Gustafson Wins Shot Put For Fifth Time As BGSU Remains Third At MAC Championships

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Redshirt senior Aliyah Gustafson won her school-record sixth career MAC Championship, earning her fifth shot put title, as Bowling Green remained in third place after day two of the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The meet, hosted by Ball State, will conclude Saturday.

GUSTAFSON BRINGS HOME THE CROWN AGAIN
• Aliyah Gustafson won her third MAC outdoor shot put championship, and her second in a row, by throwing the hammer 56-feet-5.25 (17.20m).
• Although it wasn't a season-best mark for Gustafson, it was her most consistent performance of the year as she went over 17 meters three times on the day. She had not done that more than once at any meet this year.
• Gustafson won the title by almost five feet over Akron's Abigale Wilson. All five of Gustafson's legal throws surpassed 54 feet. No other competitor approached 52 feet even once.
• With her mark of 56-5.25 (17.20m), Gustafson posted the fifth-best performance in program history. She owns all of the top 10 outings in school history.
• With the win, Gustafson has now earned three MAC outdoor shot put championships and two indoor titles. She also won the weight throw earlier this year at the 2019 MAC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
• Gustafson joins Kent State's Danniel Thomas and Mindy Wirtz as the only three-time champions of the shot put at the MAC Outdoor championships.

FROM ALIYAH GUSTAFSON
• "I was excited to compete and just treated it like any other meet today. I trusted myself to get the job done. Usually consistency leads to something big. Becoming more sound in my technique as we move on in the postseason will treat me well."

OTHER STRONG PERFORMANCES
• Redshirt freshman Zaresha Neal placed fifth in the shot put, coming up with a clutch performance to score four points for the Falcons. Neal fouled on her first two throws but found the range on her final attempt and squeezed her way into finals with the ninth and final spot. On her first attempt of finals, she moved up to fifth with a throw of 49-feet-10 (15.19m) and stayed there for the remainder of the competition.
• Freshman Iyanna Ross earned a spot in the 400 finals Saturday after posting the seventh-fastest time in the trials Friday. She ran a personal best 55.61 seconds and placed third in her flight to make her first career final appearance. Ross' time makes her the seventh-fastest 400 runner in program history.
• Redshirt freshman Brianna Richard posted a personal best lead of 17-feet-11.75 (5.48m) in the long jump to place 14th. She entered the meet as the 18 seed.
• Kelsie Mothersead moved up a spot from her seed in the 3000 steeplechase, placing 18th with a time of 11:46.27.

FROM HEAD COACH LOU SNELLING
• "With their performances over the first days, the team has earned the opportunity tomorrow to surpass our best performances since last century."
• "It was exciting to see a strong freshman them today, led by Zaresha Neal and Iyanna Ross. That bodes well for our future."
• "Aliyah had such poise in winning her sixth MAC title today. It's hard to put into words how large of an impact she has had on this program and the conference."

UP NEXT
• Bowling Green will complete the MAC Championships Saturday, beginning with the triple jump at 11:00 am. No. 8 seed Ayanna Burrell and No. 11 seed Brianna Richard will look for spots on the podium to begin the day.
• Following the triple jump, BGSU will compete in the 400 relay (as the No. 4 seed), the 400, the discus, the 400 hurdles, the 5000 and the 1600 relay on the final day of competition. As the No. 3 seed in discus, Zaresha Neal is the highest-seeded Falcon on the last day of the meet.

MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
AKRON 68, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 56, BOWLING GREEN 40, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 29,
KENT STATE 24.5, OHIO 21, MIAMI 20, WESTERN MICHIGAN 17,
TOLEDO 15, BALL STATE 8, EASTERN MICHIGAN 7, BUFFALO 6.5

Shot put – 1. Aliyah Gustafson 56-5.25 (17.20m), 5. Zaresha Neal 49-10 (15.19m)
Long jump – 14. Brianna Richard 17-11.75 (5.48m)
400 trials – 7. Iyanna Ross 55.61, 12. Ryen Draper 56.50, 14. Jazzlynn Gaiters 56.88
800 trials – 13. Katerina Shuble 2:16.08
3000 steeplechase – 18. Kelsie Mothersead 11:46.27