STATEN ISLAND, NY—Graduate pitcher Sade Meeks (North Babylon, NY) punctuated a sensational Villanova debut by breaking a 20-year school record in the shot put at Penn 10-Team Select on Saturday night. The first meeting of the 2022 indoor track and field season was an exciting one for the Wildcats, who won seven events and had several performances that will make it to the program’s all-time top 10 lists.

Meeks was a double winner in the shot put and the shot put in her first competition in a Villanova uniform. The Jacksonville transfer graduate recorded a mark of 17.98 yards in the shot put on her first of six throws, then repeated the mark later in the competition on her fifth attempt. Meeks broke the previous Wildcats standard of 16.76 yards that Melinda Boykin set at the BIG EAST Championships on February 16, 2002.

Other winners for Villanova included senior Lydia Oliver (Wilmington, Del.), diploma McKenna Kegan (West Grove, Pennsylvania), junior Jane Livingstone (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and senior Trinity Hart (Scotch Plains, New Jersey). Olivere swept the 800 meters and the Mile while Keegan won the 400 meters. Earlier in the meet, Livingston placed first in the 60-meter hurdles and Hart finished first in the 60-meter. The strong performances helped the Wildcats lead the team in scoring with a total of 124.33 points in the eight-team group.

Saturday’s performance made Meeks the school shot put record holder at Villanova and Jacksonville. She set a Dolphins record with a mark of 20.67 yards in February 2020 during her junior undergraduate competitive season. It was a 1-2 punch for the Wildcats in the shot put as Meeks came in first and graduated pitcher Jul Thomson (Otterville, Ontario) placed second. Thomson set a new personal best with a mark of 16.46 metres.

Olivere paced a trio of Villanova distance runners who competed in the 800 meters and the Mile. She posted winning times in those events of 2:15.99 and 4:43.81, respectively. Junior Maggie Smith (Halifax, NS) was runner-up in both races in the first indoor meeting of his college career. She ran the 800 meters in 2:16.25 and crossed the Mile line with a time of 4:44.09. Junior Anna Helwig (Soborg, Denmark) was third in the 800 meters in 2:17.88 and sixth in the Mile in 4:50.87.

Keegan’s victory in the 400 meters was highlighted by the third fastest indoor time in Wildcats history. Keegan won with a time of 54.58 to set a new indoor PR and come within eight hundredths of a second to tie his lifetime personal best. The only Villanova runners with faster indoor times are Michelle Bennett (54.11) in 1989 and Christie Verdier (54.20) in 2010.

Livingston moved up to sixth on the Wildcats’ all-time performance list in the 60-yard hurdles by tying her lifetime best of 8.38 in Saturday night’s final. She led a field of 20 competitors with a time of 8.48 in the preliminary heats before dropping the mark by a tenth of a second in the final. Hart won the 60 meters with a personal best 7.86 in the final. It was her second PR of the day in the 60 meters, having previously beaten eight seconds for the first time in her career with a time of 7.88 in the preliminaries. Hart and Junior Alexis Martin (Gaithersburg, Maryland) each qualified for the final and Martin finished fourth in the final in 8.02.

Villanova records a total of 15 top-three finishes in Saturday’s encounter. Next, the Wildcats will return to the Ocean Breeze Track & Field athletic complex on Jan. 22 to host their annual indoor home meet, the Villanova Invitational.


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ON Pruitt's photographs are the subject of the History Is Lunch event

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