Three track athletes advance to NCAA championships
After three days of competing at the Mid-American Conference championship hosted by Central Michigan University, the men’s team finished third and the women finished ninth.
Senior thrower Ryan McCullough led the way for the Chippewas as he broke the school record six times and took first in the hammer throw with a mark of 210 feet, 7 inches. For his performance, McCullough was named Most Outstanding Field Performer.
Joining McCullough as first-team All-MAC was junior thrower Alex Rose in the discuss, and senior Branden Post in the 400m hurdles.
Director of track and field Willie Randolph was pleased with the individuals who performed at an All-MAC level.
“They’ve been working hard all year long,” Randolph said. “They actually just had a really great day. They went onto become MAC champions so I’m very excited for them not only for being MAC champions but going on to the first round of the NCAA championships next week.”
The men finished the weekend in third place with a total score of 137. Akron took first place with a score of 161, and Kent State placed second with 150.
The position marks the second-straight year that the men finished third.
“The team did very well in my opinion,” Randolph said. “I’m very proud of those young men who gave everything they had ... We just fell a little short."
Sophomore Cory Noeker was the only Chippewa to earn second-team All-MAC honors. Noeker ran a career-best time of 14:45 in the 110m hurdles where he finished second.
The women showed improvement by finishing in ninth place, one better than their finish at the indoor track championships earlier this year. The women finished with an overall score of 48 points.
Randolph said he was proud the women's team competed on such a high level. He believes they will continue to improve next year.
“We have a lot of great recruits coming in for next year," Randolph said. "We’ll put some more components together next year, and that will make a difference.
In the 400m hurdles, freshman Bridget Doughty ran a career-best 59:92, while senior Stephanie Hurley ran a career-best 101:33.
Freshman Milica Kulidzan finished second place in the javelin with a distance of 151-03. Kulidzan’s performance earned her second-team All-MAC.
Randolph expects new leaders to emerge next year on the women’s side.
“We have Diamond Hamilton that will help lead the way,” Randolph said. “We have Bridget Doughty who won the 400m hurdles at the Lyle Bennett Open, Milica Kulidzan and Krista Parks are coming back. That in itself is something great for the women’s side.”