Akron and Eastern Michigan Lead MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships

The Zips and Eagles are threatening to dominate both sides of the MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The two-day 2014 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships began on Friday, and after five completed events, the Akron Zips lead the men's competition while the Eastern Michigan Eagles lead the women's meet.

On the men's side, Akron athletes earned gold medals in the 5000-meter run, the pole vault and the long jump. Kyle Cochrun finished the 5000-meter race in 14:24.11 and won by four seconds over Eastern Michigan's Warren Witchell. In the pole vault, Shawn Barber set a MAC record with a vault of 5.55 meters His teammate, Alex McCune, earned third place with a top distance of 5.35 meters. Daryl Baptiste took the gold in the long jump with a maximum leap of 7.35 meters.

Buffalo, who is in third place after the first day, won the other two completed events. The team of Alec Peinkofer, Brian Cummiskey, Tyler Scheving and Brian Crimmins won the MAC championship in the distance medley. Crimmins crossed the finish with a final time of 9:52.37, just 0.16 seconds ahead of Eastern Michigan's Willy Fink. The Bulls won the weight throw when Evan Palmer posted a throw of 20.91 meters on the last of his six attempts. Buffalo also owned a second-place finish in the long jump.

Eastern Michigan athletes did not win an event, but they did post three second-place and two third-place finishes. That allowed the Eagles to accumulate 37 points, which puts them in second place and 16 points behind Akron.

The Eagles lead the women's meet with 40 points after securing first place in three events. EMU set a new MAC record of 11:29.96 in the distance medley. The team of Taylor Knoll, Iesha Hardiman, Marina Manjon Rivadulla and Victoria Voronko beat the previous record by nearly four seconds.

Voronko actually came very close to setting a second MAC record. She won the MAC championship in the 5000-meter run by crossing the finish in 16:33.49. The MAC record in the event is 16:33.00.

Eastern Michigan's other win occurred in the pentathlon, where Sarah Chauchard set a new MAC record with 4,153 points in the five events. She won by 177 points over Akron's Skyler Willis, and she eclipsed the previous MAC record by 75 points. Chauchard finished first in the shot put and long jump, second in the 800-meter run, third in the high jump, and fourth in the 60-meter hurdles.

Kent State finished the day in second place largely because they took the top three spots in the long jump competition. Roseanne Erickson won with a leap of 6.11 meters. Ann Marie Duffus (6.09m) and Dior Delophont (6.02m) finished in second and third, respectively. The Flashes also took second place in the weight throw after a toss of 20.73 meters by Jackie Leppelmeier.

Akron scored 30 points to place themselves in third. Brittany Funk won the MAC championship in the weight throw with a toss of 21.30 meters, and Alexis Cooks took third place. Skyler Willis earned second place in the pentathlon for the Zips.

The other top-three finishes on the day went to Toledo (second in the 5000-meter run and distance medley), Ohio (third in the distance medley), Western Michigan (third in the pentathlon) and Miami (third in the 5000-meter run). Bowling Green and Northern Illinois each had two fourth-place finishes.

The final day of competition begins at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Here are the complete standings:

Men's Women's
#1 Akron (53) E. Michigan (40)
#2 E. Michigan (37) Kent State (33)
#3 Buffalo (33) Akron (30)
#4 Kent State (19) Toledo (22)
#5 C. Michigan (12) BGSU (15)
#6 Ohio (14)
#7 W. Michigan (12)
#8 N. Illinois (11)
#9 Miami (9)
#10 C. Michigan (5)
#11 Buffalo (4)
#12 Ball State (0)
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