Donahe and Hughes looking to improve on record results in Meyo Invitational
Over the past weekend, sophomore multi-events Cole Donahe and junior sprinter Aaron Hughes made a significant mark in the record books.
Donahe set four PRs — 60m (7.45), shot put (10.83m/35ft 6.5in), 60m hurdles (10.33) and the 1000m (2:49.99) — at the Mark Schukck Open & Multi in Minnesota. Hughes set the third-fastest 60m time in program history (6.85 seconds) and finished the 200m in 22.28 seconds at the Bill Clinger Classic in Michigan.
Donahe said his strategy going into the event was to take each day one at a time.
“It’s split up into two days, so going into that first 60, it’s like you can think about, ‘All I have is six other events,’ or you can just put all your focus and just warm up for that one event,” Donahe said. “Just lock in for that specific event, and I try to keep the mentality of just one jump at a time, one sprint at a time.”
Hughes said he tried to stay composed, something he does through a combination of music and prayer.
“Usually I’m really locked in. Before I race, I just listen to music – my beats are on, and I’m focused on the music,” Hughes said. “While warming up, I’m not trying to talk to anybody, but I’m usually listening to music.
“Even before the meet, I typically pray, listening to gospel music. God gave me the strength to do my best and I glorify him.”
Donahe said head coach Bert Rodgers is very empathetic and nurturing towards his players, soemthing that helps him achieve his results.
“Our coach is phenomenal at what he does. He also competes in the hip and the tech so he gets it,” Donahe said. “He understands the struggles and he does a very good job of practice and scheduling our events. Making sure we’re prepared so he has definitely done a great job of helping us out.”
Even though Donahe was able to set four PRs, he is looking to improve his landing and jumping techniques.
“We have videos, and we have a bunch of marks that we can look at for long-term specifics. I didn’t really do a good job of landing, so we’re going to work on a lot of landing drills and techniques,” Donahe said. “When it comes down to it, you can be super strong, super athletic, but technique is what makes you great.
“So, that’s super easy to work on. We’ll be working on different landing drills, jumping drills, and a bunch of stuff like that. Technique will be a big focus.”
Hughes said he wants to be efficient and consistent in the weight room so that he can break every record.
“I have a race in the Invitational this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 2-3),” Hughes said. “What I’ve been focusing on is working hard to beat my personal records, even in the weight room. My approach is all about efficiency and consistency.”
“I say making nationals, that’s one goal. And I say, just break every record.
“I want the 100, the 60, the 200, all those records, and make it to Nationals. And if I can, by the grace of God, try to even be in an Olympic trials.”
The team competes in the Meyo Invitational Friday and Saturday at Notre Dame.
This story was written by Dakota Barnes-Rush. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @DakotaRushMU.
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