Track and field team sets school record, four qualify for MAC Championships
With only two weeks left until the Mid-American Conference Championship meet in Toledo, the Central Michigan Track and Field teams are peaking at the right time.
The team broke a school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase over the weekend, and four more runners qualified for the MAC Championship meet.
In total, CMU has 24 athletes that are qualified for the MAC meet, 13 women and 11 men.
The team split up over the weekend, sending some athletes to the Drake Relays in Indiana and others to the GINA relays in Hillsdale.
“I think getting athletes in a little higher level of competition along with talent and (exposing them) to a little bit of stress and nerves provides the athletes with a better opportunity to be successful,” said Head Coach Mark Guthrie.
Schools such as Texas, Baylor, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Wisconsin were in attendance for the Drake Relays, while Hillsdale featured competition from Michigan State, Michigan and MAC opponents Eastern Michigan and Akron.
For some athletes, next weekend's meet at the Toledo Invitational will be their final shot at a spot in the MAC Championship.
“The volume (of training) is starting to come down,” Guthrie said. “We’re coming to the end of the season, and finals adds a whole different kind of stress. If we keep going at the same loads, you add the stress of final exams, they’re either going to get sick or blow up. It’s just not going to end well.”
Senior thrower Cole Walderzak took third place in the men’s hammer throw with a toss of 62.19 meters. Walderzak is already qualified for the MAC meet. His season’s best throw of 64.71 meters came at the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State on April 22. He is the top ranked hammer thrower in the MAC with that mark.
Junior hurdler Ziemowit Dutkiewicz finished in fourth place in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.98 seconds, which automatically qualifies him for the MAC Championship. He is currently ranked third in the MAC.
Walderzak also finished in eighth place in the men’s discus with a throw of 54.29 meters. Walderzak is qualified for the MAC meet in the discus as well with his season’s best throw of 59.00 meters at the Eastern Illinois Invitational on March 31. He is ranked second in the MAC.
Senior Kylee Dobbelaere finished in ninth place in the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 54.09 meters. Dobbelaere is currently ranked fourth in the MAC with her season’s best mark of 57.30 meters, which she accomplished at the Jesse Owens Classic.
Junior javelineer Kyleigh Young (40.73 meters) finished 17th in the women’s javelin throw, however, Young is the top ranked javelineer in the MAC with her mark of 44.69 meters set at the EIU Invitational.
Senior Alyssa Dyer (10:21.16) and sophomore Megan O’Neil (10:40.44) finished fourth and eighth in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase. Dyer’s mark breaks CMU’s school record in the event, previously set by Maddie Ridbant in 2011 (10:34.07) These marks qualify both women for the MAC Championship, they are ranked fourth (Dyer) and seventh (O’Neil).
Sophomore Shane Moffo won the men’s 110-meter hurdle race with a time of 14.47 seconds. This was his season’s best mark and qualifies him for the MAC Championship. He is ranked second in the MAC with this mark.
Senior Diavonte Smith (7.18 meters) and sophomore Ali Taha (6.36 meters) placed first and tenth in the men’s long jump.
Senior Olivia Shelton took second place in the women’s javelin with a throw of 35.87 meters. Shelton qualified for the MAC meet at the Oakland Invite with her season’s best mark of 39.24 meters.
Sophomore Hannah Davis (10:22.57) and junior Jamie Madrigal (10:27.52) took second and third in the women’s 3000-meter run.
Freshman Avery Joseph Avery took third place in the men’s javelin throw with a toss of 51.75 meters.
Junior Malik Peacock (11.04 seconds) and sophomore Jamar Hardy (11.06 seconds) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the men’s 100-meter dash. Neither are automatically qualified for the MAC Championship. To do that, they would need to achieve a mark of 10.67 seconds.
Junior Scott Cousino finished in fifth place in the men’s 800-meter race with a time of 1:53.00.
Junior Ja’Corey Lipsey finished in fifth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.99 seconds.
Sophomore Archie Sullivan finished in sixth place in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 49.59 seconds.
Sophomore Sam Wagner (4.80 meters) and junior Tony Armstrong (4.65 meters) finished in sixth and ninth, respectively, in the men’s pole vault. Wagner is already qualified for the MAC Championship with his season’s best mark of 5.09 meters set at the Oakland Invite on April 16. Wagner is ranked third in the MAC.
Freshman Callie Stemple finished in sixth in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.59 meters.
Sophomore Rebekah Petty finished in seventh in the women’s pole vault with a mark of 3.57 meters. Petty is already qualified with her season’s best mark of 3.87 meters set at the Oakland Invite.