Cardinal track and field continues GLIAC dominance

Distance runner Nate Frasier takes the lead during the mile run (left). Jumps sophomore Kelsey Landra takes her first attempt at long jumps (right). Vanguard Photo | Brandon Hull

The Cardinal track and field teams followed up last week’s stellar performances with five first place finishes and four provisional qualifying marks at the Doug Hansen Open over the weekend.

SVSU hosted 11 schools for the meet.

Distance coach Eric Phillips said he was happy with the performances of his athletes at the meet.

“This was the 2020 season opener coming back for the new year, and we opened up with a great handful of personal bests in an off event for most in a ‘rust buster’ meet,” Phillips said. “I for one am really looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store.”

The meet was highlighted by both the men’s and women’s teams winning the 4×400-meter relay.

In the men’s race, a team consisting of Sam Black, Juan Bowers, Noah VanderVeen and Jared McClean ran a time of 4:19, beating out second place Madonna University by eight seconds.

In the women’s race, the team of Alona Olshevska, Cheyenne Williamson, Morgan Fuerst and Lauren Huebner won by nearly 16 seconds, as they provisionally qualified for the national meet.

In addition to being part of the winning 4×400-meter team, senior Noah VanderVeen was victorious in the men’s high jump.

“The 4×400 was a great race, but when we get around some good competition and start tapering off our training, we could see some very fast times,” VanderVeen said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what our team can do at the GLIAC championship this year.”

In addition to the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter, the Cardinals also performed well in multiple other events. The Cardinals took the top spot in the women’s mile run, led by senior Morgan Fuerst, as she ran a time of 5:04.

The men’s triple jump was also won by a Cardinal, as sophomore Brandon Keys jumped 12.02 meters.

Other highlights from the meet came from senior Nate Frasier, who ran his first race of the year after an injury sidelined him from cross country and track earlier in the season.

“Frasier and Goforth pushed the pace early up front and really dug deep tonight,” coach Eric Phillips said.

Frasier finished fourth overall in the mile with a time of 4:18, six seconds behind teammate Ryan Talbott, who finished second.

The Cardinals continue their dominance in the GLIAC and hold the top GLIAC marks in several events.

The track and field teams are back in action next weekend as SVSU hosts its biggest meet of the season, the Jet’s Pizza Invitational on Friday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 25.

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