After a month-long break, the women’s indoor track and field team prevailed in the CMU Open Friday night.
Leading the charge for the Chippewas was freshman Shaya Wilkerson, who finished first in the women’s triple jump with a length of 37 feet, 6.5 inches and junior Shawntoreah Turk, alongside sophomore Bridget Doughty, who placed first and second in the 600-meter run with times of 1:37.46 and 1:37.48.
Although Wilkerson, Turk and Doughty’s performances in the triple jump and 600m respectively were events that will stand out, track and field director Willie Randolph said the effort put forth by the entire team in all events was impressive.
“I don’t think I should select an event area because the overall team’s mindset was to get out here and compete to get ready for the next couple of weeks,” he said.
A victory for CMU early on in this young track season might seem slightly insignificant with many meets left on the schedule, but a win Friday was an important stepping stone for the team to build on, Randolph said.
“Our process is basically to take it one meet at a time, to get ready for the time that matters most,” he said.
Scoring 159 points overall, the women’s team beat out Detroit-Mercy and Aquinas College, in addition to several other schools.
Adding to the point totals for the Chippewas was sophomore Doughty, who placed first in the 60m hurdles, with junior teammate Megan Heffner finishing in fifth.
Another positive note for CMU was the return of senior middle distance runner, Charnele Lyons, who had missed a fair amount of time due to injury. Randolph said her return was a captivating and successful one.
“She hasn’t ran in over a year, and to come out here and compete for the first time in that long, I would say, her performance stands out to me,” he said.
On a night where one might not be expecting to be as competitive, coming off of the long winter break, the women’s track team came away with a hard-earned victory on its home track, proving youth and experience do not necessarily determine victory for a team.
With a young and inexperienced squad, a victory for the Chippewas at the CMU Open cannot be taken for granted as they prepare for Saturday’s Simons-Harvey invitational at Michigan.