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Central Michigan felt the bitter taste of finishing low in the Mid-American Conference last season, but with the new leadership of director of track and field Mark Guthrie, the Chippewas are hoping to turn around.
At the end of the 2012-13 season, neither the men or women ended up at the top of the MAC, with the men finishing last and the women in ninth at the MAC Indoor Championships.
This year, both the men and women are adding a number of new athletes to their rosters while bringing back many key returners.
The men’s lineup will feature some of last year’s MAC meet top finishers, including juniors Dee Smith and Ben Wynsma.
After an unsuccessful season last winter, the men and women of CMU track and field will kick off their indoor season Friday, Dec.
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Mark Guthrie has been named Central Michigan University's director of track and field and cross country.
Guthrie, who signed a contract that pays him $85,000 a year for five years, won 22 NCAA Division III titles at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and was inducted into the U.S.
Most of the men’s track team competed this weekend at the Louisville Invitational, and many athletes came back with top five and top 10 finishes.
Freshman Cole Walderzak had a strong performance on Friday, as he was able to record strong throws in both hammer and discus
“It was fun,” Walderzak said.
The men’s track team will return to Kentucky today, this time for the Louisville Invitational.
After taking last weekend off, the throwers will travel with the team and look to continue their recent success and finish the season strong.
Among these athletes is freshman javelin thrower Brandon McCleese.
Freshman sprinter/jumper Shaya Wilkerson, though young and with little experience at the collegiate level, has shown early on that she has what it takes to compete. A native of Mount Laurel, N.J, she sat down and talked to Central Michigan Life staff reporter Joe Judd.
Joe Judd: What does your pregame routine consist of?
Shaya Wilkerson: We have a pre-meet workout; it’s usually a nice warm-up. I take an ice bath to get my muscles loose enough for the meet.
JJ: How would you categorize your season so far?
SW: It hasn’t been my best, but I’m just ready to be more productive and perform better.
JJ: How have you and your teammates bonded this season?
SW: We definitely bond very well together at practices. To me, my teammates and I have a great bond.
JJ: Who or what motivates you to perform?
SW: The biggest (motivator) of one of my teammates would be Tim (Reynolds). Just to see how he performs and practices. I also have myself, because I know I have my own goals that I want to meet.
JJ: Being from New Jersey, what made you decide to come to CMU?
SW: I had talked to coach already, and I loved the campus and loved the people here, the surroundings and everything.
JJ: How do you manage your down time when you’re not running?
SW: If I’m not running, I’m usually just doing homework, relaxing and talking with friends.
JJ: What individual challenges have you had to overcome this season?
SW: Definitely being patient, because I’m so used to high school. Here is such a big jump, and I just need to be patient with my performances and not rush anything.
Wilkerson has made a big jump or two this season with first-place jumps at Eastern Michigan and Grand Valley State University.
The women's indoor track and field team will split up this weekend, with some going to South Bend, Ind., for the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame and others to Akron, Ohio, for the Akron Invitational.
Women’s track and field will look to bounce back and gain momentum as it heads to Allendale, Mich.
Athletics department officials confirmed a Saturday night altercation between several CMU student-athletes.
Athletics Director Dave Heeke confirmed a dispute after being asked about a dispute involving multiple members of the CMU football and track and field teams during a meeting Thursday with Central Michigan Life about the athletics budget.
"The athletics department is aware of an issue involving multiple student-athletes," Heeke said.
Sophomore Tecumseh Adams has been released from the Central Michigan cross-country team due to being academically ineligible following the spring semester.
Adams was CMU’s best runner last year, finishing 69th in the NCAA championships.
Director of cross country Willie Randolph was not available for comment but released a statement through athletic communications.
"Tecumseh Adams was declared academically ineligible following the spring semester, and has subsequently been released from the track and field and cross-country program,” Randolph said in a statement.
[caption id="attachment_114856" align="alignright" width="560" caption="CMU Freshman Milica Kulidzan (above) is set to represent Central Michigan track and field at the highest level this week at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning Wednesday.
[caption id="attachment_114029" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Junior thrower Alex Rose earned All-America honors at last years NCAA's in the discus fiishing fifth.
After traveling all around the country last week including trips to California, Indiana, and parts of Michigan, the track and field team will host it’s first outdoor meet of the season on Saturday.
Director of track and field Willie Randolph says one of the advantages of a home meet is being able to sleep in your bed.
“To be able to be on your home track and sleep in your own bed is a comfort thing,” Randolph said.
Ryan McCullough started off the outdoor track and field season with a record-setting performance in Baton Rouge, La.
Friday, the Central Michigan senior thrower set a school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 204 feet, 2 inches.
The recent heat wave could factor into a strong start for the Central Michigan outdoor track and field season in its first outdoor meet this weekend at the LSU Relays in Baton Rouge, La.
Temperatures there have been mild for the south, which is near the temperatures in Mount Pleasant.
Central Michigan director of track and field Willie Randolph would be the first to say his team did not run as well as it wanted.
The men’s team finished third out of five teams at the Mid-American Conference indoor championship in Akron, Ohio, while the women’s team finished 10th out of 12 teams.
The Central Michigan track and field team is at the point of the season it has prepared for all year: the Mid-American Conference championship.
It begins at 11 p.m.
Central Michigan assistant track and field coach, John Ridgway, caught Ryan McCullough’s attention after a practice weight throw.
McCullough looked back at him through the thick netting and listened.
“You’re doing this,” Ridgway said, leaning back.
Central Michigan senior thrower Kevin Mays set a school and conference record Saturday at Akron.
Mays’ 71-foot, 11-inch throw set both a CMU and Mid-American Conference record.
Central Michigan senior thrower Ryan McCullough placed sixth in the discus throw Friday in Akron. He marked 50.55 meters in the gold division.
Freshman thrower Kyla Walworth finished eighth in the women’s discus with a distance of 42.42 meters.