Feb. 23, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - Seeking their 14th straight GLIAC Indoor Championship, the top-ranked Grand Valley State women got off to a good start on Saturday (Feb. 23) in the first day of competition inside the Kelly Family Sports Center, winning two events and racking up 68.5 points in only six scored events.
To top it off, two school records fell on the day, beginning with senior Sam Lockhart setting a new school and GLIAC Indoor Championship meet record in the weight throw after unleashing an automatic qualifying toss of 21.50 meters (70'6.5") to win the event. The mark is currently the best in NCAA Division II by over a foot and a half.
In the weight throw, every Laker student-athlete in the competition hit a qualifying mark, with three earning points towards the team score. Senior Jamie Smith finished fifth with a mark of 18.17 meters (59'7.5") to earn four points, while freshman Laura Schroeder was eighth with a toss of 17.70 meters (58'1") to earn a point towards the team standings, giving the Lakers 15 points in the event. Junior Alyssa Zokoe (17.04m/55'11") and senior Katelyn Fox (16.21m/53'2.25") also hit provisional marks in the event.
Another Laker-dominated event with a school record being set was the pole vault, where five Lakers dotted the eight which earned team points in the event. Leading the way with a second-place finish was junior Kristen Hixson, who cleared a school record mark of 4.23 meters (13'10.5") and was outdone only by a new GLIAC Indoor Championship and Kelly Family Sports Center record mark of 4.33 meters by Ashland's Katie Nageotte, setting up a spectacular national championship competition between Hixson, Nageotte and Hillsdale's Kayla Caldwell, who finished third in the event. Hixson's vault of 4.23 meters is currently the third-best mark in Division II.
Also earning points in the pole vault and hitting provisional qualifying marks were sophomore Jacqueline Williams (fourth) and freshman Alexandra Kitz (sixth) clearing a height of 3.63 meters (11'10.75") to earn 4.5 and three points, respectively. Junior Caley Faulkner and sophomore Jennifer Schorank tied for seventh, each earning 1.5 points after clearing 3.48 meters (11'5"). All together, GVSU racked up 18.5 points in the event.
Not to be outdone in the field events, sophomore Michaela Lewis continued her run of success in the jumps, winning the long jump competition with a provisional qualifying mark of 5.64 meters (18'6") to earn 10 team points in the standings. Finishing fourth in the event was freshman Sarah Talbott with a mark of 5.30 meters (17'4.75") to earn five points, giving GVSU 15 points in the event.
In the lone scored individual running event of the day, junior Courtney Brewis came across as the runner-up in the 5,000 meter run with a provisional qualifying time of 17:07.03 to earn eight points. Just behind her was junior Molly Slavens in third with a time of 17:39.68, as the pair earned 14 points for the Lakers in the team standings.
In the distance medley relay, the team of juniors Madie Rodts and Lisa Galasso, freshman Natalie Nelson and sophomore Jessica Janecke finished third with a provisional qualifying time of 11:54.57 to earn six team points.
In preliminary action, junior Kalena Franklin ended the day with a pair of first-place prelim finishes, topping the results in both the 60 meter hurdles (8.47) and 200 meter dash (24.76), hitting a provisional qualifying time in both. A pair of provisional qualifying marks and spots in Sunday's finals also went to sophomore Brittney Banister, who led the way in prelims for the 60 meter dash (7.63) and finished third in the 200 meter dash (24.84). Her 7.63 mark in the 60 meter dash prelims is currently the 14th best time in Division II and may have put her on the cusp of qualifying for nationals.
Lewis, who won her long jump competition, also finished second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.65 seconds, the 19th-best time in Division II this year and also a mark that puts her in contention for nationals. Both her and Banister won their respective heats in prelims.
Sophomore Carly Scott was the last of the trio to make it in to Sunday's 60 meter dash final, placing seventh in the prelims with a time of 7.74 seconds.
In the 400 meter dash, freshman Brittany Terry led a trio of Lakers who advanced to the finals, placing third with a provisional qualifying time of 57.64 seconds. Just behind her and also qualifying for finals were junior Andrea Kober (58.03) in fourth and junior Leiah Hess (58.35) in fifth.
So far, it has been a two-school race in the women's standings, as the Lakers lead with 68.5 points. Just behind is Ashland with 48.5, Findlay (27), Hillsdale (16), Tiffin and Ferris State (15), Northwood (9), Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State (8), Lake Superior State and Malone (7), Lake Erie (3) and Northern Michigan (2).
The final day of competition at the 2013 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships will get under way on Sunday (Feb. 24) with field events beginning at 11:15 a.m. and running events starting at 1:15 p.m. inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.