High winds slow track teams in first weekend of outdoor season
In the first meet of the outdoor season, the Central Michigan track and field teams faced adverse weather conditions while trying to set benchmarks to build off of.
The majority of the team attended the Big Blue Classic at Eastern Illinois in Charleston where fierce winds significantly altered racing marks.
“In my 42 years of coaching, I’ve never been in a meet that was more windy than it was (Saturday)," said Head Coach Mark Guthrie. “We had 40, 50, 60 mph winds. To give you a sense of what it was like, on our drive home, we passed five semis and one camper trailer that were blown off the road.”
Guthrie estimated the winds added an additional four to 10 seconds in certain races. This left the coaches and athletes without clear results to start the season.
“It turned into how hard of an effort you were willing to give,” Guthrie said. “It ended up kind of being a practice meet. Maybe a little bit of a lost weekend."
Sophomore distance runner Megan O’Neil set a lifetime best by winning the women’s 5000-meter run with a time of 17:20.
Senior thrower Kylee Dobbelaere won the women’s hammer throw with a throw of 56.01 meters.
In the men’s long jump, senior Diavonte Smith placed fourth, jumping 7.05 meters.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Weiler won the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.36 meters.
Senior thrower Cole Walderzak won the men’s hammer throw (62.66 meters) on Friday and men’s discus (59.00 meters) on Saturday.
Sophomore Sam Wagner (4.91 meters) and junior Tony Armstrong (4.71 meters) placed first and third, respectively, in the men’s pole vault.
Junior javelineer Kylee Young placed first (44.69 meters) followed by freshman April Micheaux (35.77 meters).
Freshman Jake Peister won the men’s triple jump with a jump of 14.36 meters.
Senior Tina Davis placed third in the women’s 100-meter dash (11.83 seconds).
Junior Scott Cousino (1:58.71) placed third in the men’s 800-meter run.
Sophomore Shane Moffo placed third in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.58 seconds.
Freshman javelineer Joseph Avery placed third with a throw of 53.23 meters.
Freshman Samantha Cuneo finished fourth in the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of 58.88 seconds.
“I thought based on conditions, we competed really well,” Guthrie said. “I couldn’t have asked a whole lot more. No one was complaining, no one was down in the dumps about having to compete in these conditions. We showed up and gave it our best effort. We just have to look forward and keep training. If we had better weather conditions, you would have seen something totally different.”
Six distance runners, sophomore Eric Huertas and freshman Benjamin Hayes - 400 meter runners- and junior hurdler Ziemowit Dutkiewicz were sent to California to chase elite competition. The distance runners attended the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. Dutkewicz, Hayes and Huertas attended the Stanford Invitational.
At San Francisco, senior distance runner Nate Ghena set a lifetime best in the men's 5000-meter run by finishing in ninth overall with a time of 14:21, which also qualifies him for the Mid-American Conference Championship meet. Junior Kelly Ross finished in fifth in the women's 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.
Hayes (48.10) and Dutkiewicz (52.91) also qualified for the MAC Championship at Stanford. Hayes competed in the 400 meter dash and Dutkiewicz competed in the 400 meter hurdles.