CMU - Walderzak, Dutkiewicz Win MAC Titles
Provided by CMU
Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Cole Walderzak won the men's discus and picked up the Male Field Performer of the Meet Award Saturday to lead Central Michigan at the Mid-American Conference Championships at the University of Toledo Track & Field Facility.
Walderzak, a senior, won the hammer throw on the opening day of the Championships on Thursday. Ziemowit Dutkiewicz posted CMU's other first-place finish in the Championships as he won the men's 400-meter hurdles on Saturday.
The Chippewas finished fourth in the six-team men's field, and fifth in the 12-team women's. Akron won the men's title, while Eastern Michigan took the women's.
Walderzak set a school record in winning the hammer throw on Thursday, and he followed it up by defending his MAC title in the discus with a toss measuring 191 feet, 10 ¼ inches.
"Cole had a great weekend," CMU Director of Track & Field Mark Guthrie said. "Great job by Cole. He showed up on one of the days that mattered."
Dutkiewicz, a junior who hails from Czempin, Poland, won the men's 400 hurdles in 51.34 seconds. He was second in the event at last year's MAC Championships.
"He ran like a champion, ran a lifetime (personal record) in tough conditions," Guthrie said, adding that Saturday's events were contested in less-than-ideal conditions with temperatures around 50 degrees, strong winds, and intermittent rain.
CMU's Benjamin Hayes finished second in the men's 400 in 47.33, earning the Male Freshman Track Athlete of the Meet Award. He won the same award at the MAC Indoor Championships in February.
CMU sophomore Shane Moffo placed second in the men's 110 hurdles in 14.19 seconds, while freshman Samantha Cuneo led the Chippewa women with a second-place finish in the 400 (54.29).
CMU freshman Jake Piester was third in the triple jump (50-2 ½), while Hayes, Erick Huertas, Dutkiewicz and Scott Cousino combined to place fourth in the 4x400 relay (3:10.64).
CMU's Ja'Corey Lipsey placed fourth in the 400 hurdles (53.65).
"Lipsey showed up today and got fourth," Guthrie said. "Proud of him for being good on the day that mattered."
The Chippewas got fifth-place finishes from Tony Armstrong in the pole vault (15-6 ¼); Dylan Banagis in the discus (176-8 ¼); Melvin Harris in the high jump (6-9); and Nate Ghena in the 5,000 (14:51.85).
CMU's 4x100 relay team of Berkley Edwards, Jamar Hardy, Malik Peacock and Diavonte Smith also placed fifth (41.56).
Gabriella Beauvais, Cuneo, Simonae Dismuke and Kelsey Ross combined for a fourth-place finish in the women's 4x400 relay (3:43.89).
The Chippewa women also got sixth-place finishes from Devene Brown in the discus (153-10 ¾), Tina Davis in the 100 (11.79) and from the 4x100 relay team of Davis, DeJanae Terry, Cuneo and Beauvais (46.30).
CMU's Shaya Wilkerson placed eighth in the triple jump (38-7 ¾).
The Chippewa men improved by one spot over last year's fifth-place finish, while the women finished fifth for the second-consecutive year. Akron won the men's title with 166 points, followed by Eastern Michigan (160), Kent State (136 1/2), and the Chippewas (81 1/2). Eastern Michigan (152) was first in the women's standings, followed by Akron (130), Northern Illinois (110 1/2), Kent State (104 1/2), and the Chippewas (67).
"I would say I'm happy with where the program's headed," said Guthrie, who is in his third year in charge of the Chippewa program. "I'm not satisfied. I want these athletes to feel what it's like to be in the heat of the battle for a championship.
"If you look at each team in the conference, for the men we've gotten from sixth to fifth to fourth, and we've still got to climb three more. On the women's side, there are 12 teams, we've made it to five. We've got four more to climb.
"It's hard work by the athletes, the coaches, the strength and conditioning coaches -- everybody. We're buying in and we're getting there."
On Monday, the Chippewas will begin the process of submitting qualifying standards for the NCAA East Preliminary Round, which is scheduled for May 26-28 in Jacksonville, Fla. The athletes who qualify will be announced on Wednesday.