Day one of the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships featured three runners from Ball State Track and Field qualifying Thursday for the 200-meter finals at Ball State’s Briner Sports Complex.
Junior sprinter Bryeana Byrdsong clocked the fastest time in all three heats with a 23.74-second run — the second fastest in the school’s history.
“I feel good. My teammates, they really gave me more confidence — the most confidence I’ve had all season,” Byrdsong said. “I’m really, really excited for finals.”
She said she plans on executing her race a little better tomorrow and try getting under the 23.70-second mark.
Byrdsong will also be running in the 100-meter trials Friday.
Day one results at the MAC Outdoor Championships
Megan Graves — 17th place (47.46m)
Abby Denham — 7th place (42.38m)
Stella East — 14th place (31.98m)
400m Hurdles prelims:
Karlie Zumbro — 16th place (1:05.64)
Bryeana Byrdsong — 1st place (23.74s)
Jasmine Harris — 8th place (24.30s)
Ivy McKee — 10th place (24.38s)
Maritza Rodriguez — 6th place (36:37.01)
He teammates — junior Jasmine Harris and sophomore Ivy McKee — also made it to the finals Saturday with the eighth and 10th fastest times.
While she wanted to clock a better time, Harris said she was satisfied to have made it to the finals.
“I’ve just got to give it everything I’ve got,” Harris said given the final is her last event on Saturday. Harris will also participate in the 100-meter hurdles tomorrow.
McKee said she’s taking part in her first ever MAC meet after failing to qualify last year.
“To be able to qualify for the MAC meet and be able to make the finals … it really feels good,” she said.
Other top finishes Thursday include junior Maritza Rodriguez’s sixth-place finish in the 10,000 meters and sophomore Abby Denham’s seventh-place finish in javelin.
“It was hard to finish to begin with,” Rodriguez said. “But when I’m home and I can hear all my teammates cheering for me, my sister, my coaches — it’s so much easier.”
Rodriguez said she has been “training for the future” ever since her junior year of high school.
“It’s hard, but it’s doable,” said Rodriguez who will also represent Ball State at the 5,000-meter finals Saturday.
Denham said considering her expectations to finish eighth, get over 40 and help the team score some points, her performance went “really well today.”
“Being able to move up and, like I said, helping the team score, is huge,” she said. “Topped of the season for sure. Definitely peaked at the right time.”
Denham’s freshman teammate Stella East also took part in the javelin throw placing 14th.
Other events Ball State athletes participated in include the 400-meter hurdles preliminaries where freshman Karlie Zumbro finished 16th overall and hammer throw where junior Megan Graves placed 17th.
Scott Fleener contributed to this story.
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