Chippewas Strong at Lyle Bennett Open Home Meet
Provided by CMU
MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Michigan won nearly a third of all events at the Lyle Bennett Open, their first home meet of the season, on a cold Saturday at the Lyle Bennett Outdoor Track.
With a majority of its top student-athletes in action, except the long distance runners who competed at Thursday's Penn Relays, the men's team won seven of the 19 events on the day, while the women's team claimed four of the events.
“It was great to see almost all of our student-athletes together at our home meet,” director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. “We're in a good position heading into the last part of the season, the MAC Championships here in Mount Pleasant in two weeks, and the regional and national competitions beyond that.”
The next home meet for the Chippewas is the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held May 10-12.
Junior thrower and 2011 All-American in the discus Alex Rose won the discus throw with a season-best throw of 180-07, just under 15 feet farther than second place.
Though not an event winner, senior multi-event student-athlete Josh Kettlewell finished runner-up in the pole vault with a season-best mark of 16-09.25, which puts him in position to qualify for the NCAA East Regionals. Only a certain number of student-athletes qualify for regionals, based upon their rankings in the region.
Freshman Bridget Doughty recorded a winning career-best 1:01.84 in the women's 400m hurdles to lead a sweep of the event's top four positions. Senior Stephanie Hurley finished runner-up in 1:02.68. Freshman Emma Fishnick finished third in 1:06.54, and junior Andrea Pawlowski placed fourth in 1:07.10.
The men found similar success in the 400m hurdles, led by winner senior Brandon Post in 53.23. Sophomore Cory Noeker finished runner-up and sophomore Parker Scott finished third in career-best times of 53.69 and 53.74, respectively.
Sophomore Ross Parsons lead a 1-2-3 sweep of the men's 200m dash in a time of 22.36. Junior Greg Knaus finished second in 22.63 and sophomore Clay Holman crossed the line with the third-fastest time of 22.67.
The Chippewas also swept the top two positions in the men's 100m dash, with Knaus winning in 10.91. Parsons finished runner-up in 10.93.
Central Michigan performed exceptionally strong in the 400m dash in both the men's and women's competitions. Senior David Ashcraft won the men's race in 49.15, with senior Christopher Thomas (49.71) and Holman (49.73) finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the women's race, sophomore Shawntoreah Turk won in 56.08, with freshman Ravyn Baxter finishing runner-up in 58.02.
Freshman thrower Milica Kulidzan continued a strong first collegiate season with a win in the javelin throw, recording a mark of 141-10. She won by just under 10 feet over the runner-up, and threw more than 31 feet farther than third place.
On the men's side, sophomore Kyle Smith also won the javelin with a season-best throw of 181-11.
Both the women's and men's 4x100m relay teams comfortably claimed victory. The women's team (senior Kirlene Roberts, sophomore Kelsey Ritter, Senior Dierra Riley and freshman Diamond Hamilton) ran a 47.14, while the men's team (juniors Renaldo Powell and Greg Knaus, freshman Curt Mitchell and sophomore Ross Parsons) finished in 41.8.
The Chippewas will compete one final time before the MAC Championships. Most of the team will compete at the Len Paddock Invitational in Ann Arbor on Friday, while some distance runners will travel to Indiana University for the Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday.