Falcons have best MAC finish since 1999


Bowling Green State University finished third at the 2023 MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, putting on a show for the home crowd at Perry Fieldhouse and tying the program’s best finish since 1999.

Brianna Richard (triple jump) and Zaresha Neal (shot put) competed at home for the final time in their careers and each won a MAC Championship. Richard’s triple jump mark also gave her a personal record, with Neal’s shot put mark being her second-best of the season and fourth-best of her career.

Katerina Shuble earned the best individual MAC finish of her career, placing second in the mile. Katherine Mendenhall tied for second in the high jump, earning the first MAC medal of her career with a PR performance.

Adding to the BGSU point total were Bianca Staples (T-4th, high jump), Ebonie Whitted (4th, shot put), Reagan Emberton (6th, shot put), Jemeila Hunter (6th, 200), and Kailee Perry (7th, mile).

“We talked about how the seniors, and we’ve been through this so many times, and you kind of knew that they would lead the way. It was really cool to see so much impact from that freshman class,” BGSU coach Snelling said. “

“We talked about how it wasn’t any one particular person who was particularly critical, but it was the class across the board in so many different ways that performed.

“It was really cool to see that with them. I think it just speaks to their ability level. I think it speaks to their grittiness, and maybe a little bit of their greediness in terms of we’re not gonna go anywhere.”

Falcons who qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships will compete in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on March 10-11. The 2023 outdoor season begins on March 17, with the Falcons traveling to Oxford, Ohio, for the Blizzard Buster, hosted by Miami University.

Ball State won the MAC championships, scoring 89½ points, followed by a second Ball State team (83), BGSU (74½), Kent State (73½), Miami (66), Central Michigan (53), Toledo (51), Northern Illinois (50½), Buffalo (43½), Akron (32½), Western Michigan (29) and Ohio (16)

Richard closed her home career with a MAC Championship and PR in the triple jump, taking first place with a mark of 41-8.75 (12.72m). This ranks sixth in program history, with only Huina Han recording a better mark.

Richard now has four of the top 10 marks in school history. This is Richard’s second career MAC crown, with the first being the outdoor triple jump in 2021.

Also closing her home career with a MAC Championship was Neal, who won the shot put with a mark of 55 feet, nine inches (16.99 meters).

This is Neal’s second consecutive indoor MAC title, giving her three MAC crowns in her career. The mark is her second-best of the season and fourth-best of her career. It ranks 11th in school history, giving her six of the program’s top 14 marks.

Shuble added to her impressive collection of accolades with a runner-up finish in the mile, racing in 4:54.13. This time ranks 13th in school history, giving her seven of the top 13 times.

In Shuble’s career, she has placed second, third, and fourth in the mile at the Indoor MAC Championships. She has also run for three MAC Champion Distance Medley Relay teams.

Katherine Mendenhall notched her second PR of the weekend, clearing 5-7 (1.7 m) on the high jump. This tied her for second place, her first time placing at the MAC Indoor Championships.

Tying for fourth in the high jump was Staples, who matched her PR with a mark of 5-7 (1.7 m). Based on attempts, Mendenhall and Miami’s Elle Miller shared second, with Staples and Buffalo’s Zaria Fuller sharing fourth.

Ebonie Whitted placed fourth in the shot put with a season-best mark of 45-9 (13.94 m). This is her fourth consecutive time placing at the MAC Indoor Championship, with this year’s finish marking the highest of her career.

Emberton also garnered points for BGSU, taking sixth in the shot put. She threw a mark of 44-5 (13.53 m), earning a spot on the MAC Championships podium for the first time in her career.

The Falcons saw another sixth-place finish, this time from Jemeila Hunter in the 200. She finished in 24.66 seconds, the second-best time of her career and 10th-best in school history. Only six student-athletes have recorded a faster time.

Kailee Perry added to the Falcon point total with a seventh-place finish in the mile, racing in 4:58.78. She has raced the mile four times this season, finishing in under five minutes each time.

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