The annual Meyo Invitational at the University Of Notre Dame was a competition unlike any the Central Michigan University women’s track and field team has seen yet this season.
With more than 80 universities from across the United States and Canada competing at the Loftus Center in South Bend, Ind., it was an increase in overall competition for the Chippewas.
This heightened competition did not faze CMU and, according to track and field director Willie Randolph, did not cause any lack of effort.
“Overall, we had a lot of solid marks moving us forward,” Randolph said. “Obviously, we had more qualifiers this weekend, moving us up in the conference.”
At a two-day meet with so many individuals and events taking place, it can be difficult for athletes to stay focused and remain goal -oriented. This was something that Randolph stressed to his team in preparation for the Meyo Invite.
One standout was senior distance runner Maddie Ribant, who was able to qualify by finishing 14th out of 59 in the 5,000 meters with a time of 17:07.72, setting a personal record in the process.
Junior Krista Parks also qualified with a time of 17:18.24.
In the 400 meters, sophomore Bridget Doughty qualified for the Mid-American Conference championships with a final time of 56.37.
Senior middle distance runner Charnele Lyons failed to place in this weekend’s meet, but that hasn’t changed her mindset as the season continues.
As a senior who hasn’t competed in a while due to injuries, Lyons is happy to be running once again.
“It’s fun and exciting but also kind of challenging,” Lyons said. “I’m learning more about my body, and it’s just a lot of fun to get back competing instead of just hearing about it.”
After a long battle with injuries, she is finally back in the swing of things and looks to continue to move in the right direction. Lyons cites her performance at Notre Dame as a good motivator as the weeks go by. This comes despite a drastically different atmosphere of competition compared to previous meets.
“It was such a blast to be in that atmosphere,” Lyons said. “I just need to learn to trust myself and my training; trust is a big thing between my teammates and myself, and I know that’s what I need to work on.”
With the season picking up steam, the Chippewas are building off each performance in preparation for the quickly-approaching MAC championship season.
CMU will be back in practice this week to prepare for the Grand Valley State University Big Meet next weekend in Allendale.