Today’s track is the final one of this Mid-American Conference track series, and I’ve saved Central Michigan University for last. The Lyle Bennett Outdoor Track & Field Complex is the home facility of the Chippewas track & field teams. This facility opened in 1999. The track has eight full lanes, and nine on the main straightaway. Most of the field events are located on the outside of the track, with multiple options for all of them. Because the track runs north-south, I couldn’t fit the hammer/discus areas all in to the south, so I included the second photo to show that. This is the first time I’ve seen a paved path/service road that crosses directly in front of the throwing cage, that the athletes have to throw across. It’s not that big of a deal since it’s so close, but pedestrians certainly need to be aware of what’s happening!
The reason I saved CMU for last is that my former coach at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Mark Guthrie, is now the Director of Track & Field/Cross Country. He left UWL as one of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division III history, to become an assistant coach and work with his longtime friend Ed Nuttycombe at the University of Wisconsin. Two summers ago when I was in Madison for my daughter’s freshman orientation, I stopped by to see Coach Guthrie and that’s when I found out he gotten the CMU job because he wasn’t there. He is a fantastic coach and teacher, and I consider him to be one of the top 400-meter coaches in the country. I am actually training using one of his programs even now. His resume speaks for itself and I have no doubt that he will turn the Chippewas into a dominant team in the American Conference. You can watch a nice interview with Coach Guthrie on Flotrack HERE.