KALAMAZOO, Mich. - University of Akron sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) continued the Zips' domination in the men's pole vault at the Mid-American Conference Track and Field Championships capturing the program's 20th consecutive overall league title to highlight Akron's efforts on the opening day of the league championship, hosted by Western Michigan on Thursday, May 11.
Ludwig eclipsed 17-2.50 (5.25m) to earn his second league championship of 2017. He bettered the bar on his opening attempt at 16-8.75 (5.10m) and was the lone competitor to surpass 17-2.50 (5.25m) on his first jump. Ludwig was unable to clear 18-0.50 (5.50m) on each of his three attempts at the height.
Buoyed by its strength in the 10,000 meters, Eastern Michigan (43 points) leads Akron in the men's team competition by 15 points. The Zips own 28 points and are followed in the standings by Kent State (22), Central Michigan (20), Miami (7) and Buffalo (4).
In the women's race, Bowling Green paces a tightly compacted field with 27 points, while in limited finals competition on the day, Akron is tied with Central Michigan with six points.
"It was a solid start to our first day," said Akron track and field head coach Dennis Mitchell. "We are about where we should be entering day two. The Eastern Michigan men had a great day. They currently are our toughest competition. We must make sure we get all our athletes out of the prelims into the finals tomorrow."
The Zips also garnered valuable points with third- and fifth-place performances in the men's pole vault from senior Matt Rowland (Bellevue, Ohio), the 2016 MAC outdoor champion, and sophomore Tyler Fraker (Delta, Ohio). Rowland cleared 16-2.75 (4.95m) on his third and final attempt at the height, while Fraker bested 15-3 (4.65m) on his opening run at the mark.
Junior Jackie Siefring (Covington, Ohio) leads the women's heptathlon with a four-event cumulative score of 3,393, while senior Patricia Ortega (Logrono, Spain) sits in third place with a score of 3,283.
Siefring and Ortega opened the heptathlon recording times of 14.00 (3rd) and 14.16 (4th) in the 100-meter hurdles. The Zips' duo then each turned in career-best jumps of 5-6.50 (1.69m) to tie for the triumph in the high jump.
Siefring placed fourth in the shot put with a mark of 39-9.25 (12.12m), while Ortega finished sixth with a career-long throw of 39-5.25 (12.02m).
Crossing the line second in the 200 meters in 24.81 to cap the day's competition was Siefring, while Ortega posted a time of 25.71 to finish fifth.
Hudson registered a personal-best time of 10.98 in the 100 meters to place second, while Majid crossed the line in 11.29.
Jumping a career-long 21-6.75 (6.57m) in the long jump to finish third was Majid. He then recorded a mark of 36-10.50 (11.24m) to place fourth in the shot put.
Hudson leaped over a career-high mark of 6-4 (1.93m) to pace the Zips in the high jump, before he and Majid each turned in career-best times of 49.29 and 51.13, respectively, in the 400 meters.
"Matt Ludwig kept up the tradition going 20 straight MAC titles for Akron men's pole vaulting, while the decathletes and heptathletes had a a very good first day," commented Mitchell.
Junior Maurice Harris (Toledo, Ohio) opened the day's competition for the Zips picking up points in the men's hammer with a fourth-place showing on the strength of a throw of 178-11.50 (54.55).
In his first MAC Championship, sophomore Rodrigo Iglesias (Logrono, Spain) registered a mark of 197-9.50 (67.20m) to garner a third-place finish.
Posting team points in the women's javelin were senior Nikki Manson (Glasgow, Scotland) and Siefring as the duo recorded marks of 129-7 (39.50m) and 127-9.75 (38.96m) to earn fifth- and seventh-place efforts.
The second day of the MAC Championships open with the conclusion of the multi-events with the 110-meter hurdles in the men's decathlon and the long jump as part of the women's heptathlon at 11 a.m., respectively. Field events begins with the men's shot put at 12:30 p.m., while the preliminary round of the men's 1,500 meters opens running events at 12:30 p.m. The women's 3,000-meter steeplechase closes out the day's action at 5:05 p.m.
MEN'S TEAM STANDINGS:
1) Eastern Michigan (21), 2) Akron (28 points), 3) Kent State (22), 4) Central Michigan (20), 5) Miami (7), 6) Buffalo (4)
WOMEN'S TEAM STANDINGS:
1) Bowling Green (27), 2) Miami (25), 3) Eastern Michigan (12), 4) Toledo (11) 5) Ohio (9), 6) Buffalo (7), Kent State (7), Western Michigan (7), 9) Akron (6), Central Michigan (6)
Jackie Siefring (1st-3,393), Patricia Ortega (3rd-3,283); 100-Meter Hurdles: Jackie Siefring (3rd-14.00), Patricia Ortega (4th-14.16); High Jump: Jackie Siefring (1st-5-6.50/1.69m*), Patricia Ortega (1st-5-6.50/1.69m*); Shot Put: Jackie Siefring (4th-39-9.25/12.12m), Patricia Ortega (6th-39-5.25/12.02m*); 200 Meters: Jackie Siefring (2nd-24.81), Patricia Ortega (5th-25.71)
THURSDAY MEN'S FINALS:
Hammer: Maurice Harris (4th-178-11.50/54.55m); Javelin: Rodrigo Iglesias (3rd-197-9.50/67.20m), Preston Fillman (10th-147-8.25/45.02m); Pole Vault: Matt Ludwig (1st-17-2.50/5.25m), Matt Rowland (3rd-16-2.75/4.95m), Tyler Fraker (5th-15-3/4.65m)
Malik Hudson (3rd-3,674), Kamar Majid (4th-3,494); 100 Meters: Malik Hudson (2nd-10.98*), Kamar Majid (6th-11.29); Long Jump: Kamar Majid (3rd-21-6.75/6.57m*), Malik Hudson (5th-21-2.50/6.46m); Shot Put: Kamar Majid (4th-36-10.50/11.24m), Malik Hudson (6th-35-5/10.79m*); High Jump: Malik Hudson (2nd-6-4/1.93m*), Kamar Majid (3rd-6-0.50/1.84m); 400 Meters: Malik Hudson (1st-49.29*), Kamar Majid (5th-51.13*)