Track and field focus on 'big weekend'
Willie Randolph looked at a two-year-old photo on the windowsill in his office and named the athletes by seeing just their hands.
The photo, taken during a team huddle at the end of the 2009 track and field Mid-American Conference championship, is clogged with arms and hands. Central Michigan director of track and field, Randolph, pointed around the photo and listed the names of the athletes’ hands and arms reaching from every direction to the center of the team.
Randolph said he takes the same eye for detail he uses to recognize those in an old photo, to watching his players in practice and prepare strategies for them to pursue in upcoming meets, like this weekend at Findlay and Notre Dame.
It is also the first major adjustment for the team, Randolph said, as they prepare for the first pair of meets against high-level competition as a complete team. The sprint, jump and distance athletes will travel to Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational Friday afternoon.
Throwers will travel to Findlay, Ohio for the Findlay Open the same day.
“You pay attention to the little things that make big things happen,” Randolph said.
He said this is the part of the season when it is important for athletes to sharpen and maintain their focus ahead of the championship meets.
“The biggest thing is the focus, attitude and execution,” Randolph said, who emphasizes that those three elements factor as importantly as actual performance.
Senior thrower Kevin Mays said professional throwers, like A.G. Kreuger, will also compete in Findlay in a meet he considers the biggest so far this season.
“This is a pretty big weekend for us,” Mays said. “Findlay is a D-II school, but they have the invite section, so the competition will be tough. It’s going to feel like a national meet because of the level of competition.”