McCullough, Kulidzan ready for NCAAs
Two athletes will represent Central Michigan University Wednesday at the Track and Field National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Senior Ryan McCullough will represent the men in the hammer throw and freshman Milica Kulidzan will represent the women in the javelin throw.
As a senior, McCullough is excited for his career to conclude at the national championship level.
“It’s everything I could really ask for,” McCullough said. “This is the way I saw myself going out at the end of my career. It’s at the highest level, and I’m extremely excited.”
A week prior to the Mid-American Conference championships, McCullough begins the processing of trying to get into peak performance.
“You really try and peak for the three biggest meets of the season,” McCullough said. “You’re trying to be mentally and physically rested. You’re doing more explosive, shorter workouts.”
McCullough, ranked 16 out of 23 throwers in the field, is the seventh member of CMU's men’s throwing team since 2009 to compete in one of the national championships. He is hoping to become the fourth member to earn All-American honors, and the first to earn it in the hammer throw.
“It would mean a lot,” McCullough said. “I’d like to keep adding to the legacy. We’ve had a strong throwing culture here the past five years I’ve been here.”
Kulidzan is the first female athlete for CMU to compete at the outdoor championships since 2007.
She said she has dreamed about this moment.
“It’s always been a dream ever since I came here,” Kulidzan said. “It means my hard work has paid off, and, hopefully, I keep going in the right direction.”
Kulidzan competed at the Canadian Championships in her youth. This meet will be more nerve-wracking, she said, but she will be ready for the championship atmosphere.
“I want to get a personal best again,” Kulidzan said. “I want to go out and do my best. I need to stay calm, relaxed and represent CMU.”
Willie Randolph, director of track and field, said his athletes have just as much of a chance as anyone else.
“We are looking for improvements from both athletes,” Randolph said. “Considering at a national championship anything can happen, everyone is pretty much equal now. They’re ready for it.”
The meet begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.