Track & Field: Accurso Shines On Final Day Of MAC Championships

By
Glenn Janos

Dateline
Updated Mon, Feb 27, 2012 12:00 pm

Ohio kept the momentum from last night’s win in the distance medley relay in the track events Saturday morning, but couldn’t get it going in the field events for the second day of the MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The highlight of the day was Sophomore Juli Accurso taking the gold in the 3,000 meter race. Accurso beat out Toledo rival, Emma Kertesz, passing her down the home stretch, crossing the finish line with a time of 9:33.

“Once the gun goes off, you get into another mind set and you just do what you train to do,” Accurso said on competing in the 3K. “It’s just been a great weekend, the team is just so supportive and it made the weekend, this was just awesome.”

Emily Pifer also got to the podium in the 3,000-meter taking eighth with a time of 10:00. Melissa Thompson was placed 13th overall with a time of 10:13.

“It’s pretty important, it’s hard to stay focused on your race sometimes, but when you have that goal in mind and you know exactly what place your in and your whole team is cheering for you, it kinda of makes it all that much more important,” Pifer said. “We have been working hard all winter, we don’t even have an indoor facility, so it’s kind of cool to come to the indoor meets and really show them how hard we work.”

Accurso had a disappointing outcome in the one mile earlier Saturday, finishing less than one second behind Kertesz and taking home the silver medal with an impressive time of 4:48. Despite losing the gold medal, both she and Kertesz beat the prior MAC Championship record of 4:49.

“I was really disappointed with how the mile ended up,” Accurso said. “I mean it just stinks to get nipped at the end.”

Thompson also had an impressive race in the one mile finishing fifth with a time of 4:54.

“The mile was really what I was focused on and I still think I ran a little bit conservative there,” Thompson said. “I took the positives out of the mile, I made it to the podium and I had a season best, to going into the 3K using whatever I had left and 10 [minutes] is a solid time.”

The Ohio 4x4 team of Kiley Mathews, Hope McCarty, Danielle Winningham and Courtney Weiss, finished one second behind Ball State, just shy of eighth place.
Unfortunately, Ohio couldn’t podium in either the shot put or the high jump.

“We didn’t finish where we wanted to as a team, I think we could have moved up two more spots. We wanted more out of high jump and I think the 3K brought [the team] back around with Julie and Emily Pifer,” head coach Clay Calkins said. “Finishing one point behind Akron was a heartbreaker for us, the 4x4 team tried to come back and on any given year they could have squeezed in to get seventh or eighth place and that would have at least allowed us to tie Akron and that would have been a great end to the meet.”

Ohio placed ninth overall with 37 points, just one point behind host school Akron.

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