Kevin Mays qualifies for NCAA championship, breaks two records in weight throw
Central Michigan senior thrower Kevin Mays set a school and conference record Saturday at Akron.
Mays’ 71-foot, 11-inch throw set both a CMU and Mid-American Conference record. It is the first throw in CMU history 70 feet or more.
The throw also automatically qualified Mays for the NCAA championships March 9-10 in Boise, Idaho.
“They read (the distance) off and I went crazy,” Mays said. “Everybody was hugging, high-fiving and everything.”
The previous CMU record had stood since 2006, when it was set by Dave Stallworth, who threw 68-9 3/4.
Mays said his mother wasn’t there to see him break the records, but he knows family and friends will be there to see him compete in the MAC championship Feb. 24.
“My mom was going to come, but I’m glad she didn’t because the weather got kind of bad,” Mays said.
Mays said he expects more of himself as the season progresses to its climax, with the upcoming conference and national championships.
“Continue to be very technical and realize there’s still room for improvement,” Mays said. “After the celebrating, when we sat back and watched it, we saw that not everything was there. We’re all excited, we all worked hard to get to this point, but we’re focused on the big picture.”
CMU director of track and field Willie Randolph said he was happy with the performance of Mays as well as the rest of the team. He was quick to add that the expectations only rise as they move on in the season.
“They were way more comfortable today than they were at Notre Dame,” Randolph said. “We just have to be ready when we come back (to Akron) in a couple weeks. We just want to be in the MAC.”
Randolph said a few athletes set personal best performances at Akron, a good indicator that the athletes were comfortable in an environment that will be buzzing in a couple weeks for the conference championship.
“We got a lot of things done considering a lot of the kids on the team have never really been in an environment like that,” Randolph said. “But the bottom line is they have to be ready to go when we go back there in a couple weeks.”
Randolph said the performances in each event were strong. He said senior multi-event athlete Josh Kettlewell had a strong showing in pole vault, who marked 16-06. He also said a couple runners, sophomores Shawntoreah Turk and Ross Parsons, ran strongly in their events.
Turk finished second-place in the gold division 400-meter dash with her season-best time of 55.75. She was also part of the 4x400m relay that finished runner-up.
Parsons finished second-place in the 200m dash with a time of 21.90.