TOLEDO, Ohio – The weather may have been cold and windy with temperatures in the low- to mid-40s throughout the day, but the men's and women's track teams turned in some hot performances at Saturday's Toledo Collegiate Challenge, including an overall team victory for the men's team.
“We did not have all of our athletes competing, but those who did were very competitive,” director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. “Despite the weather being 42 degrees, everyone went out and competed. That was what we wanted to accomplish today. We wanted high level competition mentally and physically.”
The men won the meet with a score of 161, ahead of second-place Buffalo. The women finished third with a team score of 119. Host Toledo won the women's meet with a score of 192 and Buffalo finished runner-up with a score of 184.
More important in the eyes of Randolph was the fact that no runners suffered any serious injuries as a result of the weather, and that the team learned from braving the elements.
“We learned how to maintain composure and focus in the face of adversity caused by things you can't control, i.e. the weather,” Randolph said.
Senior thrower Ryan McCullough won the hammer throw with a mark of 199-06, breaking his own meet record from last season. Fellow senior Kevin Mays finished third with a mark of 188-09.75.
Junior hurdler Renaldo Powell also set a new meet record by winning the 110m high hurdles with a mark of 14.87. Sophomore Cory Noeker was just behind with a time of 14.98.
The sprinting team performed exceptionally well for the Chippewas, pick up wins in the 100m dash, 200m dash and 400m dash.
Junior Greg Knaus led the men's sprinters by winning the 100m dash with a time of 10.99.
Freshman Diamond Hamilton led the women's team with a win in the 200m dash with a time of 25.33, and a second-place finish in the 100m dash (12.35) as part of a 1-2-3 Chippewas sweep.
Senior Dierra Riley won the 100m dash in 12.30, while fellow senior Kirlene Roberts finished third in 12.45.
Sophomore Shawntoreah Turk won the 400m dash in a time of 56.67, with freshman Ravyn Baxter finishing runner-up in a time of 57.60.
Senior Dave Ashcraft won the men's 400m dash in a time of 49.13. Sophomore Ross Parsons crossed the line in fourth place in 49.82, and senior Christopher Thomas finished fifth in 49.89.
Riley also finished fourth in the 200m dash in 25.81.
Sophomore long-distance runner Krista Parks won the women's 5,000m run with a time of 17:15.17.
Fellow distance runner junior Jason Drudge finished runner-up in the men's 5,000m run in a time of 14:53.23. Junior Matt Lutzke finished sixth in 15:00.83.
Senior hurdler Branden Post finished runner-up in the men's 400m hurdles in 53.47 to lead a strong showing in the event. Sophomore Cory Noeker finished fourth in 54.72; sophomore Parker Scott finished fifth in 54.87; and sophomore Clay Holman finished seventh in 55.66 in his first collegiate 400m hurdles appearance.
The women's 400m hurdlers were equally successful, with senior Stephanie Hurley finishing third in a time of 1:02.52 in her first-ever appearance in the event. Sophomore Megan Heffner finished fourth in a time 1:02.69, and freshman Bridget Doughty finished fifth with a career-best time of 1:02.70.
Freshman jumper Jake Behmlander finished runner-up in the high jump with a mark of 6-06.
Sophomore Ross Parsons earned runner-up honors in the men's 200m dash in a time of 21.96, followed by Knaus in fourth in 22.26.
Junior thrower Alex Rose finished third in both the shot put with a mark of 56-02, and the discus with a throw of 163-09.75. Senior George Flanner finished fifth in the shot put with a mark of 52-02.
Redshirt freshman distance runner Ben Wynsma finished third in the 1,500m run in a time of 3:57.69. Wynsma ran in a race in which the top eight finishers broke the previous meet record.
Freshman Kyla Walworth finished fourth in the women's discus with a mark of 136-06.50.
Freshman pole vaulter Nathan Hop finished fifth with a mark of 14-11.25. Sophomore high jumper Samantha Stein finished fifth with a mark of 5-02.
Junior hurdler Tamica Harbour finished sixth in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.07, and Doughty finished seventh in 15.08.
Sophomore thrower Nicholas Rainey finished sixth in the javelin with a mark of 161-07.50.
Senior middle-distance runner Veronica Garcia finished seventh in the 800m run in a time of 2:18.05.
The relay teams were also strong for the Chippewas, with a win in the women's 4x400m relay in a time of 3:50.40. (Turk, Hurley, Baxter, Doughty) and a nail-biter runner-up finish in the men's 4x400m relay (Ashcraft, Holman, Bade and Thomas).
The women's 4x100m relay team finished runner-up in a time of 46.81, while the men's team finished third in 42.43 despite a botched hand-off.
The Chippewas are next in action this coming Saturday as they travel to East Lansing for the Spartan Invite.