Track, field uses Skoog meet in preparation for MAC championship

Central Michigan assistant track and field coach, John Ridgway, caught Ryan McCullough’s attention after a practice weight throw.

McCullough looked back at him through the thick netting and listened.

“You’re doing this,” Ridgway said, leaning back. “You need to be here."

McCullough, a senior, nodded. It’s been that kind of year for him so far.

“He’s been battling with this event all year,” Ridgway said, referring to McCullough’s mental approach.

After what McCullough said was his best practice all year Monday, he and the rest of the Chippewas will have a chance to maintain their confidence and technique before the Mid-American Conference championship next week. CMU hosts the Jack Skoog meet at 4 p.m. Friday.

Saginaw Valley State, Alma, Northwood and Lake Superior State will all be competing in the event. It is also Senior Recognition Day for upperclassmen performing in their last indoor meet for CMU.

McCullough said the challenge he’s faced this season has been to develop a rhythm and stay consistent with it.

McCullough’s goal of honing his technique in the week leading to the MAC championship underscores what director of track and field Willie Randolph said is a final opportunity for athletes to gain confidence before they travel to Akron.

“It always gives you more confidence,” Randolph said about home meets. “It’s a good thing to be relaxed and comfortable at home.”

Randolph said his top runners, including sprinters, hurdlers and long-distance runners will not compete. He said they will stick to practicing technique and keeping their muscles loose for next week. Shot-put and weight throwers like McCullough will use today’s meet to gain repetitions.

“We’ve tailored ourselves for next week,” Randolph said. “Unless something spectacular happens Friday, we already know what we’re doing next week.”

Randolph said senior distance runner Raeanne Lohner will run her first indoor meet of the season. Her window of indoor eligibility has elapsed, but she will run unattached for CMU.


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