AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron track and field team will traverse the country this weekend as the Zips will compete in a trio of meets.
UP NEXT: The Akron throwers will travel to San Diego, Calif., to compete at the Triton Invitational hosted by UC San Diego on Friday and Saturday, April 21-22. The balance of the team will spread out their talents between the LSU Alumni Invitational in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, April 22, and the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday.
Scheduled to compete for the Zips at the Triton Invitational is junior Maurice Harris (Toledo, Ohio), sophomore Rodrigo Iglesias (Logrono, Spain), senior Phil Jagers (Solon, Ohio), junior Jovann Letulli (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomores Olivia Snyder (Navarre, Ohio) and Abigale Wilson (Carrollton, Ohio).
Competition gets underway on Friday, April 21, with the women's hammer at 12:30 p.m. ET, and at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 22, with the men's hammer.
The Jesse Owens Classic hosted by Ohio State will feature student-athletes from over 30 schools including; Akron, Alderson Broaddus, Bowling, Buffalo, California (Pa.), Cedarville, Central State, Cincinnati, Dayton, Denison, Eastern Michigan, Findlay, Hillsdale, Kent State, Kentucky, Laurel Creek, Lourdes, Miami University, Michigan, Michigan State, Mount Vernon Nazarene, Murray State, Notre Dame College, Oakland, Oberlin, Ohio, Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, Point Park, Rio Grande, Seton Hill, Ursuline College, Waynesburg, Western Michigan, Wheeling Jesuit, Wright State and Youngstown State.
Friday features afternoon throwing events beginning at 2 p.m. before action gets underway on the track beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday field events commence at 10 a.m., with competition on the track set for noon.
Scheduled to compete for the Zips at the Jesse Owens Classic is redshirt freshman Adam Alexander (Tiffin, Ohio), senior Zach Alexander (Tiffin, Ohio), sophomore Mackenzie Andrews (Toowoomba, Australia), freshman Iman Batiste (Dublin, Ohio), senior Samia Bell (Cincinnati, Ohio), junior Jamir Coleman (Lima, Ohio), freshman Tanea Cousins (Chillicothe, Ohio), junior Garrett Crichlow (Twinsburg, Ohio), redshirt junior Michalla Gordon (Wadsworth, Ohio), junior Stephanie Hale (Cleveland, Ohio), sophomore Joe Harrington (Youngstown, Ohio), senior Demetris Hazly-Ward (Akron), redshirt freshman Malik Hudson (Cleveland, Ohio), freshman Elijah Johnson (Fremont, Ohio), freshman Bailey Lack (Brunswick, Ohio), senior Hakeem Lawrence (Miami, Fla.), senior Ana Martin-Sacristan (Valencia, Spain), redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Mosier (Austintown, Ohio), sophomore Ben Olewiler (Shiloh, Ohio), senior Sean Poholski (Barberton, Ohio), redshirt junior Tara Snipes (Covington, Ohio), redshirt sophomore Nick Winkler (Wadsworth, Ohio), senior Anthony Young (Medina, Ohio) and senior Dan Zupan (Berea, Ohio).
The balance of the Akron squad will travel to Baton Rouge, La., to compete at the LSU Alumni Invitational on Saturday, April 22. The women's steeplechase will open running events at 10 a.m. ET, while the women's discus kicks off field events at the same time. The meet will conclude with the running of the men's 4x400 relay at approximately 5:25 p.m. ET.
The 22-team field at the LSU Alumni Invitational includes; Alcorn State, Akron, Barton County CC, Clemson, Hinds CC, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, LSU, McNeese State, Meridian CC, Mississippi State, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Northwestern State, Sam Houston State, Southern, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas A&M Kingsville, Southern Mississippi, Texas and Tulane.
QUOTING AKRON HEAD COACH DENNIS MITCHELL: "This will be our last big super-competitive weekend before the conference championships. This is the weekend where we give each event area their best opportunity to go against great competition to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level. The priorities are earning NCAA First Round and MAC qualifying marks."
"The throwers are going to San Diego to take part in the best throws competition of the year. There will be the top throwers from the pros around the world. Phil Jagers, who leads the NCAA in the discus, will go in as the No. 9 ranked discus thrower in the competition."
"Jesse Owens will have a lot of top runners there from very strong distance and sprint programs."
"The LSU Alumni meet is going to be an excellent opportunity for our jumpers and sprinters to perform well, compete in great conditions and to be challenged against top competition."
NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Akron men's track and field team continued to make its presence felt on the national stage with another weekend of strong performances at the Northeast Ohio Quad and the Zips were recognized for their efforts checking in at No. 33 in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Team Rankings released on Monday, April 17.
Akron also vaulted to the No. 1 position in the Great Lakes Regional poll to remain the highest-rated team in the Mid-American. Additionally, the Zips' women's squad is ranked third in the most recent regional tally.
EVENT SQUAD RANKINGS: The men's team continued its success in the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Event Squad rankings released on Monday, April 17, as the Zips are ranked second nationally in the long jump, while rating third, third and seventh, respectively, in the high jump, pole vault and triple jump.
The Zips have been led this season in the long jump by the performances of junior Terrell McClain (Youngstown, Ohio), senior Joe Oduho (Erie, Pa.), redshirt sophomore Jordan Latimer (Huber Heights, Ohio) and junior Jamir Coleman (Lima, Ohio), as the quartet averages a jump of 24-8.50 (7.53m) this spring. McClain, Oduho, Latimer and Coleman currently own the Nos. 13, 25, 52 and 150 marks in the country in 2017.
The Zips are fifth nationally in the women's 400-meter hurdles with an average finish of 61.27. The duo of junior Jackie Siefring (Covington, Ohio) and freshman Dimitra Gnafaki (Chania, Greece) have directed the efforts recording times of 59.52 (No. 53) and 59.65 (No. 61).
Akron is also ranked ninth, 14th and 15th, respectively, in the women's high jump, pole vault and long jump.
ZIPS AMONG NATION'S BEST IN LATEST TFRRS RANKINGS: Akron currently has eight student-athletes ranked in the top-25 nationally by the Track and Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS), including Phil Jagers, who owns the best mark nationally in the discus (203-6).
Also rated among the top-25 is sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) (fourth in the men's pole vault – 18-4.50/5.60m), Siefring (fifth in the women's heptathlon – 5,750), senior Nikki Manson (Glasgow, Scotland) (12th in the women's high jump – 5-11.25/1.81m), McClain (13th in men's long jump – 25-6.25/7.78m), senior Matt Rowland (Bellevue, Ohio) (15th in the men's pole vault – 17-7/5.36m), senior Mike Ohiembor (Dayton, Ohio) (16th in men's triple jump – 51-11/15.82m) and sophomore Curtis Richardson (Blacklick, Ohio) (19th in men's high jump – 7-1/2.16m).
CRACKING THE ALL-TIME TOP-FIVE PERFORMANCE LISTS: The Zips garnered four marks last week that cracked the top-five efforts in program history. En route to placing third in the women's heptathlon at the Mt. Sac Relays, Siefring recorded the second-best score (5,750) in program history.
Hakeem Lawrence won the 100 meters at the Northeast Ohio Quad on April 15 with the fourth-fastest time, 10.34, in program history.
Senior Daziah Green (Canton, Ohio) posted the No. 2 and No. 4 times in the women's 100 and 200 meters, respectively, crossing the line in 11.54 and 23.67 to capture each race at the Northeast Ohio Quad on April 15.
Senior Becky Szabo (North Olmsted, Ohio) registered the No. 5 mark in the women's pole vault surpassing 13-7.75.
A YEAR AGO: Sparked by a trio of first-place performances, the Akron track and field team recorded 13 top-five finishes at the LSU Alumni Invitational on Saturday, April 23.
Taking the crown in the 'B' flight of the men's 1,500 meters was Garrett Crichlow in 3:57.10.
Registering the then third-, third-best marks in program history in the women's long jump and 100-meter hurdles was Daniella Johnson (Gahanna, Ohio) and Dara Perry (Akron, Ohio). Johnson finished fifth in the long jump invitational with a jump of 20-3 (6.17m) and Perry crossed the line in 13.76 in the 100-meter hurdles.
Placing second and third in the men's high jump with identical marks of 6-11 were Richardson and Cody Stine (Shelby, Ohio).
Finishing third, third, third and fourth, respectively, in the pole vault, 1,500 meters, long jump invitational and triple jump invitational was Rowland and Dan Zupan (Berea, Ohio), McClain and Ohiembor. The quartet posted marks of 17-3.75 (5.28m), 3:50.43, 25-5.25 (7.75m) and 50-0.75 (15.26m).
A year ago at the Jesse Owens Classic, Jagers finished first in the discus, while Ian Behm (Volant, Pa.) placed second in the javelin, to highlight the performances of the Zips' track and field team.
Jagers captured top honors in the discus with a mark of 190-11, while Behm posted the then fifth-longest throw (210-2/64.06m) in program history in the javelin.
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