Track and field is an individual sport at heart, no teammate is needed to block, set a pick or drive someone in to home for a run.
But that hasn’t stopped Central Michigan director of track and field Willie Randolph from making it a point to focus on the team, instead of the individuals.
Randolph was satisfied with his trip to Bowling Green, Ky. Saturday with the Chippewas sprinters and hurdlers.
They faced some of the best athletes in the region, and he said “it was a good group effort” at the Hilltopper Relays.
Freshman Ravyn Baxter highlighted the group by outrunning 20 runners to finish first with a time of 56.58 in the women’s 400 meter.
She did not dart out to the front until the very end, beating the second place runner by .19 seconds. The three runners with the three best times in the 400 meter were all in heat No. 3.
She was in the middle of the pack until the top of the last curve of the race.
“I started picking it up and I started passing all the other girls,” she said. “There was another girl in lane one I could see out my peripheral. We were together the whole time and then when we got to the finish line it was neck and neck, and I basically dipped before she could.”
CMU also had success in the 400-meter hurdles. Hurdler Stephanie Hurley finished second with a time of 1:02.47. Not far behind were Megan Heffner and Bridget Doughty. They finished third and fifth, respectively.
Renaldo Powell and Brandon Post had the highest placing among the men’s team, both finishing fourth. Powell had a time of 14.37 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, and Post had a time of 53.99 in the 400-meter hurdles.
The other schools that competed were Western Kentucky, Bellarmine, Campbellsville, Eastern Illinois, Kentucky State, Marshall, Murray, Southeast Missouri, SIU-Edwardsville, Southern Indiana, Tiffin, along with unattached athletes.
The Chippewas men team won six events, while the women won three, in the Northwood Open Saturday in Midland. No team points were awarded in either meet.
CMU went against athletes from Northwood, Saginaw Valley State, Lake Superior State and Oakland.
Three of the four men’s throwing events were won by members of CMU.
Only five participated in the men’s shot put, and the CMU throwers ranked 1-2-3. Alex Rose, Mychael King and George Flanner threw at a distance of 55-11, 53-11-25 and 52-01-05 feet, respectively.
Alex Rose also placed first in the men’s discus throw with a distance of 171-08 feet.