This weekend brings a busy schedule for the track and field team.
The Central Michigan distance runners were showcased at the Stanford Invitational, the sprinters and hurdlers shined at the Hilltoppers relays, and the throwers will get their opportunity in the Mt. SAC Relays Thursday through Saturday at Walnut, Calif.
“One of those things when it comes to planning is basically looking at the schedule and (finding) what’s the best thing to get your athletes to compete against the best,” director of track and field Willie Randolph said. “We believe to be the best, you’re got to compete against the best. But sometimes that means you get to go in areas you normally wouldn’t fly or drive to.”
It is the Chippewas first appearance in the Mt. SAC Relays since 2009. The meet is entering its 54th year of existence.
Walnut is getting a visit from the strongest part of the Chippewas team. The throwers have been posting numbers in the top 50 nationally, throughout the season.
“It is one of the bigger meets as far as distance throws,” Randolph said. “You see a lot of Olympians as well, so our throwers get the opportunity to go back out to the West Coast and get some really solid competition.”
The rest of the team will be going their separate ways.
The distance runners will travel to Indiana to play in the Polytan Invitational Saturday and Sunday.
The sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers and vaulters will go a short distance to Grand Valley State for the Al Owens Classic Friday and Saturday, after a meet at Western Kentucky last week that Randolph said they “got a lot of production” out of.
Randolph used a cooking recipe to describe how the team will come together as the season draws near.
“Our sport is a team sport, but it’s individual in certain things, and you can come back and be a team with in everybody’s piece of the puzzle put together, to make a great big pot of gumbo,” he said. “You got different flavors in everything that mix into gumbo, but once you put it together and the season has been marinated and has been prepared by the right cooks or cook, it’s going to taste really good.”