Two CMU track athletes reach NCAA National Championship
Two athletes will represent Central Michigan University at the NCAA National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Senior thrower Ryan McCullough finished 10th out of 48 in the hammer throw last weekend at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla. With a mark of 207 feet, 3 inches, McCullough advances to the next round of the NCAA National Championships June 6.
Director of Track and Field Willie Randolph said there isn’t just one thing that makes McCullough good at the hammer throw.
“Well, there is a lot of good coaching,” Randolph said. “There is a lot of discipline, there is a lot of focus, there is a lot of execution ... all those things he has to go through to make it happen.”
On the women’s side, freshman Milica Kulidzan broke her own school record in the javelin throw by more than three feet on Thursday.
With a mark of 154 feet, 10 inches, Kulidzan advances to the next round of the NCAA National Championships.
With Kulidzan being a freshman, Randolph is excited to have her on the team another three years as the women’s side progresses.
“It’s a great feeling for our program,” Randolph said. “It continues to show the growth in both our women’s and men’s programs. It’s great growth and good direction for our women’s program.”
One athlete who was hopeful to advance to the next round was senior hurdler Branden Post.
Post suffered an injury before the weekend, however, and was unable to compete in the 400-meter hurdles.
Other Chippewas who competed included thrower Alex Rose, hurdler Bridget Doughty, runner Holly Anderson, thrower Kevin Mays and multi-eventer Josh Kettlewell.
Rose finished 21st in the discus.
“Considering this is ... the first round of nationals, I think everybody did a great job competing,” Randolph said. “They should have no regrets, because they gave everything they had. Sometimes you come up short; but, at the same time, those people that made it to nationals should celebrate with their teammates.”
The athletes who competed in nationals have the longest season of all of CMU’s athletes.
They have been training since the day after Labor Day, through cross country and indoor track, and finish as the last CMU sports team still competing.
Randolph said they are among "the best of the best."
“That in itself should be more than enough to say, 'Wow!'” Randolph said. “It should give you an idea at how much it takes for these athletes to accomplish what they have been accomplishing."
McCullough and Kulidzan will continue to compete against the best of the best when they compete June 6, in Des Moines, at the NCAA National Championships.