Jan. 11, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The 16th-ranked Grand Valley State men's track and field team had a strong field showing on the first day of the Bob Eubanks Open on Friday (Jan. 11), as the field student-athletes hit seven of the eight provisional qualifying marks.
The Lakers hit eight NCAA Division II provisional qualifying marks, seven of which were courtesy of the throwers and pole vaulters inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.
In the pole vault competition, GVSU placed a trio of student-athletes in the top eight and all three notched provisional qualifying marks. All three also hit the same height, clearing 4.77 meters. Senior Kevin Leland (Greenville, Ohio) finished sixth, senior Raphael Gelo (Kabetogama, Minn.) was seventh and junior Bret Myers (Sunbury, Ohio/Big Walnut) was eighth.
Another trio of Lakers hit provisional qualifying marks in the weight throw, highlighted by freshman Darien Thornton's (Huber Heights, Ohio) toss of 18.39 meters that earned him a fourth-place finish. In fifth was redshirt freshman Blake Donson (Greentown, Ind./Eastern) with a throw of 18.36 meters and finishing sixth was senior Donny Stiffler (Webberville, Mich./Williamston) after a toss of 17.97 meters.
The final NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark for field athletes went to a student-athlete seeing his first action with the track and field team since the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championship. Senior Matt Armstrong (Lansing, Mich./Sexton), also a standout on the offensive line for the Laker football team, turned in a third-place performance in the shot put with a throw of 17.17 meters.
There was also a provisional mark hit by the 4x400 meter relay team, but it was not an improvement on the team's previous best mark. The relay team of junior Nathaniel Hammersmith (Stryker, Ohio/Archbold), freshman Sean Wells (Fox Lake, Ill./Grant Community), junior Mohamed Mohamed (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) and junior Logan Hoffman (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia) finished second in the event with a time of 3:17.59.
Hammersmith also had a strong showing in the 200 meter dash, finishing third with a time of 22.31 seconds. Wells had a pair of top five finishes himself, finishing second in the 60 meter hurdles (8.28) and fifth in the 200 meter dash (22.45). Mohamed had a second-place finish in the 400 meter dash with a time of 50.00 seconds, while Hoffman finished fifth in the 300 meter dash (35.39).
Other top finishes included a second-place finish by redshirt freshman Ricky Perez (Adrian, Mich.) in the 3,000 meter run (8:38.82), third-place finishes by sophomore Brent VanEnk (Grand Rapids, Mich./Calvin Christian) in the 60 meter dash (7.04) and junior Jeremy Wilk (Wood Dale, Ill./Driscoll Catholic) in the mile run (4:21.58) and fourth-place finishes by senior Jake Alexander (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) in the 60 hurdles (8.50), sophomore Trent Chappell (Jenison, Mich.) in the high jump (1.90m), and junior Tendo Lukwago (Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison) in the long jump (6.72m).
On the first day of the heptathlon, junior Steve Reives (South Bend, Ind./Riley) finds himself in third after four events with 2588 points. Reives finished fourth in the 60 meter dash (7.59), fourth in the high jump (1.85m), third in the long jump (6.43m) and fourth in the shot put (11.10m). Sophomore Miles Drobish (Durand, Mich.) is in 10th after day one of the competition with 1815 points.
Reives and Drobish will finish the last three events of the heptathlon on Saturday (Jan. 12) morning beginning at 10 a.m. inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.
For the rest of the Laker track and field team, they will prepare for next Friday's (Jan. 18) Mike Lints Alumni Open, the fourth meet that GVSU will host at the Kelly Family Sports Center. Action will begin at 2 p.m. that day.