Throwers shine at Baylor Invitational
Since the start of the outdoor season, head coach Mark Guthrie said Saturday’s Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas may host the best competition Central Michigan’s track & field teams would see all year.
As such, Guthrie said the focus would be on results, not necessarily the placings at individual events.
Even so, many student-athletes shined in the face of hefty competition. As usual, the throwers led both the men’s and women’s teams, thanks in part to their depth.
Senior Dylan Banagis and freshman Logan Targgart continued their excellent season by taking first and second place in the men’s hammer, throwing 61.64 and 61.08 meters.
After winning the event last week, sophomore Kevin Weiler finished fourth in the shot put, 18 cm short of a season-best.
All three men’s throwers also competed in the discus. Banagis placed second with 56.61, Targgart placed ninth with 48.87, while Weiler hit 46.40 for 15th.
The women’s throwers were equally strong, led by senior Kylee Dobbelaere. She took the only first-place finish for the women’s team in the hammer throw with a 54.82-meter toss.
Also placing well in the hammer throw was junior Valarie Johnson, who threw a career-long 48.75 meters for seventh.
The team took 30 seats on the flight to Texas, bringing only the best athletes CMU has to offer.
“Thanks to the competition we’re seeing (at Baylor), I think we’ll get a good look at how we stack up to the kind of athletes we’ll see at the outdoor championships,” Guthrie said. “It’s a ways away to think about, but that’s all we’re training for all season.”
Sophomore jumper Jake Peister came home with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with a 14.90-meter final leap.
Topping his first-place performance from last week, senior Brandon McCleese threw a season-high 59.38 meters in the men’s javelin to finish fifth.
Senior Nicolas Malliaras’ 7.23-meter leap in the long jump marked a career-best and gave him sixth place.
Freshman Luke Anderson made his outdoor debut for the 1500, taking ninth place and finishing in 4:08.24. His top time in the mile – just 100 meters longer – was 4:15.49.
With a career-high of 1.72 meters cleared, sophomore Calli Stemple finished second in the high jump. Her finish was tied for best, but she had four early misses that cost her a win.
With a 2:12.51 finish, senior Kelsey Ross placed third in the women’s 800.
Both freshman phenoms once again proved themselves, with Nadia Williams placing fifth with a 6.06-meter long jump, while Ja’la Taylor placed seventh in the triple jump with 11.73.
Williams also took 14th in the 200, finishing in a career-best 24.35.
With an outdoor career high, junior Rebekah Petty hit 3.83 meters to take ninth place in the pole vault.
Sophomore Simonae Dismuke and senior Lexi Mielke both finished the 400 with career-bests 57.66 and 57.20, taking home 19th and 21st place.
The distance runners will take their next trip to Walnut, California for the Mt. SAC Relays on April 13, with the first events kicking off at 6 p.m.