AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo men's and women's indoor track and field teams completed action on Saturday at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Akron's Stile Fieldhouse. The UB women ended the meet with the highest finish in school history as the Bulls placed fourth among 12 schools while the UB men were fifth in the five-team competition.
UB picked up two MAC championship performances on Saturday, both from its women's athletes. Junior Becky O'Brien successfully defended her title in the women's shot put while freshman Emma Siuciak, who finished second in the women's pentathlon on Friday, won the women's high jump on Saturday.
O'Brien rolled to an easy victory in the women's shot put with a winning throw of 54-0 (16.46m). O'Brien's winning throw came on her first attempt of the first round and she never trailed in the competition. She won the event by more than two feet over second-place finisher Alexandra Roberts of Miami (OH). UB's Kristy Woods finished third at 49-8.25 (15.14m) while Rachel Roberts was seventh at 46-7.25 (14.20m).
Siuciak won her first MAC title with her performance in the women's high jump. Siuciak cleared a season-best 5-8.50 (1.74m) to win the title. She was the only individual to clear the top height as the next four vaulters all failed to advance. Siuciak failed in her three attempts to break Shelly Hamilton's school record of 5-9.75 (1.77m) when the bar was raised to 5-10 (1.78m).
UB's women's 4x400-meter relay finished second and turned in a school record time in the race. The foursome of Jamiee McClary, Donna Jeanty, Brooklynn Ventura and Asia Henry finished in 3:40.85, nearly two seconds from the previous school record set three weeks ago at Penn State's Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.
Henry also finished second in the women's 800-meters in 2:09.46. Ventura finished third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.56 with Ayo Ehindero taking seventh in 8.89. Kelly Truppo tied for fifth in the women's pole vault at 12-1.50 (3.70m), equaling her season-best performance. McClary was sixth in the 200-meters in a season-best 24.69 and eighth in the 60-meter finals in 7.67. Jeanty finished ninth in the 400-meter final in 55.73.
"Our women's team made school history today," said women's head coach Vicki Mitchell. "The team momentum built through the entire meet and culminated with Emma and Becky winning MAC titles. I am so proud of our women and what we've accomplished. It's the first step in our push to win the team title."
The men's fortunes were dealt a blow on Saturday as Rob Golabek, the odds-on favorite to defend his men's shot put conference title, was unable to advance past the first round as he fouled on all three of his attempts. The Bulls however did have a pair of scorers in the event as Corey Knox finished second at 57-10.50 (17.64m) and Shane Smith finished fifth at 54-0 (16.46m) as both throws were season-bests.
Tomarris Bell earned a second-place finish in the men's triple jump with a season-best leap of 48-6.25 (14.79m), a nearly two foot improvement from his previous top season mark. Freshman Austin Price finished fourth at 48-1.25 (14.66m), also a season-best. Chris Reape set a season-best with his high jump mark of 6-8.75 (2.05m) as he place sixth overall.
On the track, Miles Lewis finished third in the 60-meter finals in 6.82 and sixth in the 200-meter finals in 21.78. Andre Britton was eighth in both races with a 7.00 clocking in the 60-meters and 22.05 in the 800-meters. Jacob Wray was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.32 while Will Cole took seventh in the 400-meters in 53.09.
The UB women claimed their highest finish ever with a fourth-place showing and 73.5 points. The Bulls had never finished higher than sixth in any previous MAC indoor championship. The UB men scored 47 points to finish fifth of five teams. Kent State's women and Akron's men won the team titles. O'Brien and Siuciak earned first-team All-MAC women's honors. Henry, Jeanty, McClary and Ventura were named to the second-team for the women while Bell and Knox earned All-MAC Second Team honors for the men.
Final women's team scores: Kent State 108.5, Toledo 87.5, Western Michigan 85.5, Buffalo 73.5, Miami (OH) 66, Eastern Michigan 63, Northern Illinois 48, Akron 38, Ohio 37, Central Michigan 32, Bowling Green 14, Ball State 10.
Final men's team scores: Akron 163, Kent State 117, Central Michigan 109, Eastern Michigan 89, Buffalo 47.