BATON ROUGE, La. - Impressive performances in the hurdles finals and the field events on Saturday at the LSU Relays capped a strong season debut for both the men's and women's track and field teams.
"I think it's one of the best opening weekends we've had since I've been at Central Michigan," director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. "We had a lot of positives in a lot of different areas. We've never opened up this well as a whole team, men or women, and especially the men's side. It speaks volumes to the combination of the experience and the youth movement we have here. It's a very solid starting point, and as the team grows together we're hopefully going to continue to get better."
Junior thrower Alex Rose started his outdoor season strong with a mark of 176-00 mark and a runner-up showing in the men's discus. He also finished runner-up in the shot put with a mark of 54-00.50. Senior Mychael King finished just behind in third with a career-best mark of 53-11.75.
Rose's strong performance on Saturday comes on the heels of senior Ryan McCullough's historic Friday performance in the hammer throw, winning the event with a new school record of 204-02 - a mark that currently stands as the fifth-best in Division I, according to the Track and Field Results Reporting System. He finished 11th in the men's discus with a mark of 148-07 on Saturday.
"It's a very big confidence booster for him," Randolph said. "He's put in a lot of hard work and he's continuing right where he left off in the indoor season. He'll continue to get better and better as the season goes on and has a great shot to compete for the national championship."
In the women's 400m hurdles finals, sophomore Megan Heffner took fifth in a time of 1:03.09, while freshman Bridget Doughty finished sixth in 1:03.38. Doughty also finished ninth in the 100m hurdles finals in a time of 14.68.
In the men's 400m hurdles finals, senior Branden Post finished fifth in 54.21 and Noeker finished eighth in 56.48.
Freshman Diamond Hamilton finished eighth in the women's 100m dash finals in a wind-aided time of 12.21.
Freshman Kyla Walworth finished in seventh in the women's discus with a mark of 136-09, while junior Kayla Brindley finished 10th with a throw of 127-09. In the men's discus, senior Kevin Mays finished 16th with a mark of 140-05. Senior George Flanner took 12th in the men's shot put with a mark of 50-04.5.
The women's 4x400m relay team (sophomore Shawntoreah Turk, senior Stephanie Hurley, freshman Ravyn Baxter and Doughty) finished in fourth place in a time of 3:48.04. The men's team (sophomore Clay Holman, sophomore Ross Parsons, freshman Lucas Bade and senior David Ashcraft) finished seventh in a time of 3:14.55.
The Chippewas are next scheduled to compete at the Toledo Collegiate Challenge in Toledo, Ohio, on Saturday, March 31.