MOUNT PLEASANT – Senior thrower Ryan McCullough won the hammer throw championship and obliterated his own school record to headline an impressive day one of the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday.
The Chippewas are tied for second place with Eastern Michigan on the men's side with 29 points, trailing Akron, which has 36 points, after four scored events.
McCullough heaved a final throw of 210-07 to clinch the hammer throw over runner-up Eric Hubbard of Akron, who threw 206-06.75. McCullough bested his own school record of 204-02 by nearly six-and-a-half feet.
“I felt a lot more relaxed and rested, and I changed my mindset from trying to throw hard and tight to throwing more relaxed and having fun out there,” he said. “The system was good today, but I still think there's a good amount more I can put into the ball.”
He tied his record on the first throw, and broke it with his next throw of 208-09.5. Each of his six throws surpassed his school record entering the day.
Fellow senior Kevin Mays finished third in the hammer throw with a career-best mark of 200-00, and sophomore Calvin Johnson came in seventh with a career-best mark of 180-07.75.
Redshirt freshman Kyle Stacks finished third in the 10,000m run in a time of 31:22.6.
Sophomore Kyle Smith finished fourth in the javelin with a season-best mark of 197-05.
Through one day of the multi-event men's decathlon and women's heptathlon competitions the Chippewas have positioned themselves well for high finishes on day two on Friday.
Senior Josh Kettlewell is fifth in the decathlon with 3,540 points with five components of the event complete. He trails leader Bryan Jones of Akron by 308 points. Kettlewell finished runner-up in the high jump component (6-04.25), fifth in both the long jump (21-10.25) and the shot put (38-03), sixth in the 100m dash (11.26) and seventh in the 400m dash (53.34).
Sophomore Tim Reynolds is sixth with a score of 3,439 after day one. He won the high jump component with a mark of 6-05.50; finished seventh in the 100m dash (11.46), long jump (21-07) and shot put (36-05); and ninth in the 400m dash (54.13).
Day two action, which begins at 11 a.m. with the decathlon, will feature the conclusion of the multi-events and the prelims for Saturdays finals. Be sure to check back at the end of the day for a full recap.