Musta wraps up prep career, heads to EMU

CADILLAC — Her final "high school" race was a bit of a bummer.

No worries, though, Chloie Musta has four more years to to see what she can really do.

The recent Cadillac High School graduate competed in the annual Midwest Meet of Champions June 12 at Olivet College in the 800-meter run.

Musta took fourth in a personal-best time of 2:15.73.

The Midwest Meet of Champions brings together some of the best senior track and field athletes from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana each summer.

"That was definitely the most competition I've ever had," Musta said. "Everyone in the race was within a second of each other going in.

"I was seeded second but I got fourth so it was kind of a bummer. It was a super hot day, too. It hit 90 degrees right before my race so that was draining, as well."

With her high school career behind her, Musta is now working toward her next step — running at Eastern Michigan University.

She'll be on the NCAA Division I Eagles' cross country and track teams beginning this fall.

Musta heard from a lot of schools, including Michigan, Michigan State Central Michigan and even Notre Dame but it was a former Cadillac athlete you may have heard of that steered her toward Ypsilanti and EMU.

Eastern alum and 1996 U.S. Olympian Paul McMullen got the chance to bend Musta's ear a little bit about his alma mater.

"After visiting the campus, taking to my parents and the coaches, it's what I wanted, especially since Paul wanted me to go there," Musta said. "I never did any training with him but he came to meets and gave us pep talks. It was inspiring to hear him speak."

McMullen blossomed under longtime Eastern Michigan coach Bob Parks who passed away this winter just a coupe of days before McMullen tragically passed away after a skiing accident in March.

Bob Parks' daughter Sue took over the Eagles' cross country and track program in 2006. She'll begin her 16th year at the helm this fall with a lot of success on her resume.

Eastern Michigan has won Mid-American Conference track and field championships and five straight cross country league titles under Parks.

She's also had numerours athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships in both sports.

Musta is nervous about being a collegiate runner but excited at the same time for the challenge it brings.

"It's definitely exciting and it's a really big step up," she said. "It's very stressful.

"I am starting to build back up and get back in my groove though now. I've just been taking it day by day."

Musta said Parks asked what events she'd like to compete in and the middle distances — 600/800/1,500/mile — will be her specialties.

She didn't rule out going up a notch, though, and doing the 3,000-meter steeplechase, an event that involves jumps and running through water.

"That looks kind of interesting," Musta laughed. "(Former Cadillac standout and current Dallas Baptist University runner) Analynne (Klotz) started doing it."

Academically, Musta is unsure on her field of study.

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