UNIVERSITY CENTER -- When it comes to gauging success in collegiate athletics, many student-athletes and programs strive to compete on the biggest stage and work towards earning national prominence. That has come to be the norm for many Saginaw Valley State University Cross Country and Track & Field Student-Athletes throughout the years, especially in the past several where the programs have experience both individual and team success on the big stage.
The Cardinals, although no strangers to having All-American representation on regular basis, had seven student-athletes this past year on the squad who have achieved that status either in cross country or track & field. It highlights the upward trend of the programs and the amount of hard work and dedication that the SVSU student-athletes continue to display in their commitment to achieving success on the national stage.
"When you have the buy-in from the student-athletes, it certainly helps", stated SVSU Cross Country and Track & Field Head Coach Rod Cowan regarding the success of the programs. "From the recruiting process until our student-athletes matriculate to campus, we talk about 'The Process.' Over time, 'The Process' has become part of our culture. I certainly like the culture that we continue to build!"
Below is a list of the Saginaw Valley State University student-athletes who have achieved national honors for their performances in leading the Cardinals...
The junior capped-off a tremendous season this past spring with a national championship in the heptathlon at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Kingsville, Texas. The native of Saginaw, Michigan and Swan Valley High School alum followed-up her third place All-American showing from the indoor season (pentathlon) with a dominating performance in Texas for the title. She broke her own program record in the process, racking-up 5,364 points, including a new record of 14.01 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles as well. Lauren earned a GLIAC Commissioner's Award in the winter and was named a Google Cloud Academic All-American as well. She was the GLIAC Champion in the 100 meter and 400 meter hurdles at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships and holds indoor records in the 60 meter hurdles and pentathlon and outdoor marks in the heptathlon and 100 meter hurdles.
Dorr finished her career with her first track & field All-American honors this spring with a gutsy comeback performance in the 10,000 meter run. She added that to her first All-American showing in the fall at the 2018 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, where she finished in 28th place overall. The Birch Run, Michigan native was named a spring recipient of the GLIAC Commissioner's Award as well after her solid showing in competition and in the classroom as well. Allison competed in two NCAA Cross Country and a pair of NCAA Track & Field championship events and holds the program record for the indoor 5,000 meter run.
Kelly, who was the 2019 GLIAC Indoor Champion in the shot put, closed-out his Cardinal career in stellar fashion as well. The White Lake, Michigan native earned his second All-American honor at the outdoor championships in Texas, breaking his own record with a sixth place finish and distance of 60' 2.0" in the shot put. That pairs with a Second Team All-American finish at the 2017 outdoor championships in the shot put, where he finished in 11th place. Ryan competed in three different NCAA Championship events in his career for the Cardinals.
Goforth, from Vassar, Michigan, finished his Saginaw Valley State University career with his second career All-American showing at the 2018 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, where he finished 16th. He added that to a 2016 All-American showing he had as well, placing 30th that year. He helped lead the team to a sixth place finish in 2018 and a 10th place showing in the 2016 season. Tom competed in four NCAA Track & Field and two NCAA Cross Country championship events in his career. He now owns three SVSU records, holding the top marks in the indoor 3,000 meter run, indoor 5,000 meter run and the outdoor 5,000 meter run. SVSU's sixth place finish was the second-best in the NCAA era, as the Cards were fifth in 2005.
Stimpfel was an anchor for the Cardinals in posting their sixth place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships. He earned All-American honors in his freshman campaign, running to a 26th place finish in the event. It shows a promising future for the native of Cass City, Michigan. SVSU's sixth place finish was the second-best in the NCAA era, as the Cards were fifth in 2005.
Black is a two-time All-American for the Cardinals, earning the honors with a sixth place showing in 2017 at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in the decathlon and again in 2018 for the indoor season in the heptathlon with a seventh place finish. Sam claimed back-to-back GLIAC titles in the outdoor decathlon, winning the championships in both 2017 and 2018. He was named the GLIAC Field Athlete of the Meet in the 2017 campaign and has competed in three different NCAA National Championships for Saginaw Valley. The Pinckney, Michigan native will return for his senior season in 2020 for the Cardinals, looking to rack-up more honors.
VanderVeen made his presence known in the 2018 season when he earned a pair of All-American plaudits in the high jump. The East Tawas, Michigan native posted the first with a first team showing of 8th place at the indoor championships. He followed that up with a second team showing of 11th place at the outdoor championships. Noah was the 2018 GLIAC Champion in the high jump for the indoor season. He will be back in 2020 for his senior campaign for the Cards looking to compete for national honors again.
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