BUFFALO, NY – The first day of action at the 2010 Mid-American Conference Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded on Thursday with Kent State's squads leading the team scoring. After Thursday's events, Kent State posted 40 men's points and 25 women's points to hold the lead. The UB women scored 18 points to tie for third in the 12-team women's meet while the UB men stood fourth with 23 points among six squads.
UB's Casey Garbaty won the men's javelin throw on Thursday for the first MAC title of his career. A sophomore, Garbaty finished with a best throw of 227-5 (69.33m), breaking his school record by nearly three feet and winning the title by more than seven feet over Kent State's Brian Florek (220-4, 67.16m). In his first MAC Championship appearance as a freshman in 2009, he finished fifth. UB's Steve Maciejewski also scored points for the Bulls with his toss of 178-10 (54.51m) to place seventh.
Akron's Michael Uhle broke the MAC meet record with his victory in the men's pole vault. Uhle cleared 17-7 (5.36m) to win the event by nearly a foot over Central Michigan's Marcus Briedinger (16-7.25, 5.06m). Thursday's men's pole vault competition was moved indoors to UB's Alumni Arena as afternoon rains made the runway too slippery to compete outdoors.
In the hammer throws, Akron's Valerie Wert, an NCAA All-American in 2009, and James Eric of Kent State became MAC champions. Wert posted a best throw of 192-7 (58.71m) as UB's Kristy Woods placed second with a toss of 188-6 (57.45m). UB's Shante' White placed fourth at 181-3 (55.25m). Eric and Kent State teammate Matt Pfleger, the 2009 men's hammer champion, finished in the top two spots in the event. Eric had a winning throw of 205-3 (62.56m) while Pfleger finished eight inches behind Eric at 204-7 (62.36m). UB's Matt Gacbroke his UB record with his third-place finish at 201-2 (61.32m) to become the first UB athlete to eclipse 200 feet in the hammer throw. Gac added more than four feet to his previous record set at the season-opening Seahawk Invitational in March. UB's Rob Golabek earned points for the Bulls with his fourth-place finish at 188-4 (57.41m), just two inches shy of his season-best mark.
Kent State's Bekah Stoltz won the women's javelin throw as she clinched the title with her final throw of 147-0 (44.81m) to overtake Akron's Lauren Whitehill (144-11, 44.18m). UB's Brittany Hedderson, a shooting guard from the women's basketball team, competed in the javelin competition, finishing fourth among the 16 entrants with her best throw of 131-10 (40.18m) coming her on sixth and final attempt.
In the 10,000-meter runs, Central Michigan's Raeanne Lohner ran away from the field in the final two laps to claim her first league title in 35:23.59. New Zealand native and Eastern Michigan freshman Terefe Ejigu won the men's 10,000-meters in 30:01.17.
Kent State athletes lead after the first of the two-day multi-event competitions. Dexter Shreve leads the men's decathlon after five events with 3,755 points, winning the 100-meters (11.08), 400-meters (48.98) and tying for first in the high jump (6-4.75, 1.95m). Diana Dumitrescu, the defending women's heptathlon champion, leads after four events with 3,265 points, earning a first-place finish in the shot put (41-4.25, 12.60m) portion of the competition. UB's Ajla Glavasevic stands seventh among the 13 entrants with 2,876 points. Glavasevic posted a season-best mark in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.68 to finish fourth, her highest finish among Thursday's four events.
Competition continues through Saturday.
Men's scores through four events: Kent State 40; Akron 34.50; Central Michigan 33.50; Buffalo 23; Eastern Michigan 13; Miami (OH) 12.
Women's scores through three events: Kent State 25; Akron 24; Buffalo 18; Ohio 18; Central Michigan 16; Western Michigan 11; Ball State 4; Toledo 1; Bowling Green 0; Eastern Michigan 0; Miami 0; Northern Illinois 0.
Thursday's men's champions
Hammer: James Eric (Kent State) 205-3 (62.56m)
Pole vault: Michael Uhle (Akron) 17-7 (5.36m)*
Javelin: Casey Garbaty (Buffalo) 227-5 (69.33m)
10,000-meters: Terefe Ejigu (Eastern Michigan) 30:01.17
* denotes MAC meet record.
Thursday's women's champions
Hammer: Valerie Wert (Akron) 192-7 (58.71m)
Javelin: Bekah Stoltz (Kent State) 147-0 (44.81m)
10,000-meters: Raeanne Lohner (Central Michigan) 35:23.59