This article is part of a series being published in the week leading up to the Mid-American Conference Championships May 10-12 in Mount Pleasant. Check back frequently for continued coverage.
MOUNT PLEASANT – Though not as deep as some of the other event groups on the track and field team, the jumpers will play an important role in its quest for a Mid-American Conference Championship.
Senior multi-event student-athlete Josh Kettlewell will lead the Chippewas through his competition in the decathlon. Though Kettlewell, the 2012 MAC Indoor Champion in the heptathlon, has yet to compete in the decathlon this outdoor season, he is expected to contend for a conference championship.
Kettlewell's battle for the MAC Championship will be a tight one, going up against MAC decathlon leader Jordan Goeffna of Miami (OH), who is ranked 26th in the country.
The decathlon is a collection of 10 different events – both on the track and in the field – in which student-athletes attempt to garner the highest score. The better a time or mark, the higher the score received for that event. The ten events include the 100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m dash, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500m run.
Joining Kettlewell in the decathlon will be sophomore Tim Reynolds, who last season finished fourth at the MAC Championships with a score of 6,905 points. Reynolds has also yet to compete in the decathlon at a meet this season.
Rather than the decathlon, the women instead compete in the heptathlon, which features seven events. Senior Emily Dienhart will be the Chippewas' lone entrant in the event. Like Kettlewell and Reynolds in the decathlon, she has yet to compete in the event at a meet.
Dienhart will be among the women competing in the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m dash, long jump, javelin and 800m run.
Freshman Jake Behmlander will be the Chippewas' top male jumper, ranked sixth in the MAC with a mark of 6-07 at the Spartan Invitational in early April.
Senior Kevin Bacon will be competing in both the long jump – an event in which he finished fourth in the conference at the Indoor Championships – and the high jump.
For the women, a trio of high jumpers will battle for crucial points. Sophomore Megan Heffner, who jumpred 5-05 at Western Kentucky, leads the way in 11th place behind a pack of seven student-athletes who jumped no higher than 5-06. Senior Misha Lamphere (5-03.25 at the Spartan Invitational) and sophomore Samantha Stein (5-03 at the Al Owens Classic at Grand Valley State) are also in contention.
Senior Raquel Gibbs will compete in the triple jump for just the second time in her career.
Memorable Moments in MAC Championship History
Erika Schroll won two consecutive high jump titles at the MAC Championships in 2009 and 2010 en route to being named the Outstanding Performer (field) of the meet. She won with marks of 5-08.75 both seasons.
In 2005, Steve Wolf helped lead his team to a MAC Championship with an exceptional performance in the high jump. He cleared a mark of 7-03.75 to win the event en route to being named the Most Valuable Performer of the meet. He went on to become an All-American in the high jump later that season.
That same season, Jacob Friess won the decathlon with a score of 7,323, and later that season went on to become an All-American. He remains the only decathlon All-American in school history. Friess and Wolf were two of the nine CMU individual champions that season.
Maria Derezinski claimed the heptathlon title with a score of 5,268 points in 2002 in helping the team win its first MAC Championship in program history.
Dana Thomas won the decathlon in back-to-back seasons in 2001 and 2002. He won with a score of 6,977 in 2002 and 6,827 in 2001.
Kary Tomaw became both the first heptathlon champion in school history and the first three-time consecutive MAC Champion in any event in women's history with her victories in 1995 (5,223 points), 1996 (5,203 points) and 1997 (5,149 points). Her score in 1995 was the second-highest in MAC Championship history at that point.
Before Thomas won two consecutive decathlon titles, Craig Kielty was the first multiple decathlon champion, winning in 1984 and 1986 with scores of 7,315 and 7,018, respectively.
Mike Winsor won the high jump at the MAC Championships in both 1976 and 1978. He won with a mark of 7-02 in 1978, and 7-00.25 in 1976.