Feb. 21, 2014
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State track and field teams did not disappoint the home crowd in the final home meet of the indoor season, as the Lakers collected 31 qualifying marks, 12 event victories and one new school record on Friday (Feb. 21) inside the Kelly Family Sports Center at the GVSU Tune-Up.
The school record came with a provisional qualifying mark, as Nathaniel Hammersmith, on his own senior night, shattered the previous mark in the 400 meter dash. Hammersmith crossed the line in 48.04 seconds, easily beating the 48.29 mark that had stood since 2007 by Mackenzie Lucius. After a track-size conversion, Hammersmith's mark is ranked ninth in Division II this year. In the same event, fellow senior Logan Hoffman recorded a provisional qualifying mark of 48.60 seconds.
The most successful event of the day for the Lakers was in the women's pole vault, where GVSU swept the top five positions and had seven student-athletes hit qualifying marks. The group was led, as usual, by senior Kristen Hixson, who cleared a height of 4.25 meters (13'11.25"), an automatic qualifying mark. Jacqueline Williams was second with a height of 3.85 meters (12'7.5"), followed by Michaila Lawcock and Alexandra Kitz, who cleared a height of 3.70 meters (12'1.5"). Three other Lakers cleared 3.55 meters (11'7.75"), including Caley Faulkner, Krista Nauseda and Taylor VanPutten, who all hit provisional marks.
In other women's field events, Becca Leppelmeier hit a provisional mark in the shot put, finishing second with a toss of 13.91 meters (45'7.75"). In the weight throw, she finished fifth with a provisional mark of 16.80 meters (55'1.5"). Ahead of her in the weight throw were Laura Schroeder in second (17.89m/58'8.5") and Alyssa Zokoe in third (17.45m/57'3"), as all three hit provisional qualifying marks.
A trio of Laker women hit two individual provisional marks on the day, including Kalena Franklin, who ran times of 8.50 and 8.42 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles to win the event. Michaela Lewis claimed the top spot in the prelims and finals of the 60 meter dash, hitting provisional marks in both with times of 7.70 and 7.66 seconds. Just behind her in both rounds was senior Kayla Addison, who had times of 7.73 and 7.71 seconds. Addison also won the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.09 seconds. Lewis went on finish second in both the long jump (5.47m/17'11.5") and triple jump (10.77m/35'4").
The final two individual provisional marks for the women came in the one mile run, where Jordan Chester won the event with a time of 4:56.43 and Katelyn Cliff crossed the line in third with a time of 4:59.51.
On the men's side, Sean Wells joined the multiple provisional marks parade, hitting the required time in both the prelims and finals of the 60 meter hurdles, qualifying second in prelims with a time of 8.04 seconds and finishing second in the finals with a time of 8.00 seconds.
Seven provisional marks were hit in the field events on the men's side, including Bret Myers, who won the pole vault with a height of 5.06 meters (16'7.25") and Jake Elbers, who finished second with a vault of 4.71 meters (15'5.5").
In the triple jump, Tendo Lukwago won with a provisional mark of 14.50 meters (47'7"), while Chris Saikalis won the shot put with a toss of 17.11 meters (56'1.75"), also a provisional marks. A trio of Lakers hit provisional marks in the weight throw, led by Blake Donson's event victory with a toss of 19.02 meters (62'5"). Jay Lechner finished third (17.84m/58'6.5") and Mike Moon was sixth (17.34m/56'10.75").
In other action on the track, former Guyana Olympian Adam Harris, who ran in the 2008 Olympics, broke his own Kelly Family Sports Center record in the 60 meter dash, running a time of 6.57 seconds in prelims and 6.55 seconds in the finals, breaking his own record of 6.62 set in 2010. The 6.55 second effort places him 16th in the world this year.
The Lakers will now prepare for the 2014 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held at Hillsdale College next Saturday (Mar. 1) and Sunday (Mar. 2).