Throwing tandem of Banagis, Targgart seek to replicate last year’s success

The Central Michigan men’s track team has a new throwing tandem.

The previous season ended with now-graduated Cole Walderzak breaking the school record in the hammer throw, taking first place in the Mid-American Conference Championship and earning himself a spot in the NCAA Championship meet.

Then-junior Dylan Banagis took third place in what would be the final meet for the duo.

Now, with Walderzak gone, Banagis has a chance to become leader of a new throwing unit.

Freshman thrower Logan Targgart has taken second place in two indoor meets this season. At the Doug Hansen Invitational, he tossed a freshman record of 18.42 meters, and threw a 17.33 at the Jack Skoog Triangular.

“(Banagis) has always been the second guy, the support guy,” said Head Coach Mark Guthrie. “But now, being a multiple medalist (in last year’s championships), the focus will fall to him.”

Now as the “No. 1 guy” as Guthrie put it, Banagis has the responsibility to be a leader for his freshman counterpart. Guthrie said his “engaging personality” gives him the tools to be a great leader for Logan, but Banagis is somewhat humble in that regard.

“At this point, there’s not much I can teach (Targgart),” Banagis said. “He’s a great thrower. He’s always been a great thrower. He’ll be a great thrower with or without me."

Banagis said because of his experience as an upperclassman, the advice he gives Targgart is simple. 

“The only thing I can help him with are things like when to rest, when to control and when to exert energy, and to have fun," he said. "That’s what it’s all about for us here — having fun.”

Targgart appeared in the U.S. Junior meet last season as a high school senior. Since then, he has moved into the support role and hopes to match Banagis’ success from last season.

“He’ll be hard to replace when he’s gone,” Targgart said. “Dylan has a lot of energy. He’s just a fun guy to have as a leader for this team.”

Guthrie said in an individual sport such as track, it’s always hard to predict future success. 

While the two of them both finished first and second in the first two meets of 2017, the two said they know they can always reach higher.

Although the duo didn’t finish first and second during the Eastern Michigan Triangular on Jan. 28, the two said they still believe they are improving.

“I’m definitely not having a bad season so far,” Banagis said, “But as a thrower, you can always go farther, do better. You can never be good enough.”

Targgart agreed with Banagis’ sentiment. 

“We can be pleased, but never satisfied — never comfortable,” he said.

Though Targgart has three full to improve, Banagis has three months before the end of his career. The MAC Outdoor Championships take place on May 11-13 in Kalamazoo, while the Indoor Championships will be from Feb. 24-25 in Ypsilanti.

Guthrie’s only expectation for the new duo this season were summed up in two words: “throw farther.”