Starting today, both the Men's and Women's Track and Field teams will get the ball rolling at the 2016 MAC Indoor Championships in Akron. Buffalo looks to take their fourth and fifth place (men's and women's respectively) finishes in the 2015 Championships and set the bar higher for a stronger performance. The Bulls are back in action for the first time since their meet at Cornell where many athletes had career best marks and did well all around. The story for this year has been great depth from sprinters and their jumpers. It's also of note that Mike Morgan, the MAC's best in multi events, has sat out the indoor season.
Names to watch:
Johnson is having a great season for UB and now holds the school record for the 60 meter dash. A MAC Championship could definitely be coming his way as he's the top seed with a very impressive time of 6.69 seconds. Like any sprint, second isn't too far off from him. Kent State's Jonathan Grant is seeded at 6.73 seconds.
The freshman high jumper will be part of the young talent pool in his respective event. Four of the top-six seeds are freshmen and sophomores. Rathan sits third in seeding with a 2.06 meter jump and isn't that far off from the one and two spots. Mark this down as one of UB's best shots at stealing a MAC title.
Devon Patterson/Ryan Cribbins-
Once again, Buffalo's shot put efforts are strong this season. Despite the graduation of NCAA Champion Jon Jones, Devon Patterson and Ryan Cribbins are still holding it together. They are seeded at the one and three spot respectively. Patterson holds a very nice .63 meter lead over Kent State's Micheal King, making it his championship to lose, though the throw that earned that seed was a personal best by a good margin. Ryan Cribbins is right within reach of King, has been in front of of Patterson at most meets this winter, and if he performs well enough, could help Buffalo get a 1-2 sweep in the Shot Put.
Names to watch for:
Don't be fooled by the Senior's seeding time in the 200m dash. Long may be sitting in the eight spot at the moment but her school record time of 23.58 in outdoor last year is a full second faster than her seeding time. 200m times are generally slower in indoor because of the sharper turns but expect her to outperform that seed and defend her MAC title. She will also be a part of the 1600 meter relay team that is seeded at the nine spot.
White is right in contention for a MAC championship, seeded second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.51. Northern Illinois' Kedisha Dallas is sitting at the one spot with 7.41 seconds, meaning White has a little bit of work to do to take home the title.
The sophomore distance runner may have her work cut out for her in grabbing any championships, but she is sitting in a nice position to earn a bunch of points. She's seeded 3rd and 5th respectively in the women's 5k and 3k runs. The gap between her and the top seed are both at around the thirty second mark. Shaw could very well take the second spot in the 5k but she needs to be ready in the 3k. The 3000 meter run has multiple runners within a second of each other competing for that top-six finish to get on the podium.