The men’s and women’s indoor track team is preparing to resume competition today at the CMU Open after a long winter break.
This will be the first meet with a full roster, as distance runners and other events not participating in the first meet before break.
CMU will compete against Oakland University, Aquinas College, Cornerstone University, Ferris State University, Detroit-Mercy, Macomb Community College and Marygrove College on Friday.
The Chippewas are returning after an impressive season opener at Eastern Michigan and aim to continue to improve in the early stages of the season. The runners are now trying to get back into the swing of things in practice this week.
“Coming back from a break, we sometimes feel flat, tired, and not really sharp,” said director of track and field Willie Randolph. “So, we’re trying to work back into getting sharp again. February is where the season really takes off; but, January is preparation, getting sharper and making sure our minds and bodies are ready to go.”
Having almost a month off is difficult for any sports team, especially one in which effective training lies in constant repetition and practice.
Randolph stressed the importance of continuing to build on the work done in practice and stated his interest in continued progress over expecting record-setting performances.
“If you ask any coach how they think their kids will do after not competing for a month, they’ll tell you, ‘we’re working and trying to get back from where we left off’, and that’s what I’m expecting,” Randolph said.
Expect to see strong performances out of the men and women this Friday, especially from junior Shawntoreah Turk, who set the best time in the 500m dash last month.
“I need to put in the hard work and effort that it took to beat the record in the first place and move forward positively,” Turk said.
Competing alongside her in the 4×400 relay is junior Kelsey Ritter and sophomores Ravyn Baxter and Bridget Doughty, both of whom shared a victory Dec. 7 at EMU.
On the men’s side, junior sprinters Ross Parsons and Ryan Brooks are expected to build on strong performances in the 60m dash and the 4x400m relay. Senior Alex Rose is also lined up to begin what looks to be an exciting final season throwing for CMU.
Although the excitement is building for the beginning of the regular season, the Chippewas are taking it in stride. Goals for the young team are focused on continued training and work during the week.
This is especially true to prepare for an important meet in Grand Valley on the horizon.
“The focus is getting ourselves ready when it counts, and we’re looking at two weeks from now,” Randolph said. “We’re really going to start opening up in our main events at Grand Valley, and that’s when it’s more important to start winning as a group versus putting together the pieces of the puzzle this weekend.”