Feb. 24, 2012
Allendale, Mich. - The Grand Valley State track and field teams begin competition on Friday (Feb. 24) at the 2012 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Malcolm Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Findlay.
The women's squad enters the meet looking for their 13th straight GLIAC indoor crown and are currently ranked #1 in the country. The men's team, ranked 12th in the latest USTFCCCA rankings, is looking to grab their third straight conference indoor title and 12th out of the last 13 years.
Both the men and women have multiple athletes with the top mark in the GLIAC entering the championship meet.
Senior Xavier Parnell holds the top mark in the 60 meter dash (6.91 seconds) while freshman Brittney Banister is tops on the women's side (7.68 seconds). Banister also holds the top mark in the 200 meter dash (25.16 seconds).
The Lakers have two women in the top three of the 400 meter dash as sophomore Leiah Hess (56.86 seconds) holds the top seed and senior Chanelle Caldwell, an All-American last year, has the third best mark in the conference (57.72 seconds).
Two Laker men pace the field for the one mile event as seniors Tyler Emmorey (4:09.16) and Jeff Nordquist (4:11.82) have the top two qualifying times in the conference for the event. On the women's side, GVSU will look to clean up in the mile as the Lakers have eight of the top 11 times in the event. Seniors Betsy Graney (4:48.74), Rachel Patterson (4:50.28) and Karie McDonald (4:50.60) have three of the top four times in the conference to lead the way. Patterson (9:23.05) and Graney (9:34.62) also have the top two qualifying times in the 3,000 meter event.
The men will look to make a big impression in the 5,000 meter event as the Lakers have the top five athletes in the race. The senior group of Witt (14:11.92), Emmorey (14:19.88), Toth (14:26.55), Nordquist (14:34.36) and Nathan Knisely (14:36.91) had the fastest five times in the conference this year.
The women will be led by seniors Monica Kinney (16:16.31) and Patterson (16:18.33) in the 5,000 meter event, as they have the top two times in the GLIAC this year with both marks being NCAA Division II automatic qualifying times.
In the relay events, the women's 4x400 team enters the meet with the top time in the conference (3:48.88) while the distance medley relay team also has the top time (11:39.62) in the conference and one of the best times in the country.
In the field events, sophomore Alisha Weaver is the second seed in the high jump (1.70m/5'7") while sophomore Bret Myers (4.92m/16'1.75") and junior Raphael Gelo (4.80m/15'9") have two of the top three marks in the men's pole vault.
Senior Daniel Vanek (19.09m/62'7.75") is the top seed in the shot put with his automatic qualifying mark while the women's duo of junior Sam Lockhart (16.16m/53'0.25" and senior Lauren Buresh (15.33m/50'3.5") have the top two marks in the conference and two of the top marks in the country.
Lockhart enters as the top mark in the weight throw as well (20.61m/67'7.5") while juniors Liz Murphy (20.09m/65'11") and Jamie Smith (18.64m/61'2") are the third and eighth best marks in the GLIAC this year, respectively.
The field events will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday while the running events will start at 3:50 p.m. On Saturday, field events will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the running events beginning at 1:15 p.m.
To follow the Lakers over the two-day meet, click here to visit the official championship page.