Athlete of the Week: Sade Meeks


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Sade Meeks broke a 20-year-old record in her first meet as a Wildcat.

Catherine Browne, Staff Writer

Through hard work and dedication, graduate transfer Sade Meeks started her first season with Villanova track and field as a record breaker. 

Meeks began her collegiate track career at the University of Jacksonville in 2018, where she competed in the shot put, hammer throw and discus. 

Following her last outdoor season in 2021, Meeks’ decision to transfer to Villanova was heavily influenced by academics, but the hiring of throwing coach Peter Koumlelis allowed her to have the best of both worlds. 

“The specialized Masters program lured me to the school, but Coach Peter sealed the deal as far as making sure I had a good coach to develop me and make sure I have the best, last year I could possibly have,” Meeks said.

Since becoming a Wildcat, Meeks senses a piece of her original alma mater here at Villanova, as she feels that “the whole community in general just sucks you in.” 

Throughout her four years at Jacksonville, Meeks was involved in many endeavors that only enhanced her strengths, which she could later apply to her athletic and academic pursuits. Specifically, she was student body president and the founder of an organization called the National Association of Black Accountants. 

“I took the leadership experience from these roles and carried it into my sport at Jacksonville and at Villanova” Meeks said. “I learned how to lead from an academic and community standpoint.” 

Meeks also spoke to the fact that through her heavy involvement in many clubs and organizations on the Florida campus, she learned how to lead by example and how to make an impact in both her athletics and academics.  

Similar to the many other athletes, Meeks survived the COVID-19, lockdown during which she was unable to compete in the spring 2020 season.

Meeks broke the Jacksonville record for the weight throw and indoor shot put in February 2020, but on the same day, she also tore her right ACL and was forced to get surgery two days before the country was put into lockdown. 

Although this injury was a “huge setback” for Meeks, in the midst of a very difficult time in history, she acknowledges the silver lining that she did not have to watch everyone’s life continue on while her life seemed to have come to an abrupt halt. She was able to focus on herself and recover back to her full strength. 

“2020 was not a good year for me,” Meeks said. “But, I was able to focus on my recovery so much more because of the fact that everyone was isolated.” 

Like in Jacksonville, Meeks has found a support system in her family, friends and community here at Villanova. Those close to her continued to show their support when she decided to transfer to Villanova, especially being that she is now much closer to her home in New York. 

Since arriving at Villanova, Meeks has not skipped a beat, fitting in with the team and having success from the start. In her first indoor meet on Jan. 15 at the Penn-10 competition, she broke the 20-year school record in weight throw with 17.98 meters. The following week, at the Villanova Invitational, Meeks shattered her own record and threw a personal best of 20.88 meters, which is currently ranked 13th in the nation. 

Meeks feels as though her performance thus far competing as a Wildcat is “a testament to everything [she] has been working on,” from overcoming injuries, to training throughout the fall season and keeping herself healthy. Meeks shared that the hardest part is the off season where there are no competitions and meets to work up to. The public does not see the hard work and training that occurs building up to the actual season. They just see the headlines with the record breaking scores. 

In less than a year, Meeks has made an impact on the Villanova community through her academic and athletic pursuits, as she will continue to prove her hard work and dedication throughout the rest of her indoor season.