Distance runners to Virginia, others to Alma in big weekend for track teams


Sophomore Samantha Allmacher competes in the women’s mile run on January 13 at Jack Skoog Field.

This weekend will be a stacked one for the Central Michigan’s track and field teams, with two sets of athletes going to either Alma or Virginia to compete.

A few distance runners will be flying out to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia to compete in the Colonial Relays Friday, while many of the short-distance runners and field athletes will head to Alma on Saturday April 1 for the Alma Invitational.

The first runners in Virginia will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, while the second day in Virginia and the first Alma events will both kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“We’ll have fun, (and) relax when it’s appropriate,” said head coach Mark Guthrie. “We can’t forget that we have a job to do. These are all mature athletes, so I have no worries.”

Guthrie said the longest outdoor event – the 10,000 meter run – is impossible for even the best athletes to do weekly, so the distance athletes didn’t compete in last weekend’s meet. They opted to rest up for what should be a competitive meet this weekend.

“It’s an important meet, the first for us outdoors, so it’s crucial to have a strong start.” said junior runner Megan O’Neil, who didn’t compete last weekend.

Guthrie said most of the athletes traveling to Alma will be those who didn’t compete last week, with a few exceptions.

One athlete Guthrie will be keeping his eyes on will be fifth-year javelin thrower Brandon McCleese from Marlton, New Jersey. McCleese was the lone first place finisher in last Saturday’s meet with a 58.28 throw.

He and Coach Guthrie have set a goal of 200 feet, roughly 90 meters, for himself and fellow javelin thrower sophomore Avery Joseph. Joseph is currently sitting out with a sprained ankle, but McCleese hopes to hit that mark this weekend.

“It’ll be a long weekend, two big meets in two different parts of the country,” Guthrie said. “(We're) hoping for the best.”