Nate Perry, CMUChippewas.com
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tough conditions and an even tougher field were waiting for Central Michigan on the first day of the NCAA Track & Field East Preliminaries.
Originally scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. start, heavy rains pounded the area resulting in a delay of nearly three hours.
Kylee Dobbelaere finally got the day started for the Chippewas, and was only able to muster a top mark of 175 feet, 9 inches in the hammer throw, the worst of her outdoor season, which left her in 38th place overall. She finished ninth in her heat of 15 competitors.
Regardless, it's been an outstanding outdoor season for the senior from Marlette who posted top-six finishes in every meet preceding the NCAA Preliminay, including four victories, and broke her own program record in the event with her effort of 194-2 at the Ohio State Jesse Owens Classic.
Princeton's Julia Ratcliffe was the top qualifier with a best of 214-7.
Similar to Dobbelaere, CMU's Logan Targgart and Dylan Banagis could not post high enough marks to contend in the men's hammer throw.
Banagis threw in the first flight of the event and finished 42nd with a best of 191-2, his worst mark of the outdoor season.
Again, like Dobbelaere, the result was nowhere close to a fitting end for a senior who has been a mainstay in the throws for the Chippewas throughout his career, and a perennial contender in the Mid-American Conference.
Fortunately, Banagis will get one more shot to advance to the Championship round when he competes in the men's discus on Saturday.
Targgart's seed mark allowed him to throw in the second flight of the men's hammer. He finished 30th - the top finish among MAC competitors in the field -- with a best of 201-5, his third-best of the outdoor season.
Targgart's mark hung around the top 10 for a while before the throwers in the third flight came up and took 10 of the 12 qualifying positions.
However, Targgart's gains during the 2016-17 campaign cannot be overstated. He made consistent improvements throughout his redshirt freshman season, and showed that he has the talent to be a big-time contributor in the years to come.
Southeastern Louisiana's Alexander Young took the top qualifying spot with a titanic toss of 233-1.
Nadia Williams was the final Central Michigan athlete to compete on Thursday, in the women's long jump. She finished seventh in the first flight at 19 feet.
It was a season-low for Williams who was coming off a program-record performance of 20-1 at the MAC Championships, at which she placed third and earned the Freshman of the Year Award.
Still, like Targgart, Williams showed all the promise during the season that she will be a cornerstone of the Chippewas' future success.
Daniella Johnson of Akron took the highest finish of the four MAC entries in the event, leaping 19-11¾ for 22nd place. Freshman Kate Hall of Georgia recorded the top qualifying mark of 21-11.
Two Chippewa men will compete on Friday as Kevin Weiler will go in the shot put and Sam Wagner in the pole vault. Both events are scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start time.