GVSU Track and Field repeats as GLIAC Champs
The GLIAC seemingly improves as a conference every year, a trend that holds true for the indoor track and field ranks, but Grand Valley State University track and field is still running a leg ahead of the rest.
The GLIAC Indoor Championship hosted Saturday and Sunday at the Kelly Family Sports Center, was a testament to this claim as the Laker program once again left the competition in it’s wake. The visiting teams exited the premises, but both the men’s and women’s GLIAC championship trophies stayed in Allendale for another year.
The No. 1 women’s side, captured their 14th consecutive title, and did so in dominant fashion topping runner-up Ashland by a 130-point margin. The No. 4 men’s team out ran the second place No. 3 ranked Ashland by a decided 76-point gap for their fourth consecutive title and 13th in 14 tries.
“We hosted this conference meet in our building and I’m really proud of both teams,” said GVSU athletic director Tim Selgo. “We’ve got a great tradition here and they did a wonderful job of upholding our tradition in high-level fashion winning both the men and women’s GLIAC Championships. It was really nice to see all of their hard work rewarded this weekend.”
Senior Sam Lockhart was as dominant as ever, besting her own school record in the weight throw as well as the GLIAC Championship record with a toss of 21.50 meters and collecting GLIAC field athlete of the year honors. It was the farthest throw measured in Division II this year by over a foot and a half.
Ashland’s Katie Nageotte set a new GLIAC Indoor Championship and Kelly Family Sports Center record mark of 4.33 meters in the pole vault and outdid junior Kristen Hixson, but Hixson cleared a school record mark of 4.23 meters, the third-best mark in Division II this year, and figures to be a major factor in competition at nationals.
The resurgent senior Monica Kinney won the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 55.08 seconds and was proceeded places two through four by Laker teammates sophomore Jessica Janecke and freshman Allison Work and Katelyn Cliff.
Darien Thornton was named the GLIAC Field Freshman of the Meet after finishing second in the weight throw and sixth in the shot put.
Junior Steven Reives set a school record in the heptathlon with 4,492 points and the 4×400 relay team consisting Juniors Nate Hammersmith, Chris Teitsma, Logan Hoffman and Mohammed Mohammed lowered heir record mark once again with a time of 3:12.42, the fourth fastest time run in Division II this season.
Senior pole vaulter Kevin Leland and sophomore sprinter Bent VanEnk chipped in with surprise victories in their respective events and the men’s DMR relay team consisting of freshman Nick Wharry, Dang Pung, junior Jermey Wilk and senior Larry Julson set a building mark with a time of 9:53.34.
Highlight performances were accumulated by the Lakers throughout the weekend and couldn’t have come at a better time, but there is still plenty of work left to be done.
“We’ve got to keep our nose to the grindstone, we’ve still got two more weeks or so,” Julson said. “We’ve just got to keep putting in the work and put it together on the day. On any given day, anything can happen. That’s the approach we’re taking, especially with the DMR (distance medley relay). We’ve always said if we can get there, we can put it together and then hopefully do some big things. We’re pretty excited about that.”
As it stands right now, it’s expected that GVSU will have between 10 and 15 men and around 20 ladies representatives at nationals. The women will once again be the favorites and the men have an outside shot at a top four finish.
“I think it’ll be one of the larger groups we’ve taken as a whole,” said GVSU distance coach Nick Polk. “We’ll spend this next week tuning up, getting excited and hopefully defend our title and place a lot higher on the guys side.”
The final declaration list will come out this afternoon and by tomorrow, GVSU will know who will be making the trip to Alabama for nationals. For all those invited, the stakes will be as high as ever.
“It’s not a field trip, it’s not a vacation,” said GVSU head track and field coach Jerry Baltes. “We’re going down there to take care of business and hopefully do some great things. It’s not going to be easy, but if we keep doing what we’re doing and go in there focused and ready to compete, good things can come out of it for us.”
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
10:30 am | Team Hope Walk for Huntington's Disease
6:30 pm | Broadway Theatre - Anything Goes
8:00 am | MBA Information Meeting: AM session
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