Akron can confidently boast one of the best track programs in the Midwest, and it's certainly the MAC's elite.
This weekend, the men joined the women as MAC champions, consummating a rise that seemed always to fall a few points short in past seasons.
Last year, the men lost by one point to Eastern Michigan, despite a four-point lead heading into the final event. This championship almost went the same way, but the Zips sprinters performed just well enough in the final event to beat EMU by one point.
It was the men's first ever conference championship -- indoor or outdoor. Cadeau Kelly was MAC Male Field Performer of the Year. He won the long jump and triple jump competitions.
The women's win was a blowout. The Zips beat Western Michigan by 55.5 points. Stevi Large earned MAC Female Field Performer of the Year.
Zips fans have come to expect such dominance, but Dennis Mitchell deserves mountains of credit for the consistency at which his women's team wins. The women have won three straight outdoor championships and four straight indoor championships.
Mitchell was named MAC Coach of the Year. It was an easy decision, considering the male/female sweep has only been done three times in conference history, and not since 2000.
About 18 Zips will head to Fayetteville, Ark., for the NCAA Regional Meet at the end of the month. If the individuals are successful at the national level, this could be the most successful season any program has enjoyed in school history.
- 2013 (115)
- 2012 (199)
- 2011 (225)
- 2010 (266)
- 2009 (380)
- 2008 (327)
- 2007 (561)
- 2006 (605)
- 2005 (89)