Extra Points: News and notes from around Central Michigan University and Mid-American Conference athletics
MAC, Quicken Loans Arena agree to six-year extension
By Mark Cavitt
The Mid-American Conference will continue to call Quicken Loans Arena home for its men’s and women’s basketball conference tournament through 2023.
Quicken Loans Arena and the MAC agreed to a six-year contract extension last week. The current contract will expire in 2017.
MAC Commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher, along with Quicken Loans and Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski, made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena.
"This contract extension provides our student athletes and our fans the finest basketball facility in the country for conference basketball tournament,” Steinbrecher said. “The entire Quicken Loans Arena and Cavaliers staff have been extremely supportive to and work collaboratively with the conference staff to ensure our membership and student athletes have a tremendous experience.”
Komoroski explained how the MAC basketball tournament has become a Cleveland tradition.
"Over the past 15 years, the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena has had a very special relationship with the MAC in helping to grow this event" Komoroski said. "We are very proud to continue to be able to host a world-class tournament experience and environment for the fans and the participating teams.”
Quicken Loans has served as the host venue for the MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament since 2000 for the men’s tournament and 2001 for the women’s tournament.
The 2015 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will take place March 11-14.
Former Chippewas football player Preston dies
By Joe Judd
Former Central Michigan University football player Dustin Preston died last weekend.
A defensive lineman during his time at CMU, Preston, 43 played from 1991-94. He was a four-year letter winner and helped the Chippewas win the Mid-American Conference Championship in 1994, which led to a bid toThe Las Vegas Bowl that season.
After graduating from CMU, he remained an active supporter of the Mount Pleasant community and CMU’s football team for 20 years.
Preston was a member of the CMU Football Alumni Association as well as a charter member of the 1100 Club.
There will be a funeral mass held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the Catholic Community of St. Jude, located at 801 N. Bridge St., DeWitt.
Gymnasts Moraw, Teet claim conference honors
By Cody DeBona
Senior Halle Moraw won her second consecutive Mid-American Conference Gymnast of the Week award on Tuesday.
Moraw of Clarkston led the Chippewas as they rolled past MAC foe Bowling Green State University 196.125-192.7 on senior day Sunday in McGuirk Arena.
Moraw tied a personal best on vault with a 9.875, and tied another best on beam with a score of 9.9. Moraw finished her career in McGuirk completing her fifth 9.9 of the season on floor.
Meanwhile, Karlee Teet was named the MAC Specialist of the Week Tuesday. The Denver, Colo. junior set two personal bests during CMU’s win over BGSU. The Denver native scored a 9.85 on vault and a 9.9 on bars.
The Chippewas will participate in a nonconference tri-meet at 10 p.m. on Friday in Davis, Calif.
Seventeen track and field athletes qualify for MAC Indoor Championships
By Evan Sasiela
As it prepares to host the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships this weekend, Central Michigan University will send 17 track and field athletes into competition on the conference’s biggest stage.
Eight men have qualified for CMU, which is led by junior co-captain Cole Walderzak, who is third in the conference in the shot put with a toss of 17.40 meters. Walderzak of Standish ranks fourth in the weight throw with 19.59 meters.
Fellow co-captain Dylan Banagis of Grand Rapids ranks sixth in the MAC at 19.40 meters in the weight throw. Malik Vasquez earned the conference’s seventh place spot in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.84.
The Chippewas have a pair of distance runners in the 5,000 meter event: Clio Sophomore Silas DeKalita (14:38.35) and Newport native Nate Ghena (14:40.93). DeKalita and Ghena are both transfer students and place fourth and eighth in the MAC, respectively.
CMU junior high jumper from Mt. Olive, Ill. Matt Mueller cleared seven feet the Chippewas’ first meet of the year against Oakland University. He is tied for first place in the MAC. Meanwhile freshman from Grafton, Wis. Erick Huertas and Ziemowit Dutkiewicz from Poland, earned first and second-place finishes, respectively, in the Grand Valley State University Tune-Up last week in the 400-meter dash.
The CMU women are led by distance runners senior from Munising, Abbey Kelto, Freesoil junior Kelly Schubert and Breckenridge freshman Kirsten Olling, who have each qualified for both the 3,000-meter and the 5,000-meter events.
The senior tag team of Detroit’s Ravyn Baxter (55.87) and Bay Village, Ohio native Bridget Doughty, (55.96) are sixth and seventh place in the conference, respectively in the 400-meter dash.
Another Detroit native, freshman Tina Davis, ranks second in the MAC with a time of 7.55 in the 60-meter dash. Westphalia freshman McKenzie Wieber (pole vault/12th place/3.80 meters), Mount Laurel junior Shaya Wilkerson (triple jump/sixth place/11.81 meters) and Jamaican junior Devene Brown (shot put/fifth place/15.26 meters) round out the field events for CMU.