Feb. 23, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State men's track team, ranked fifth in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings, put on a dominating performance on the first day of competition at the 2013 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The Lakers racked up 66 team points on Saturday (Feb. 23) inside the Kelly Family Sports Center, giving themselves a 39-point cushion from Ashland in second after five complete events. In the latest USTFCCCA rankings, GVSU was fifth on the men's side while Ashland was ranked third.
GVSU, hosting the indoor conference championships for the second time in four years (2010), had 13 point scorers on the day, including the distance medley relay team setting a new building and meet record.
The team of freshmen Nicholas Wharry and Daniel Pung along with juniors Jeremy Wilk and Larry Julson, won the DMR event with a time of 9:53.34, a new GLIAC Indoor Championship Record (Saginaw Valley State, 9:55.26, 2010) and a new Kelly Family Sports Center Record (Indiana Invaders, 9:54.09, 2013), to earn 10 team points. The time was a provisional qualifying mark and is currently the seventh-best time in NCAA Division II.
The only other first-place finish on the day came from freshman Logan Howe in the long jump, who used a mark of 7.11 meters (23'4") to earn 10 points and hit a provisional qualifying mark. Also in the long jump, sophomore Brent Brock finished second (7.00m/22'11.75") for eight points and sophomore Nathan Fraeyman came home fifth with a mark of 6.81 meters (22'4.25") to earn four points, giving the Lakers 22 points in that event alone.
In the weight throw, freshman sensation Darien Thornton was at it again, placing second after a toss of 20.03 meters (65'8.75") as he flirted with the school record he set himself at the GVSU Tune-Up. Freshman Blake Donson also had a big performance, placing fourth with a toss of 18.56 meters (60'10.75"), the eighth-best throw in Division II, to earn five team points. Sophomore Lee VanKampen finished sixth (18.05m/59'2.75") and senior Donny Stiffler was eighth (17.81m/58'5.25"), both also hitting provisional qualifying marks and giving the Lakers 17 points in the event.
GVSU had a pair of Lakers score in the high jump, as sophomore Trent Chappell and junior Patrick Livengood both cleared 2.01 meters (6'7") to finish in fifth and sixth, respectively, earning the team seven points in the event.
The only individual running event that was awarded points on day one was the 5,000 meter run, which GVSU had a trio of student-athletes score in. Freshman Joe Duff led the way with a third-place finish in a time of 14:55.61 to earn six points, while junior Joe Graves (15:02.37) was sixth and senior Stephen Fuelling (15:08.66) was eighth to earn three points and one point, respectively.
In the 200 meter dash, junior Nathaniel Hammersmith qualified fifth with a provisional time of 21.90 seconds, while VanEnk also qualified for the finals in this event, finishing seventh with a time of 22.02 seconds.
Freshman Sean Wells was once again running away from the competition in the 60 meter hurdles, qualifying first in the prelims with a provisional qualifying mark of 8.09 seconds, just .07 off the school record.
In multi-event action, junior Steve Reives is in fifth in the men's heptathlon after four complete events with a score of 2,680 points. His highlight of the day came in the long jump, where he finished second with a mark of 6.46 meters (21'2.5"). Freshman Lucas Landis is ninth in the standings (2,376) and sophomore Miles Drobish is 13th (2,097) going in to the final day of competition on Sunday.
The Lakers lead the team score with 66 points, followed by Ashland (27), Tiffin (23), Malone (18), Lake Erie (17), Findlay (16.5), Hillsdale (14.5), Lake Superior State (5), Saginaw Valley State (5) and Northwood (3).
The final day of competition will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday (Feb. 24) with the finish of the men's heptathlon. Fielding events for the rest of the meet will begin at 11:15 a.m., while running events will get under way at 1:15 p.m. inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.