The Akron men's team swept the MAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships for the second consecutive season.
THE MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD TEAM continued its dominant run of league titles by claiming its second straight Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championship last weekend in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
The victory represents the program’s fourth consecutive MAC team title overall and the second straight year the Zips have swept both the league’s indoor and outdoor championships after doing so for the first time in school history in 2011.
“It was a complete team effort,” said Akron head coach Dennis Mitchell, who was named MAC Coach of the Year for the 16th time in 17 years at UA. “The team battled through some adversity and did what they needed to do. It was a challenging weekend but this team loves to win and they found a way to do that.”
After finishing no better than fifth at the outdoor championships in each of their first 13 seasons in the MAC (1993-2005), the men’s team has now won four of the last five team titles — including a runner-up finish in 2010.
“We have a great group of athletes and a tremendous coaching staff,” said Mitchell of the program’s remarkable turnaround. “Our athletes – whether they are a blue-chip recruits or not – realize that they want to be part of a championship program. I’m just amazed at the depth we are able to create when we have individuals with that mindset. You can attribute the program's success to those athletes, the coaching staff and the leadership provided by our team captains.”
In all, the Zips crowned four individual MAC Champions last weekend – including Bryan Jones (decathlon), Shawn Light (pole vault), Joe McCoy (steeplechase) and Tyshaun Peoples (long jump) – and as many runner-up finishers. Additionally, senior Eric Hubbard smashed his own school record in the hammer throw to help Akron hold off a late rally by arch rival Kent State and take the title.
While the Zips’ team is finished competing this spring, as many as 17 individuals from both the men’s and women’s squads will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the preliminary round from May 24-25 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Media contact: Paul Warner, associate director for athletics communications, 330-972-2677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.