Track and field runners rank nationally

The Cardinal track and field teams were back in action Friday after nearly a month since their last meet.

The SVSU Classic saw two provisional qualifying marks in the weight throw, one from Timyah Meeks and the other from Ali Alrdich, finishing first and second, respectively. Meeks’ 17.83-meter throw in the event bested the previous school record.

“I had been training especially for the weight throw over the summer because I had shown a lot of progress with in my technique,” Meeks said. “I knew I could have a big year if I stayed consistent and focused. I’ve been trying my best to get stronger and healthier.”

The Cardinals had three additional top place finishes on the women’s side of the meet. Cheyenne Williamson won the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump, while Destiny Vandenburg placed second in the triple jump.

“Although the entire team didn’t compete this weekend, we still performed well as a whole,” Vandenburg said. “Next week, we’ll have everyone back and get to see where our fitness is.”

The men’s team also competed well, with six athletes earning podium finishes. Ethan Englehardt won the meet’s high jump event with a jump of 1.91 meters, while Brandon Keys took the top spot in the triple jump. Senior Sam Black put himself in the top-three of the long jump and shot put, finishing second and third, respectively.

Also finishing in the top three for the Cardinals was Jared McLean, who took home a third place finish in the 400 meter run, and Grahm Jones, who finished third in the 60 meter hurdles.

The Cardinals are off to a strong start this season, with the men’s team having three athletes ranked in the top 30 in the nation. Jordan Walters is ranked fourth in the nation in the 800-meter run, while Ryan Talbott and CarLee Stimpfel are ranked 29th and 30th, respectively.

The women’s team fairs even better in the national rankings, with nine individuals ranking in the top 30.

Alona Olshevska is ranked 23rd in the 60-meter run, Jenna Keiser fourth in the 3000-meter.

Cheyenne Williamson earned 11th in the 60-meter hurdles, first in the high jump and eighth in the pentathlon.

Ali Aldrich is 19th in the shot put and 16th in the weight throw. Timyah Meeks is ranked 12th in the weight throw, and Lauren Huebner is ranked fifth in the pentathlon.

Both teams will be back in action next weekend at home as SVSU hosts the Doug Hansen Open on Friday, Jan. 17.

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