ATHENS, OH – The University at Buffalo track and field teams had another strong day at the 2014 MAC Outdoor Championships on Friday afternoon as they won three MAC crowns on the day. Jonathan Jones collected his second straight outdoor MAC crown and his third overall, after winning the indoor title this past season.
"We got the job done today" said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "The goal on the track was to advance to tomorrow's finals and the goal in the field was to score big and we did both of these. Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day for UB track and field."
As is the tradition at the Mid-American Conference Championships over the past several seasons, the UB throwers were dominant on day two of the tournament. Jones led the way, collecting another title for the Bulls throwers in the shot put, his second straight outdoor title. His winning throw traveled 64'03.25" (19.59m) while fellow Bull Evan Palmer took home second place with a career-best throw of 60'01.25" (18.32m).
The women's throwers also had two top-six finishes as senior Rachel Roberts had a career-best throw of 52'08.00" (16.05m) to take home third place while Megan Patterson finished in sixth place with a throw of 49'04.25" (15.04m).
After claiming the heptathlon title during the indoor season, sophomore Mike Morgan continued his dominant ways in the combined events with his first-ever MAC title in the decathlon. Morgan added to his 283 point lead after day one to win the decathlon with a school record 7,966 points, 39 points clear of second placed Alex McCune of Akron. Trailing going into the final event of the afternoon, Morgan put up a career-best time in the 1,500-meter run to seal the victory. He took home first place with a time of 4:35.38 and earned 710 points to clinch his first MAC crown, smashing the UB school record and ranking him sixth overall in the NCAA this season.
Senior Jacob Sunday turned in a career-best performance in the javelin on Friday afternoon as he claimed his first-ever MAC title with a MAC record throw of 224'04.00" (68.37m). Sunday came back from his second place performance a year ago and won the competition this year by nine feet.
Tied for the lead through four events in the heptathlon, Emma Siuciak was not able to finish off her quest for back-to-back MAC titles in the event on Friday. Siuciak was however able to hold onto the second place finish with a season-best 5,347 points, 41 points shy of her school record total from last year. She set a season-best time of 2:25.91 in the 800-meter dash which earned her sixth place and then took home third and fourth place in the javelin and long jump respectively.
On the track, the Bulls had 16 athletes qualify for the finals in their respective events. On the women's side, Meghan Manley and Asia Henry both qualified for the finals in the 800-meter run. Manley recorded a second place finish in 2:09.89 while Henry finished in third in 2:11.50. UB also had a pair of 400-meter hurdles runners qualify for the finals as Donna Jeanty finished in third place in 1:01.02 and Regine Lazard finished in fifth in a season-best time of 1:02.02.
Malayah White continued to her strong campaign as she took seventh place in the 100-meter dash, qualifying for the final, in 12.10 seconds. Freshman Christine Lyttle earned a spot in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles event as she finished seventh in 14.08 seconds. Crystal Graham took eighth place in the 400-meter run in 56.18 seconds while freshman Corinne Birchard placed ninth in a personal best time of 4:33.84 and Camaria Long finished in second place in the 200-meter dash in 24.21 seconds.
In the premier event on the men's side, 100-meter dash, Miles Lewis and Jalen Law were both able to qualify for the finals as they collected second and eighth place finishes respectively. Lewis finished in 10.57 seconds while Law came in just behind in 10.88 seconds. Lewis and Ryan Billian were both able to qualify for the 200-meter dash finals as well, finishing in 21.28 seconds and 21.52 seconds respectively. In the 110-meter hurdles event, Billian and Jake Wray were able to qualify for the final.
In the middle distance events, Tyler Scheving put forth a strong effort in the 800-meter run as he qualified for the final after placing sixth in the preliminaries in 1:50.77 while Brian Crimmins just missed the qualifying mark, coming in 10th place in 1:51.63.
Buffalo had three athletes compete in the long jump event on Friday as Billian led the way with a second place finish, earning eighth points for the Bulls. Billian recorded a season-best leap of 24'06.25" (7.47m) while Austin Price earned ninth place and Don McCann finished in 12th.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Alec Peinkofer was able to pick up six points for the Bulls as he recorded a third place finish in a career-best time of 9:03.45. Chrissy Clarkin finished in 13th place in 11:17.33 while Meagan Hopkins finished right behind in 14th place in 11:19.56.
The UB men enter the final day of competition with 66 points and sit in second place just behind first place Akron (78) while the UB women have 17 points and sit in ninth place overall.
The final day of the three-day MAC Outdoor Championships will begin at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 17. Action will take place in Athens, Ohio at the Goldberry's Track & Field Complex.