Falcons Get Chance To Shine At MAC Championships - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Falcons Get Chance To Shine At MAC Championships

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The Bowling Green State University track and field team heads to the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week, hosted by Ohio. The meet begins Thursday and runs three days long at Goldsberry Track.
 
FOLLOW THE FALCONS
The BGSU track and field team can be followed all spring through a number of ways. Follow the official team Twitter account @BGXCTrack and the official account of the Athletics Department @BGAthletics. Links for live results and live video (as available) can be found on BGSUFalcons.com as meets provide those opportunities.
 
ABOUT THE MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
BGSU will compete against 11 other Mid-American Conference schools beginning Thursday at Ohio's Goldsberry Track. The complete schedule, with BGSU competitors and seeds, is listed below:
 
Thursday:
10:30 am – Hammer throw trials and final (1. Brooke Pleger, 5. Kori Reiser, 6. Tina Perrine)
12:30 pm – Heptathlon (6. Krystin Reiser)
8:15 pm – 10,000 (21. Mackenzie McMillin, 23. Becca Rae)
 
Friday:
10:30 am – Heptathlon  (6. Krystin Reiser)
1 pm – Long jump trials and final (6. Jeanette Pettigrew, 9. Alicia Arnold, 17. Raven Porter)
1:30 pm – Shot put trials and final (8. Makenzie Wheat)
2:15 pm – 400 prelim (6. Brittany Sinclair)
2:50 pm – 100 prelim (1. Jeanette Pettigrew, 8. Alicia Arnold, 20. Brianna Johnson)
4 pm – 400 hurdles prelim (9. Natalie Sommerville, 15. Brittany Sinclair, 18. Connor Kempf)
4:40 pm – 200 prelim (2. Jeanette Pettigrew, 4. Alicia Arnold, 20. Kera Lamotte)
5:20 pm – 3000 steeplechase (7. Andrea Alt)
 
Saturday:
10:30 am – Discus trials and final (8. Tina Perrine, 9. Kori Reiser)
10:30 am – High jump (14. Raven Porter, 16. Krystin Reiser)
1 pm – 400 relay (6. Bowling Green)
2 pm – Triple jump trials and final (8. Tiera Parker, 11. Raven Porter)
2:10 pm – 400
2:30 pm – 100
3:10 pm – 400 hurdles
3:30 pm – 200
3:50 pm – 5000 (12. Andrea Alt)
4:40 pm – 1600 relay (12. Bowling Green)

FALCONS READY TO RISE AT MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
A year ago, Bowling Green placed 10th at the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, up two spots from the previous year and the best finish since a ninth place result in 2009. The Falcons have plenty of reasons to believe they should see another jump this year in the standings. BGSU has not finished higher than ninth since a seventh place result in 2007. Individually, Brooke Pleger will be the top seed in the hammer throw a year after winning the event at the MAC Outdoor Championships. Jeanette Pettigrew is also the top seed in the 100 and is second in the 200. Others ranked in the top five include Alicia Arnold (fourth in the 200) and Kori Reiser (fifth in the hammer throw).
 
REGIONAL RANKINGS
Bowling Green has been ranked as high as No. 13 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) regional rankings this year – the highest in program history. Heading into the MAC Championships, the Falcons are ranked No. 14.
 
PRESEASON RANKINGS
Bowling Green earned a preseason national ranking of No. 64 by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the highest preseason ranking for the team since the rankings began in 2008. A year ago, Bowling Green's preseason rank was No. 207.
 
BGSU was third among all Mid-American Conference schools with Akron leading the way at No. 26 and Buffalo in second at No. 54. Following Bowling Green was Kent State at No. 66 and Eastern Michigan at No. 116.
 
MAKING A NATIONAL SPLASH
Bowling Green has made a splash on the national scene with five Falcons ranked among the top 100 in the country (with Kori Reiser being ranked in two events). Listed below are each of those competitors:
 
100 – 79. Jeanette Pettigrew
Shot put – 99. Makenzie Wheat
Discus – 85. Tina Perrine, 95. Kori Reiser
Hammer throw – 2. Brooke Pleger, 90. Kori Reiser
 
THE REGIONAL SCENE
While being ranked among the top 100 in the country is a big accomplishment, finishing the year ranked in the top 48 in the region will allow a student-athlete to advance to the NCAA regionals. A year ago, only Brooke Pleger finished in the top 48 to advance. Listed below are the five student-athletes (both Tina Perrine and Kori Reiser rank among the top 48 in two events) currently ranked among the top 48 in the East.
 
100 – 46. Jeanette Pettigrew
Shot put – 47. Makenzie Wheat
Discus – 38. Tina Perrine, 43. Kori Reiser
Hammer throw – 2. Brooke Pleger, 37. Kori Reiser, 44. Tina Perrine
 
DROPPING THE HAMMER
The Falcons' deepest and most competitive event is the hammer throw as Bowling Green has three throwers currently ranked among the top 10 in BGSU history, as well as ranked in the top 50 in the region. Redshirt junior Brooke Pleger is No. 2 in the country after throwing 223-feet at the Toledo Invitational Friday. Redshirt freshman Kori Reiser ranks sixth all-time at BGSU with a throw of 184-10 and is No. 37 in the region. Senior Tina Perrine is seventh in BGSU history with a personal best of 182-0 and is No. 44 in the region.
 
HAMMER TIME
Junior Brooke Pleger was named an NCAA Division I First Team All-American a year ago after finishing seventh in the country in the hammer throw. After winning the Toledo Invitational with a personal best throw of 223-feet this past weekend, she ranks second in the country. A year ago, Pleger threw the hammer as far as 219-9. Princeton's Julia Ratcliffe is the only hammer thrower in the nation who has thrown further than Pleger this year at 230-7.
 
TEACHING PETTIGREW NEW TRICKS
Senior Jeanette Pettigrew has always been one of the Mid-American Conference's fastest sprinters. But she has added versatility this year, competing in the long jump for the first time in her career. In the first meet of the year, competing in the long jump for the first time, Pettigrew surpassed the MAC automatic qualifying mark in the event with a leap of 19-feet-4.25. After jumping 19-8.25 at the Gina Relays, she is ranked sixth in the MAC. Below are each of the events she is ranked in the top five in the MAC in:
 
100 – No. 1 (11.61 seconds)
200 – No. 2 (23.75 seconds)
Long jump – No. 6 (19-feet-8.25)
 
REIS-ING TO THE OCCASION
Junior Krystin Reiser set a new personal best in the heptathlon when she competed in the event at the All-Ohio Championships. Competing in four events on day one and three more on the second day, Reiser set new personal records in five events and tied her PR in the other two for a score of 4,529 – more than 300 points better than she had ever scored before. Reiser's heptathlon score is the ninth-best in program history. The other eight totals higher than hers were all achieved by just two individuals – Becky Barnett and Ginger Lake.
 
PARKER POWER
Sophomore Tiera Parker ranks ninth in the MAC in the triple jump a year after shocking the field at the MAC Championships to score points with an eighth place finish at the meet. She jumped 37-feet-5 a year ago to earn that result but has already jumped as far as 38-2.75 this year.
 
THAT'S SO RAVEN
Freshman Raven Porter made a mark two weeks ago during the dual meet with Toledo, setting personal bests in three events. In fact, she climbed into the top 20 in the MAC in all three – the long jump, triple jump and high jump. She now ranks 12th in the triple jump, 13th in the high jump and 19th in the long jump. Prior to that meet, she did not rank among the top 20 in the conference in any of those events.
 
WHEAT IS NEAT
Freshman Makenzie Wheat is among the top freshmen in the country in the shot put. After throwing 48-feet-4.5 at the All-Ohio Championships, she ranks among the top 100 in the country, is the top freshman in the conference and is seventh among all freshmen in the East region.

PETTIGREW, PLEGER EARN MAC HONORS
Jeanette Pettigrew was named the MAC's Track Athlete of the Week April 22, while Brooke Pleger earned the MAC's Field Athlete of the Week the same day. Pettigrew broke the school record in the 200 and set a new personal best in the 100 to receive the honor. Pleger broke a Kentucky Track and Field Complex facility record in the hammer throw and remained unbeaten in the event this year.
 
Pleger also earned the Field Athlete of the Week award just a week earlier (April 15) after winning the hammer throw at the All-Ohio Championships with a season-best toss of 214-feet-4 that ranks fourth in the country this year.
 
STANDING ABOVE THE REST
When Brooke Pleger threw the hammer 216-feet-3 at the MAC Championships a year ago, not only did that distance clinch a MAC title. It also broke the MAC Championship record in the hammer throw, breaking a record held by 2009 National Champion Stevi Large. Considering that second-place finisher Brittany Funk also broke the MAC Championship record, Pleger needed just about every ounce of energy to win the title. Listed below are the top five distances ever thrown at the MAC Championships.
 

Top Hammer Throws In MAC Championship History

Distance

Competitor (School)

Year

216-3

Brooke Pleger (Bowling Green)

2013

214-6

Brittany Funk (Akron)

2013

213-10

Stevi Large (Akron)

2009

206-4

Shant'e White (Buffalo)

2011

202-7

Stevi Large (Akron)

2007


#MACtion
Bowling Green placed 10th at the Mid-American Conference Championships a year ago with 23 points, but the Falcons have reason to believe they can exceed those results this year. BGSU returns everyone who scored points in an individual event a year ago and all of those, in fact, are underclassmen this year still. That list begins with junior Brooke Pleger, who won the hammer throw. Redshirt sophomore Andrea Alt was seventh in the steeplechase, while sophomores Tiera Parker and Kayla Velasquez placed eighth in the triple jump and discus, respectively. On top of those competitors, senior Jeanette Pettigrew placed as high as third in both the 100 and 200 at the MAC Championships in 2011. Adding to the depth, senior Tina Perrine, sophomore Jasmine Redman and freshman Makenzie Wheat all scored points at the MAC Indoor Championships.
 
PLEGER NOW AMONG THE ALL-TIME GREATS
By throwing the hammer 223-feet last week at the Toledo Invitational, Brooke Pleger became one of the 10 greatest American collegiate hammer throwers of all time. She entered the year ranked No. 14 but supplanted Britney Henry, who threw 221-7 for Oregon in 2006, with her toss at Toledo. Including all collegians, Pleger currently ranks No. 18 all-time. Listed below is the entire top 10 list of American collegians:

Top American Collegiate Hammer Throwers

Distance

Name (School)

Date

237-10

Brittany Riley (Southern Illinois)

4/28/07

233-1

Amanda Bingson (UNLV)

5/26/12

231-4

Gwen Berry (Southern Illinois)

4/30/11

229-10

Chelsea Cassulo (Arizona State)

5/23/13

229-9

Loree Smith (Colorado State)

11/30/99

227-8

Jeneva McCall (Southern Illinois)

3/24/12

224-9

Brittany Smith (Illinois State)

6/5/13

224-1

Jessica Pressley (Arizona State)

5/3/08

223-4

Stevi Large (Akron)

6/12/09

223-0

Brooke Pleger (Bowling Green)

5/9/14


CAPTAINS
BGSU head coach Lou Snelling has named three captains for the 2013-14 season. Redshirt sophomore Andrea Alt, redshirt junior Brooke Pleger and redshirt senior Jeanette Pettigrew will guide the Falcons.
 
ACADEMIC ALL-MAC
BGSU senior Jeanette Pettigrew and redshirt junior Brooke Pleger were named to the 2014 Women's Indoor Track & Field MAC All-Academic Team April 22. Pettigrew holds a 3.67 grade point average in human movement, sport, and leisure studies while Pleger has a 3.73 GPA in nursing. Andrea Alt, Amanda Garlak, Lindsay Kaatz, Mackenzie McMillin, Maria Meredith, Becca Rae, Jasmine Redman and Krystin Reiser were all named honorable mention.

SNELLING RECOGNIZED BY SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
A six-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year at Stephen F. Austin, BGSU Head Coach Lou Snelling was named to the All-Time Southland Conference Honor Roll earlier this year. As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the conference honored 65 student-athletes and eight coaches (of which Snelling was recognized) for their historic contributions to the sport.