Student-athletes break records for track

Junior distance runner Tellis Donajowski leads the beginning half of the 5000-meter run with other SVSU runners close behind. Vanguard Photo | Karlee Gourd

The Cardinal track and field teams opened their seasons over the weekend by hosting the SVSU Holiday Classic.

The weekend’s meets were highlighted by seven athletes hitting provisional qualifying marks for the national meet, as well as two new school records. Sophomore Alona Olshevska bested the previous school record in the 60-meter dash, running a time of 7.68 seconds. This was followed by another school record in the weight throw by sophomore Ali Aldrich, who had a meet winning throw of 17.28 meters.

In her first meet since winning the national championship outdoors in the Heptathlon, senior Lauren Huebner was among the athletes to hit provisional marks in the meet. Winning the meet’s pentathlon, Huebner scored a total of 3,690 points. Additionally, sophomore Cheyenne Williamson scored 3,630 points in the pentathlon, provisionally qualifying as well.

The weekend was also highlighted by 11 members of the distance team traveling to Grand Valley to compete in the GVSU Holiday Open.

Competing on Friday, Dec. 6, senior Jordan Walters provisionally qualified in the 800-meter run, finishing with a new lifetime best of 1:51.32. Walters said he was pleased with his performance, as well as the performance of his teammates over the weekend.

“It was a good season opener for everyone,” Walters said. “It was nice to set a new PR and see so many guys and girls provisionally qualify. Beating my brother (who runs for Grand Valley) in the race will make things interesting when I see him over Christmas break.”

Walters was among four athletes to provisionally qualify for the national meet at the Holiday Open, with Jenna Keiser qualifying with a time of 9:54 in the 3,000 meter run.

Coming off an All-American performance just two weeks ago in cross country, sophomore CarLee Stimpfel qualified in 5,000 meter run with a time of 14:35.25 finishing less than a second behind junior Ryan Talbott, who also qualified for the national meet. Talbott and Stimpfel are ranked 25th and 26th in the event nationally.

The Cardinal track and field teams will take nearly a month off before their next meet as the team prepares for the SVSU Classic on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.

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