Nate Perry, CMUChippewas.com
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Another weekend, another new school record holder.
Central Michigan women’s track’s team broke its second program record in as many weeks when Nadia Williams ran the 200-meter dash in 24.14 seconds for first place at Friday’s Silverston Invitational at the University of Michigan.
Williams’ 24.14 supplants Kia Johnson’s time of 24.18 set in 2002. The mark shatters the sophomore’s previous best of 24.69, qualifies her for next week’s Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships, and catapults her name from 17th to second on the MAC Indoor Performance List for this season.
She trails Eastern Michigan senior Jasmine Jones by six-hundredths of a second for the top position.
The Monona Grove, Wis. jumper/sprinter continues to rise as a young all-around star in her second season as a Chippewa, notching seven victories in six indoor meets and posting two school-record performances.
“She’s just a very talented athlete who consistently gets it done,” said CMU Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Jenny Swieton. “She doesn’t usually compete in all of her events at every meet so sometimes you can forget how good she is overall. Then, she’ll do something she hasn’t done in a while and it gives you a little reminder.”
Williams was also second in the long jump with a 5.88-meter (19 feet, 3 1/2 inches) leap.
Teammate Gabriella Beauvais was third in the 200 with a time of 24.45, which was both a substantial improvement on her previous best (24.89), and enough to pass the 24.52 threshold for MAC auto qualification.
CMU’s Shane Moffo turned in another outstanding performance in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, posting times of 8.01 seconds in the preliminaries and 8.00 in the finals to take first place. These attempts mark four in a row that Moffo has improved on his all-time best, as he continues to add cushion to his No. 2 MAC Performance List ranking.
“He’s starting to solidify himself as a contender in this conference, and that’s what everyone wants to be,” Swieton said. “We knew he had the ability to perform like this, but the groin issue has made it tough on him.
“What sets him apart is how badly he wants to be great and how he will do anything it takes to get there. To me, that’s half the battle.”
Jack Dodge and senior Lorenzo Wells took second and third, respectively in the men’s 200. Dodge ran in the first heat and crossed the line in 21.67 seconds – the second-best time of his career – while Wells won the second heat with a time of 21.75. Both finished behind the fastest 200 man in the conference, Kent State’s Riak Reese, who posted a blistering 21.11.
Wells added a third place in the 60-meter dash (6.99 seconds). He set a career-best of 6.97 in the preliminaries.
The CMU sprinters have recorded impressive marks in the last two meets and seem to be rounding into form at the ideal time with the MAC Indoor Championships next weekend. Swieton credits a combination of exceptional recruiting by two former Chippewa coaches, and the affects of new sprints coach Andre English as the reasons behind the late-season surge.
“Coach (Mark) Guthrie (former Director of Track and Field) and coach Dionne (Henley) (former sprints coach) did a really nice job of bringing in great athletes the past few years,” she said. “With coach English, the sprinters have only been on his program since October, which is why I think they’re coming on a little later.
“I think the athletes love his passion – he’s just so passionate about what he does – and they see that and love that about him.”
CMU’s Kevin Weiler came back from a pectoral injury to record a season-best 17.57-meter (57-7 3/4) throw for second place in the men’s shot put. The redshirt sophomore holds the league’s best distance by nearly 7 inches over Kent State’s Maurice Harris.
“I think the best thing about that was that it showed him he’s ‘ready’ now,” Swieton said. “Not that he didn’t believe in himself, but I think sometimes after an injury layoff you need to get a strong performance in that shows you that you’re ready to go.”
Other CMU field event highlights:
• Logan Targgart won the weight throw with a distance of 19.34 meters (63-5 1/2).
• Sam Wagner claimed his second straight victory in the men’s pole vault, clearing 5.00 meters.
• Erin Howard took third place in the women’s shot put at 15.45 meters.
• Calli Stemple got over the bar at 1.65 meters for third place in the women’s high jump.
• Quiara Wheeler placed seventh out of 25 women’s weight throwers with a career-best of 17.75 meters (58-3).
“I think we’re ready to make a step forward as a program; we’re ready to perform a little better at the MAC than we have in years past,” Swieton said. “I’m hopeful that if we can showcase our best at the MAC, it can be something great for our school and our alumni to see we are moving in the right direction.”