Williams sets long jump record for women's track in first career outdoor meet


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Traveling to Tennessee to chase the warm weather, the Central Michigan track and field teams opened their outdoor season with the Tennessee Rust Buster Saturday.

Wasting no time to make her impact, freshman Nadia Williams set the school record for long jump in her first outdoor event on the first attempt.

Her 6.10-meter leap won the event while besting Maria Derezinski’s former record by about an inch.

“Indoor has been a good learning experience,” Williams said before the outdoor season began, “But when outdoor comes around, I think I’ll really hit my stride.”

Williams also competed in the 100 finishing seventh with 12.11.

As head coach Mark Guthrie expected, his throwers gave strong performances. He said before the meet his throwers were a strong point, especially with additional throwing events in the outdoor season (javelin, discus, hammer throw).

The lone first place of the afternoon went to senior Brandon McCleese, who won the javelin with a 58.28 throw.

Senior Kylee Dobbelaere took second place in the women’s hammer throw, tossing 55.52 meters on her second throw of the afternoon.

Freshman Logan Targgart took fifth in the men’s throw, reaching 59.59 meters, beating out senior Dylan Banagis for the first time this season. Banagis took sixth with 58.56 meters.

The strong throwing tandem also competed in the discus, with Banagis taking fourth and Targgart at seventh behind throws of 53.90 and 50.48.

“Outdoor (season) gives both of us another chance to keep improving,” Banagis said following last month’s indoor championships. Logan’s a hard worker, it’s only a matter of time he catches up to me." 

All three eclipsed the mark needed to be an automatic qualifier for the championships in May.

Men’s results:

Sophomore Kevin Weiler took second in the shot put with a 17.14-meter heave.

With a personal best in the javelin, senior Nicholas Malliaras opened his season with a 44.—meter toss for – place. He also finished 10th in the long jump with 6.82 meters.

Falling a centimeter short of his career best, junior Ali Taha placed ninth in the long jump with 6.97 meters.

Senior high jumper Melvin Harris reached 1.98 meters on his final attempt, placing him sixth.

The duo of junior Aaron Taylor and sophomore Joseph Seghi finished neck-and-neck in the 110 hurdles, placing eighth and ninth, respectively.

Going out at 5 meters, junior Sam Wagner took third in the pole vault. That’s higher than he’d reached all indoor season and just nine centimeters short of a lifetime best.

Though he didn’t run the 100 indoors, junior Lorenzo Wells placed ninth in the event with 10.78 seconds.

Women’s results:

Junior Rebekah Petty opened her outdoor season with second place in the pole vault, scoring 3.75 meters.

Two high jumpers put up a lifetime best, with sophomore Calli Stemple second at 1.70 meters and junior April Micheaux fifth at 1.65.

Freshman Ja’la Taylor jumped 11.74 to finish third in the triple jump.

Yet another freshman placed when Aisha Jackson finished the 100 hurdles in 14.55, good for ninth place.

Indoor MAC champion sophomore Samantha Cuneo finished third in the women’s 400 with a time of 54.82. Fellow sophomore Gabby Beauvais finished right behind her, taking fourth with 55.90.

Next up:

Next weekend the relay teams will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia on March 31, and then the Alma Invitational beginning on April 1.

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