Track, field sets some personal bests while focusing on preparation for MAC championship
Central Michigan sophomore jumper Michael Johnson stood on the runway for his final long jump.
“I was on the runway and left to find a teammate and told him to get a clap goin’ for me,” Johnson said.
So teammate Dee Smith started the clap that eventually other teammates and the audience had joined. Johnson pumped his arms, then bolted down the runway amid cheers and claps.
He set a personal best jump at 44 feet, 10 1/4 inches. His eyes welled with tears as he hugged and celebrated with teammates.
“Today, I really just wanted to go in and have fun,” Johnson said.
Although the Central Michigan track and field team competed with a limited lineup Friday at the Jack Skoog meet, Willie Randolph was proud of the team’s attitude.
“I saw a team working together with a common goal,” Randolph said. “We saw some people that had some (personal records).”
Randolph said athletes like senior multi-event athlete Josh Kettlewell and senior thrower Ryan McCullough had performances that stood out.
“Kettlewell was just jumpin’ out of this world,” Randolph said.
Randolph also said that McCullough had overcome his mental battle with the weight throw. McCullough, who finished in second place behind CMU senior thrower Kevin Mays, threw 65 feet, 4 inches.
“Ryan McCullough had a huge throw,” Randolph said. “We’ve been waiting for a throw like that from him all year.”
Kettlewell pole vaulted 16 feet, 6 inches and finished first in the event.
Randolph said senior jumper Kevin Bacon had the strongest meet of the year to date.
Johnson said he was humbled by his teammates’ performances.
“I saw an intensity and a passion for doing well at a home meet,” he said. “We had great performances from teammates.”
CMU will compete next week in Akron at the MAC championship, in an effort to both win the championship as a team, and also send more players to the NCAA indoor championship.
“They just need to take this into next week,” Randolph said. “At the MAC.”