GVSU competes with U of M, MSU in Eubanks Open
GVL / Robert Mathews
It seems the Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams are proving they have what it takes to compete with the likes of NCAA Division I programs, such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
That was the case on Friday when GVSU welcomed the pair of in-state rivals and a number of neighboring D-I track programs at the Bob Eubanks Open inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.
“Personally, I don’t really see the Division I schools as being more dominant than us or anything like that,” senior Kalena Franklin said. “You just have to compare the times that each competitor posts, and based on that, we are just as competitive here (at GVSU).”
The Lakers proved they were more than up to the challenge by winning seven events on Friday.
Both teams contributed to the win total, as the women finished with four victories while the men won three.
“We had a good showing from both teams, (and) it was nice to get back into the swing of things coming off of break,” head coach Jerry Baltes said. “We had impressive times from both the men and the women’s teams, which is great to see at this point of the season.”
Among the four victories on the women’s side was Lisa Galasso’s first-place finish in the 600 meter with a time of 1:33.20.
Galasso’s mark was good enough to set a new school record. It had previously been held by Chanelle Caldwell, who finished with a 1:34.30 time in 2010.
“(Lisa) has been looking great all year,” Baltes said. “Most kids lose a little bit of fitness over break, come back a little bit rusty. That’s not the case with her. She actually came back in better shape. Hopefully that bodes well for her going throughout the rest of the year.”
The Laker women also had an impressive win in the 4×400 relay.
The team of Franklin, senior Andrea Kober, junior Brittney Banister and sophomore Brittany Terry earned a provisional mark and first-place honors with a time of 3:51.55, while the GVSU B team took third after clocking in at 3:58.79.
“It’s difficult to have the same amount of intensity training over break without your teammates at your side,” Franklin said. “Our times in this meet really showed that our relay teams have stayed focused over break as it showed with our respective finishes.”
The Laker men performed well in the 4×400, as the team of senior Nathaniel Hammersmith, sophomore Sean Wells, senior Logan Hoffman and freshman TJ Burnett won the event with a time of 3:21.36.
The second-best finish came from the GVSU B team with a time of 3:25.60.
“We had a lot of positive results this past weekend, but we also have a lot of work to do,” junior Brent Brock said. “It’s important that we don’t get complacent from this point forward. As long as we keep working each and every day in practice, we will get to that point where we want to be.”
The Lakers will continue their home stretch on Friday in the Mike Lints Alumni Open at 2 p.m.