Day 1 of the Mid-American Conference championships ended up being a career day for several Central Michigan track and field athletes.
Starting with senior thrower Ryan McCullough, who won the hammer toss by breaking his personal and school record six times on the day before ending with a throw of 64.20 meters.
“Those days don’t come around often,” said track and field director Willie Randolph. “They only come around when someone is in such a zone and such a focus that their mind and body do nothing but follow.”
And McCullough wasn’t the only Chippewa who had a career day in the hammer toss. Senior Kevin Mays also beat his personal best and placed third in the event with a toss of 60.96 meters.
Sophomore Calvin Jackson placed seventh with a personal best of 55.06 meters.
“Calvin Jackson wasn’t even ranked in the top 12 and he came out and competed at a high level,” Randolph said. “And Kevin Mays, a senior, an All-American, to be able and go up against the best in the country … once you get there you never come back.”
Redshirt freshman Kyle Stacks ended the day strong for the CMU men’s track team by taking third in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:22.60.
“He’s coming into his own,” Randolph said. “I’m very proud of him.”
With that place the men sit second in the MAC, trailing Akron by just seven points.
The hammer toss wasn’t the only school record to fall on the day.
On the women’s side, freshman thrower Milica Kulidzan took second in the javelin throw with a record-breaking throw of 46.11 meters.
“For her to come out here and compete after having back issues in the fall shows that it’s about preparation and being ready to go when the day matters,” Randolph said. “She did it and now she is just reaping her rewards.”
The CMU women ended Day 1 in fourth place, but just eight points behind leaders Kent State and Toledo. The team ended the day with personal-best times from senior Holly Anderson and sophomore Krista Parks in the 10,000 meter run.
Anderson placed fifth with a time of 36:24.01, while Parks finished seventh at 36:40.71.
“Those are two young ladies who have worked very hard and feed off each other’s energy,” Randolph said. “We know there is still more to come.”
The Chippewas will continue their title run Friday at the Indoor Athletic Complex, playing host to the 3-day tournament.