team stole the show at Baton Rouge, La., at the LSU Relays over the weekend.
The squad won nine events, and finished well in others.
Akron won two events on the first day of the Relays and finished strong with seven wins on Saturday.
Highlighting the weekend was the efforts of the Zips’ distant medley relay team. The team crushed the competition on Sunday and beat their closest competitor by close to 11 seconds. The posted time of almost 10 minutes flat (10:00:81) broke the record of the relays, which was set by a group of Zips last year.
The team consisted of Nick Stroemple, Gabriel Genovesi, Willie Brown and J’Lani Pryce. The four men are one of the most highly-touted teams in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and will likely give other schools fits throughout the outdoor season.
The LSU Relays was the second time they ran, and they won their first outing as well, beating Missouri S&T by eight seconds.
The success of the team was nothing new. Akron has dominated the LSU Relays for the past couple years.
The men’s 4×800 won for the third consecutive year. Also, the women got into the action in the 3,000-meter steeplechase race. Alex Bowers finished first and Maria Moore picked up a third-place finish. The men also had a competitor win the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as zip Andy Knap came around with a time of 9:40.75.
Akron did not only win on Sunday. UA won the 5,000-meter run on Saturday as well. Sophomore Brad Hough almost broke the school record in the event and won it by more than 11 seconds.
Hough has already broken the school record in the 3,000-meter run during the indoor season, and seems more than posed to break more records this season and in his coming career.
Also on Saturday, the women’s side performed well. Leading the way was Brittany Cheese, a junior out of Hilliard, Ohio. Cheese ran an impressive 14.34 in the 100-meter hurdles. Her teammate, freshman Rachel Christian, ran a 12.17 in the 100-meter dash.
The Zips hope that the strong finishes in all the competitions will help propel them into the outdoor season.
Akron will next head to the Texas Relays, where they will face many of the same teams they faced in the LSU Relays. However, new teams such as Indiana and Baylor will make an appearance.