Women’s indoor track and field turned things around Saturday at the GVSU Quad meet after eluding a first-place finish a week earlier.
CMU finished third, behind Eastern Michigan and Grand Valley and ahead of Hillsdale College, with 97 points, but seemed to gain strength individually. This, according to track and field director Willie Randolph, is an important step leading on into the rest of the season, but he says his team still has work to do.
“Our individual focus is always important, and our main objective is to compete,” he said. “We need to focus on team chemistry; right now, I’m not upset, but I’m not happy either.”
Earning a first-place finish in the women’s triple jump was freshman Shaya Wilkerson, gaining nine points for her team. Her sophomore teammate Bridget Doughty finished second in the 400m dash, earning seven points with a time of 56.84.
These performances come following a long week of exerting themselves in practice and is good news for Randolph.
“We have a mental edge, and we need to keep up on our more intense practices,” he said.
Team effort is something gaining notable praise from Randolph and his coaching staff coming off the effort at GVSU.
“I would say that we were an eight out of 10 as far as overall effort is concerned,” Randolph said. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
Another notable run came from sophomore sprinter Diamond Hamilton. She competed and finished in second place in the 60m dash, gaining seven points with final time of 7.74. In the women’s 4×400 relay, sophomores Doughty, Hamilton and Ravyn Baxter, along with freshman Emma Fishnick, helped the Chippewas claim a third-place spot with six points and a time of 3:54.87.
This meet was also an important MAC test for CMU as it faced off against MAC opponent EMU. In the past, Randolph has pushed the need to be aggressive, and he emphasized how the Chippewas needed to be the ones to draw first blood when facing the Eagles. The CMU-EMU rivalry is one that Randolph expects to remain prevalent throughout the season.
“Eastern had more bodies in places we weren’t emphasizing on, and we are aware of what we need to do in the rivalry,” Randolph said. “We need to win when it counts in conference season; we know we don’t back down to anyone.”