Monday, February 2, 2009

Men's track takes two of three duals Friday

Chippewas earn top three places in pole vault

Issue date: 2/2/09

By Anthony Fenech
Staff Reporter

In what head coach Jim Knapp called the team's best performance of the year, the Central Michigan University men's track team took two out of three meets in a quad-dual on Friday at Eastern Michigan.

The Chippewas defeated Oakland University, 80-44, and Detroit, 74-57, but lost to host EMU, 83-57.

"We did a good job," Knapp said. "I really thought (the team) brought their 'A-game' and we competed very hard."

Headlining the team's strong performance were four first-place finishes and a team sweep in the pole vault.

Senior Marcell Maxwell and freshman Larry Dawkins II - in his first collegiate race - won the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash with times of 6.89 seconds and 22.27 seconds, respectively.

Aside from their victories, the two sprinters performed well across the board. Maxwell finished fourth in the 200-meter (22.72), as Dawkins placed second in the 60-meter (6.91).

"I'm really happy for Marcell," said Knapp. "He's having the best year of his career. To see the success he's having is very nice."

Maxwell believes having the team together as a whole contributed to the effort.

"We were running on all cylinders," Maxwell said. "Having some guys come back from injuries, and with others competing for the first time this season, the team performed great."

Knapp said that it was beneficial to have more people compete than they've had in the past, in terms of participants.

For the second straight week, CMU pole vaulters turned in strong performances. The duo of juniors, Mike McGregor and Marcus Briedinger, along with freshman Joe Jankowski swept the event.

Emerging as the most stable group of the team, Knapp said that on paper, the pole vaulters are doing well. He noted that only CMU and Akron pole vaulters sit in the top five spots of the Mid-American Conference.

Junior Greg Pilling took the Chippewas fourth and final victory of the night with a shot put throw of 57 feet, four inches.

Friday's meet was the team's first and only scored meet of the year, and Knapp felt the atmosphere at EMU's Bowen Fieldhouse carried a buzz.

"It was an exciting atmosphere for not only us, but you could see people on the other teams felt the same way," he said. "It was a fun meet to watch and be involved in."

The team will now have a week to prepare for a trip Notre Dame to compete in the Meyo Invitational.

The team's next home meet is Sat. Feb. 20 when the team hosts the Jack Skoog Open.

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