The SVSU men’s and women’s track and field teams posted strong showings on Saturday, Feb. 3, as they hosted Northwood and Tiffin in a triangular meet.
Saginaw Valley athletes filled the leaderboards throughout the day, with sophomore Kinzie Sikkema taking home first place in the women’s 1-mile run with a time of 5:35.73. She also placed second in the women’s 800-meter run.
“I’m proud of myself (Saturday) for committing to the race plans my coach had set for me,” Sikkema said. “My teammates and I really helped each other get into the positions and paces that we needed to.”
Freshman Lauren Huebner turned in an outstanding performance in the women’s 400-meter dash with a winning time of 57.62.
“One of the most impressive things from the meet was the fight in Lauren Huebner to win the women’s 400-meter on her home turf no matter the adversity encountered in the race or how tired she was coming off of competing in and winning a full heptathlon just last weekend,” women’s distance coach Angelina Ramos said. “After the cut-in point, Lauren got boxed in during the race by two Tiffin competitors and couldn’t open up her full stride. She maintained her composure, stayed patient and, after the final turn, she found an opening, pulled ahead and maintained the lead the final 50 meters of the race.”
In the women’s 3,000-meter run, freshman Madison Dean finished third with a time of 12:07.15. SVSU’s Sarah Rezler finished second in the women’s high jump, scoring a jump of 1.53 meters. SVSU freshman Donna Eschenbacher topped teammate Taylor Lucas in the women’s triple jump, with Eschenbacher tallying a score of 10.04 meters to Lucas’ 9.83 meters.
“These small home meets really lend for a good team environment, and that leaves me feeling excited about carrying that team spirit and energy forward as we move forward into our bigger races and championship season,” Sikkema said.
On the men’s side, SVSU’s Brendan Nesbitt won the 1-mile run with a time of 4:26.45. Freshman Cordell Richardson, meanwhile, took home third in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.
Dalton Hollandsworth placed sixth in a packed men’s 400-meter dash, while sophomore Jamelle Russell took home first place in the men’s 60-meter dash with a time of 7.26.
“It feels great to get a win,” Russell said. “I was proud that I was able to compete and trust our training process when my body was feeling exhausted.”
Nesbitt also took home first place in the men’s 800-meter run and was trailed closely by teammate Nicholas Plude, who finished in second.
“Nick dug deep and found another gear, urged on by his own teammate Brendan Nesbitt, who ran from the back and came flying by with a second wind, making up a lot of ground on the last lap,” Ramos said. “This type of grit represents the determination that you can depend on at a conference meet to perform under pressure.”
Sophomore Travon Phillips placed second in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 22.41, and teammate Joseph Thwing won the men’s high jump. Sophomore Ryan Kelly placed fourth in the men’s shot put event.
From here, the teams travel to Grand Valley next weekend for the GVSU Big Meet. The athletes will have their final tune-ups before the GLIAC conference meet at the Michigan Silverston Invitational on Friday, Feb. 16.
The GLIAC Indoor Championships, also hosted by Grand Valley, take place Feb. 24 and 25.
“SVSU has a very young team right now,” Ramos said. “About a third of the team is comprised of freshmen. It’s a young squad but a hungry squad, and the more consistent the entire team can become, the better we will be come championship season.”