MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State indoor track & field team will get an early start to the 2012-13 season this weekend, when it travels to Bloomington for the two-day Hoosier Open hosted by Indiana at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse.
The first day of the meet begins at 4:50 p.m. Friday with the women's 5000m run and concludes at approximately 9:30 p.m. with the men's 4x400m relay. Saturday, all five events of the women's pentathlon will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. with the 60m hurdles.
This weekend's meet marks the first time the Cardinals have started their indoor campaign before the new year since the 2006-07 season when the program hosted the Ball State Pentathlon (Dec. 9, 2006).
"Because we are participating in this weekend's Hoosier Open, we were able to start our training significantly earlier than we have over the past few seasons," said Ball State head coach Randy Heisler. "With 23 of our 35 student-athletes being freshmen or sophomores, this meet will help our young squad adjust to collegiate-level competition. It's going to be a nice end-of-the-semester competition for us."
Heading into the 2012-13 indoor campaign, Ball State returns its top performers from last year's squad in nine of the 15 individual events.
On the track, sophomore Jazmine Gray (McCordsville, Ind./Mount Vernon) led the Cardinals in the 60m hurdles last season with a time of 9.79, while seniors MaryKate Mellen (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) and Allison Blanck (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) turned in BSU's season-best efforts in the mile run (4:57.60) and 5000m run (17:54.43), respectively.
In the pole vault, sophomore Hannah Ciasto-Poor (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) returns after posting the third-best individual effort in program history, clearing 10'-9" (3.28m) at the Ball State Quadrangular (Feb. 17).
Sophomore Christina Crawford (Belleville, Mich./Romulus) led BSU in the long jump with a distance of 18'-1" (5.51m), while redshirt junior Alyssa Hurlburt (Huntington, Ind./Huntington North) posted the Cardinals' best effort in the triple jump at 35'-10.5" (10.93m).
Rebecca Lomax (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport), who has led the Cardinals in the high jump the past two seasons, also returns but is expected to redshirt for the indoor season to focus on her training as both a dance major and a high jumper.
Ball State's throwers were led by redshirt junior Melissa Melgarez (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) in the shot put at 43'-11.25" (13.39m) and redshirt junior Jorden Traver (Lafayette, Ind./Harrison) in the weight throw at 46'-4.25" (14.13m).
Rounding out BSU's top returners is sophomore Lindsay Wallace (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) who led the team in the pentathlon with a score of 2,874 to place 17th at the Mid-American Conference Championships (Feb. 24-25, 2012).
Following the Hoosier Open, the Cardinals return to action Jan. 12, when they travel to the Bowling Green Invitational.