MAC Track and Field Championships Preview

UB Athletics

Led by their perennially-strong throwers and field events, UB heads to Athens, Ohio for the three-day MAC Track and Field Championships.

Bummed out by the Tennis teams' deep, but ultimately unsuccessful runs in the MAC Tournament? Still twitching in the corner muttering the name "Savannah Jo Dorsey"? Happily, we have another round of potential MAC Championship glory this weekend, as UB's Track and Field teams head to the conference Championship meet.

In Athens, Ohio.

Crap.

Anyway, the meet got started a few hours ago, and while Thursday is a bit light, you can see the schedule of events at this link. Just like Swimming, while UB may not be a threat to take the overall crown until they develop more depth, we can see several individuals take their own championships this weekend.

Among Thursday's events, UB will likely have top performers in the Men's Hammer Throw and Men's Javelin, as Evan Palmer and Jacob Sunday have top throws on the season in the MAC in each event.

In the other events, look for UB to earn points on the backs of Kelly Trupo and Craig Howard in the Pole Vault, and perhaps Zach Ahart in the 10,000 meters.

Friday and Saturday have substantially more events, but pay attention to sprinters Miles Lewis and Camaria Long in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and Brian Cummiskey and Crystal Graham in the 400. Ryan Billian and Jacob Wray could both go top-5 in the 110m hurdles, and Donna Jeanty's season best in the women's 400m hurdles is nearly a full second ahead of anyone else in the field.

In middle distance events, Tyler Scheving is the guy to watch. He's lowered his own school record in the 800 a few times this year and is peaking at the right time. In Brian Crimmins and - on the women's side - Asia Henry and Meghan Manley, UB could place 4 runners in the top three of their respective 800s.

Scheving and Crimmins are the guys to watch in the 1500, as well, while a strong race from Manley could get her a top-8 finish.

UB has fewer threats in long distance, but maybe Zach Ahart can recapture some of his autumnal Cross Country magic and improve on his 30:48 time in the 10,000 meters for a top-5 finish.

With the exception of the Women's 4x400m relay, which posted a MAC-best time of 3:39.35 in early April at the Florida Relays, none of UB's teams stack up particularly well against the field, but you never know what will happen in a baton exchange.

In field events, John Strickland and Emma Siuciak should both find themselves near the top of the heap in the High Jump, the aforementioned Ryan Billian is a top qualifier in the Long Jump (twenty-four feet!), and Austin Price should make noise in the Triple Jump, as well.

Last, but certainly not least, is UB's bread and butter. The Bulls always seem to have a thrower or two who can just unleash the shot. This year it's Jon Jones, who has very quickly made us forget about the cannonball-throwing force that was Rob Golabek. Jones' top throw of 65 feet, 5.5 inches this year is four feet further than anyone else in the MAC, the 8th-best among all college throwers, and top twenty among all United States athletes for 2014. On the women's side, a strong throw from Rachel Roberts could net her a top-3 finish in the shot put as well.

Stay tuned for (likely quick) updates at the end of each day of competition. Go Bulls!

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