Feb. 8, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The fifth-ranked Grand Valley State men's track and field team had a banner day on Friday (Feb. 8), hitting 23 NCAA Division II qualifying marks and breaking four school records on the first day of competition at the GVSU Big Meet inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.
The first school record of the day was set by freshman Ethan Barnes, whose fourth-place finish in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:49.98 was an automatic NCAA Division II Championship qualifying mark and a new Laker record. The previous best time of 1:50.74 was set in 2009 by Todd Schuster. Barnes' time is currently the third-best mark in Division II. Also hitting provisional marks in the event were junior Jeremy Wilk, who was seventh with a time of 1:52.36, and freshman Nicholas Wharry in eighth with a time of 1:52.86.
One of the oldest GVSU records was broken in the 200 meter dash, where freshman Torri Tillman, competing in his first attached event for GVSU, hit a provisional qualifying mark and a new school record of 21.85 seconds, finishing ninth in the event. The previous record holder was Courtney Hill, who had a time of 21.88 seconds in 1999. Junior Nathaniel Hammersmith also hit a provisional mark in the event, finishing 11th with a time of 22.00 seconds.
Hammersmith then teamed up with junior Chris Teitsma, freshman Daniel Pung and junior Mohamed Mohamed to post a new school record in the 4x400 meter relay with a third-place time of 3:13.86. This broke the previous school record that was just set at the GVSU Quad Meet two weeks ago. The new mark is currently the sixth-best time in Division II.
After a couple close attempts in recent meets, junior Tendo Lukwago finally took over the school record in the triple jump by the slimmest of margins. Lukwago finished second in the event with a mark of 14.55 meters (47'9"), besting Kirk Manchip's mark from 2003 (14.54m).
In the 3,000 meter run, a trio of Lakers hit provisional qualifying marks, led by junior Larry Julson's winning effort in a time of 8:18.19. Senior Jake Isaacson (8:25.42) was fifth, while freshman Spencer Pageau (8:27.83) was ninth.
In the 60 meter hurdles, freshman Sean Wells hit a provisional qualifying mark of 8.24 seconds to finish eighth in the prelims of the event.
In the pole vault competition, a plethora of Lakers hit high marks, as five GVSU student-athletes hit provisional qualifying marks. Senior Kevin Leland finished sixth after a clearing a height of 4.95 meters (16'2.75"), while junior Bret Myers (ninth) and senior Raphael Gelo (14th) both cleared heights of 4.80 meters (15'9"). Sophomore Jeremy Horner (15th) and junior Jake Elbers (17th) both cleared 4.65 meters (15'3"), also hitting provisional marks.
Freshman Logan Howe had another impressive long jump performance, finishing second in the event with a mark of 7.17 meters (23'6.25"). Sophomore Brent Brock finished sixth in the event with a mark of 6.91 meters (22'8").
A pair of Lakers hit provisional qualifying marks in the shot put, as senior Matt Armstrong was third with a toss of 17.73 meters (58'2") and freshman Darien Thornton finished sixth with a throw of 16.71 meters (54'10"). Thornton also hit a provisional mark in the weight throw, finishing ninth with a mark of 17.75 meters (58'3"). Fellow freshman Blake Donson just bested him in the weight throw, finishing seventh with a toss of 18.01 meters (59'1.25"), also a provisional mark.
The Lakers will continue competition at the GVSU Big Meet at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Feb. 9) inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.