Cole Walderzak, other freshmen shine at Louisville Invitational
Most of the men’s track team competed this weekend at the Louisville Invitational, and many athletes came back with top five and top 10 finishes.
Freshman Cole Walderzak had a strong performance on Friday, as he was able to record strong throws in both hammer and discus
“It was fun,” Walderzak said. “Hammer was pretty good; I threw pretty close to a (personal record). Discus was really good. I threw just over two meters under PR; that was really big.”
After weeks of coming up just short of Mid-American Conference championship meet marks, Walderzak was finally able to break through and qualify in the discus.
“It means a lot (to qualify),” Walderzak said. “I’ve been working just for that, and to finally get it takes a lot of weight off my shoulders. Now I can focus on going to MACs and competing there.”
Walderzak’s best throw came in at 171-07, just under three feet short of his career-best 174-00. That earned him second place and a huge improvement from his previous season-best of 163-08. He also took seventh place in the hammer, throwing 173-04, just short of his season-best 173-11.
Junior Calvin Jackson was able to finish just behind Walderzak in the hammer with a throw of 170-11, taking eighth place, right behind his teammate.
Walderzak and Jackson set the tone for the rest of the team, as many other athletes were able to record finishes in the top 10.
One of those athletes was freshman Matt Mueller. Mueller, one of the athletes who helps make up a talented core of freshmen, competed for the first time this outdoor season and was able to have a strong finish in the high jump.
In a field including just three other jumpers, Mueller was able to clear 6-04.00, giving him a second-place finish behind Southeast Missouri State sophomore Reginald Miller, who recorded a jump of 6-11.
CMU had two athletes finish in the top five in the javelin throw. Brandon McCleese, another talented freshman, was able to take second place in the javelin with a throw of 166-09. Tim Reynolds, a multi-event athlete, finished fourth with his throw of 139-03.
The jumpers had solid outings Friday in what might be the last meet for some of them before the MAC championship meet on May 9.
Leading the jumpers was freshman Craig Mauldin. Mauldin finished in first place in the triple jump with a jump of 46 feet, just short of his collegiate personal-best (46-00.75).
His teammate, junior Michael Johnson, finished right behind him with his best jump coming in at 42-00.75.
Johnson, Mauldin and sophomore Dee Smith also had good finishes in the long jump. Smith had the best jump of the trio with at 23-00.50, tying him for second place. Mauldin set a new season-best with a jump of 22-3.75, good for fifth place. Johnson finished sixth at 21-1.50.
Walderzak thinks the way the freshmen have been able to perform is important now and for the future of the team.
“I think it’s very important,” Walderzak said. “We have to set an example for other people coming to (CMU). Yeah, we’re a young team, but we’re here to win, and we’re going to do what we need to do to win.”