CMU - Chippewas Dominate Field Events At Saginaw Valley
Provided by CMU
Nate Perry, CMUChippewas.com
UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – With less than half of its team members competing, CMU track and field still managed to make its presence felt at Friday’s Doug Hansen Open hosted by Saginaw Valley State.
Central Michigan claimed victories in eight of the 12 field events, with six wins coming from freshmen and sophomores.
CMU sophomore Erin Howard and freshman Quiara Wheeler led a big day for the women’s throwers, winning the shot put and weight throw, respectively, and establishing personal bests in the process.
“Quiara and Erin were both great today,” CMU Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Jenny Swieton said. “Big performances, and they had a lot of fun doing it, which is always cool to see.”
Howard took the shot put with a toss of 15.28 meters (50 feet, 1 ½ inches), which made her one of four Chippewa women to have eclipsed the automatic qualifying mark for the Mid-American Conference Championships. The redshirt freshman now owns the league’s third-best throw this season behind Bowling Green seniors Aliyah Gustafson and Elizabeth Iversen.
CMU also had the second- and third-place finishers in the event. Freshman Brooklin Klopf and sophomore Allee Bunting were second and third, respectively. Both launched career-best throws, Klopf at 13.88m (45-6 1/2) and Bunting at 12.75m (41-10).
Wheeler won the weight throw with a 16.91-meter effort (55-5 3/4), which was more than a full meter better than that of the runner-up, Gabby Wittenbach of Cornerstone. Wheeler’s toss is the 10th best in the MAC and is the best by a league freshman this season.
CMU’s Marissa Dunn came in third in the weight throw with a 15.56 (51-1/2) attempt.
With wins on Friday, CMU’s Logan Targgart (men’s weight throw) and Kevin Weiler (shot put) have both strung together three straight victories in their events to open the indoor season.
Weiler tossed the shot put 17.21 meters (56-5 1/2) to top a field of 21, and, for the second straight meet, was the only competitor to go beyond 17 meters. Weiler owns the top mark in the MAC this season at 17.39 meters (57-3/4).
Targgart posted a personal best in winning the weight throw with a heave of 19.29 meters (63-3 1/2). Targgart has the second-longest weight throw distance in the MAC and is one of two automatic qualifiers.
“Our throwers were all very impressive today,” Swieton said. “It obviously helps our entire team to have leaders like Logan and Kevin, and I think the performances of our young women’s throwers were extremely positive.”
CMU also swept the pole vault. Isaac Sadzewicz was the best in the 11-man field and the only vaulter to clear 4.96 meters (16-3 3/4). It was a personal best for the sophomore from West Salem, Ohio. CMU’s AJ Frens placed second at 4.71 meters (15-5 1/2).
The Chippewas’ Kasey Staley won the women’s pole vault at 3.49 meters (11-5 1/4); teammate McKenzie Wieber was second, clearing 3.34 meters.
“Things are really starting to click for our pole vaulters,” Swieton said. “A few of them were able to get on bigger poles today and even record some personal bests.”
CMU’s Ja’La Taylor was first in the triple jump with a career-best distance of 1.78 meters (38-8 1/2). That jump was also good enough to meet the MAC automatic qualifying mark. Teammate Nadia Williams was right behind Taylor for second place at 11.69 meters (38-4 1/4), but missed the 11.70m qualifying threshold by the narrowest of margins.
“It was nice to see the women’s triple jumpers continue their improvement,” Swieton said. “They’re young, like a lot of the event groups on our team, but they’re taking the steps to get better, and it’s showing.”
The other top finish in the field events came from Calli Stemple, who was the only competitor to clear 5 feet, 3 inches in the high jump. CMU freshman Alexandria Robinson was right behind her as the runner-up at 5-2 1/4.
CMU did not bring many runners to the meet, but there were a few highlights with the abbreviated squad.
Nadia Williams and Ja’La Taylor went 1-2 in the 60-meter hurdles with times of 7.64 8.11 seconds, respectively; Logan Kleam placed third in a 34-runner field in the men’s mile with a time of 4:14.89. Luke Anderson was fourth in 4:16.75.
Next week’s Jet’s Pizza Invitational at SVSU is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 26-27. Events begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.