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Eric Peterson, Published May 09 2013

Cherae Reeves having solid track and field season at Concordia

MOORHEAD - Cherae Reeves brings a splash of Florence Griffith Joyner to the throwing circle. Griffith Joyner – a sprinter who won multiple Olympic gold medals for the United States in 1988 – was known for her long and colorful fingernails.

While the Concordia sophomore doesn’t sport the long nails, Reeves makes sure she has a fresh splash of paint on her nails for each meet.

“I always paint my nails a different color,” Reeves said with a smile. “It has to be a different color from the last meet.”

Reeves hasn’t decided what nail color she will wear for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, which start today at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

Reeves, a West Fargo High School graduate, has the top effort in the shot put at 47 feet, 10 inches. Reeves is ranked sixth in the javelin at 114-3.

“I knew she could be good, but 47-10 that’s something else,” Cobbers head women’s track coach Marv Roeske said. “She’s got better throws in her future.”

Reeves set the school record in the shot put this spring, bettering a Kris Kuehl mark (46-8¾) that was set in 1992. Kuehl competed in the 2000 Olympics for the United States in the discus.

“She was a great thrower,” Reeves said. “That was pretty amazing.”

In high school, Reeves played basketball and volleyball for West Fargo. Track and field was her third favorite sport. Reeves said she didn’t fully decide to go out for track at Concordia until about a month before the season during her freshman year.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do track after high school,” she said. “I knew I would miss the competition and having a team.”

Reeves earned Division III

All-American honors this past indoor season, placing fourth in the shot put at the national meet.

She was the No. 14 seed entering the event, but popped a throw of 46-9, which was nearly two feet better than her previous best.

“She never leaves anything behind,” said Cobbers freshman Olivia Johnson, who is from Walcott, N.D. “Every throw she puts every ounce of effort into it. … It’s helped me so much because she is such a good competitor.”

Johnson is ranked No. 2 in the shot put (45-3½) behind Reeves entering the conference meet.

Reeves set the shot put record for West Fargo High School in 2011 with a toss of 42-8¼. Her best throw during her freshman year for the Cobbers was 43-2¼.

That helped set the stage for her breakout season.

“She made a huge leap this year,” Roeske said.

Reeves said she usually decides what nail color to wear the night before a meet. When she was in high school, the teams Reeves played on used to dress up for game days.

That is one of the reasons that she started the nail color idea in college.

“I wanted to carry something over,” Reeves said. “When you feel good about yourself, you perform better.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com