Men finish 5th, women finish 7th at the MAC Championships
The Indoor track and field season came to a close Saturday with the Mid-American Conference Championship meet in Akron, Ohio.
The Central Michigan men’s team finished fifth out of five teams and the women finished seventh out of 12 teams.
The men and women were both predicted to finish fifth overall in the MAC preseason poll.
Akron won the men’s MAC Championship with a score of 145.5, followed by Eastern Michigan in second (135), Kent State in third (109), Buffalo in fourth (71.5) and CMU in fifth (64).
Eastern Michigan won the women’s title with a score of 127, followed by Akron in second (126), Kent State in third (87), Northern Illinois in fourth (75.5), Western Michigan in fifth (46), Buffalo in sixth (44), CMU in seventh (41), Bowling Green in eighth (39), Miami (Ohio) in ninth (29), Ohio in 10th (21.5), Ball State in 11th (14), and Toledo in 12th (13).
No Chippewas qualified for the March 11-12 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The top six places in the men’s races scored while the top eight places in the women’s races scored.
“I felt we had a pretty good meet on the men’s side,” said Head Coach Mark Guthrie. “On the women’s side, the score and the results showed how young of a team we are.”
On the women’s side, CMU had the same number of freshmen and seniors competing in the championship races.
“In championship meets, you like to have those athletes who have been in the fire,” Guthrie said. “Until they actually see the intensity of the meet and what it is like to have a crowd of 1000 people cheering, yelling and screaming you don’t know how they will react. It’s a growth and learning process.”
There were plenty of bright spots, as three school records were broken and two CMU athletes earned coaches honors following the meet.
Junior Kelsey Ross took home third in the 800-meter run and also broke the school record set in 1996 of 2:10.1 by .03 seconds, by running a 2:10.07.
The men’s 1600-meter relay team of junior Ziemowit Dutkiewicz, sophomore Erick Huertas, junior Quincy Briggs and freshman Benjamin Hayes also finished third with a time of 3:09.62, breaking the school record of 3:14.19.
The women’s distance medley relay team of sophomore Megan O'Neil, sophomore Kyla Walton, junior Michaela Bundy and senior Alyssa Dyer broke the school record of 11:43.7 with a time of 11:41.48, which was good enough for sixth.
Hayes and fellow freshman Kevin Weiler both earned Most Outstanding Male Freshman Athlete of the Year awards. Hayes earned the honor for the track athletes and Weiler for the field athletes.
Other notable CMU finishes
Weiler finished second in the shot put with a throw of 18.02 meters.
Senior Cole Walderzak (20.54 meters) and junior Dylan Banagis (20.32 meters) placed second and third, respectively, in the weight throw.
Sophomore Shane Moffo (8.04) finished second in the 60-meter Hurdles.
Senior Devene Brown finished second in the shot put with a throw of 15.76 meters.
Sophomore Sam Wagner finished in third in the pole vault with a jump of 4.90 meters.
Sophomore Kirsten Olling finished fourth in the 5000-meter run (16:45.71) and fifth in the 3000-meter (9:44.93).
Sophomore April Micheaux finished the heptathlon with a total of 3,499 points, good enough for fourth.
Hayes (47.34) and Huertas (47.46) finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the 400-meter dash.
Senior Nate Ghena placed fourth in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:40.56.
Junior Silas DeKalita finished in fifth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 8:25.64.
Senior Matt Mueller placed fifth in the high jump with a jump of 2.02 meters.
Freshman Jake Peister (15.24) placed fifth in the triple jump.