Trio to Join Vanderbilt Track and Field

Freshmen will add depth to throws events

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Althea Thomas, Vanderbilt director of cross country and track and field, has announced the signing of Giavonna Meeks, Jae’l Dunn and Kosi Umerah. The trifecta will begin their collegiate careers in the 2022-23 season.

Meeks garnered All-America honors in the weight throw, indoor shot put and hammer throw while competing for Northfield High School. The Denver, Colorado, native has bests of 57.39 meters in the hammer throw, 18.53 meters in the weight throw, 50.39 meters in the discus and 14.40 meters in the shot put. The 2022 Denver Public Schools’ Female Track Athlete of the Year also won the 2022 Nike National Outdoor hammer throw championship, 4A Colorado shot put championship in 2022 and the 2022 Nike National Indoor weight throw championship. Meeks is the 4A Colorado State champion in the discus twice over.

Dunn graduated cum laude after maintaining A&B honor roll status throughout her career at Stockbridge High School. She was the Partners Club President and National Honor Society Vice President. Dunn has prep bests of 12.97 meters in the shot put, 45.49 meters in the discus, 15.41 in the weight throw and 43.45 meters in the hammer throw. The Stockbridge record holder in the shot put and discus is also the school’s 2022 Field Athlete of the Year. At the Georgia High School Association Championships, she placed third in the shot put and first in the discus.

Umerah prepped at IMG Academy in Tampa, Florida, where she served as a board member for the Black Student Union and completed 80 hours of community service. The two-time high school All-American graduated with high honors and won the 2022 Ascender Award at IMG Academy. She also earned the 2022 most outstanding field athlete award from the school. The 2022 New Balance Indoor national champion ranked among the leaders in the country in the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw, ending up third and fifth, respectively. Umerah placed fourth overall in the hammer throw at the Nike Outdoor Nationals. Umerah notched prep bests of 18 meters in the weight throw, 50.9 meters in the hammer throw and 40.03 meters in the discus.

The trio will join fellow incoming freshman Sarah Marvin and transfer Veronica Fraley under the tutelage of Thomas and associate head coach Ashley Kovacs. The throws program has been revived through record-breaking performances, All-Americans, NCAA Championship appearances and competing for Team USA at the World Athletic Championships—all in the inaugural season of this coaching staff.