Feb. 24, 2013
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State women's track and field team continued its dominance over the GLIAC on Sunday (Feb. 24), capping off a successful 2013 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championship with the 14th straight indoor championship for the Lakers.
GVSU tallied 229.5 points in the meet, easily outdistancing Ashland (89.5) and Tiffin (80) to claim the title.
The Lakers racked up 20 NCAA Division II Championship provisional qualifying marks and a pair of automatic marks on the second day of competition.
One of the automatic qualifying marks on the day went to senior Sam Lockhart, who again dominated the shot put field. Her toss of 16.31 meters (53'6.25") won the event and is the second-best throw in Division II this year. The top throw in Division II this year? Lockhart's 16.32 meter (53'6.5") throw from earlier this season.
The other automatic qualifying mark came courtesy of junior Lisa Galasso. The veteran hit the fifth-best 800 meter time in Division II this year, winning the event with a new meet record time of 2:10.44. Freshman Natalie Nelson hit a provisional mark in the event, finishing sixth with a time of 2:15.65, while freshman Katie Shaheen also scored team points for the Lakers, placing seventh with a time of 2:16.30 for 15 total team points in the event.
The most dominating performance of the entire meet came courtesy of the female mile runners for the Lakers. GVSU swept the top four positions in the event, all with provisional qualifying marks and the top three teams being new meet records. However, ultimately the new meet record goes to senior Monica Kinney, who won the event with a time of 4:55.08, the 11th-best mark in Division II. In second was sophomore Jessica Janecke (4:56.23), while freshman Alison Work was third (4:56.65) and freshman Katelyn Cliff was fourth (5:00.08). Work's time is a new season best and places her 20th in Division II. The Lakers racked up 29 points in the mile event alone, which would have been enough points to finish eighth in the women's team standings.
Not to be outdone, the 3,000 meter contingent for the Lakers were nearly as impressive, sweeping spots three through six in the final results. Freshman Allyson Winchester finished third with a time of 9:46.79, while sophomore Hannah Osborn was fourth (9:53.26), freshman Amy Creutz was fifth (9:57.24) and junior Madie Rodts was sixth (9:58.79). All four hit provisional qualifying marks and combined for 18 team points.
Between the two groups of distance runners on day two of competition, they scored a total of 47 team points, more than seven GLIAC schools scored in total on the women's side of the standings.
GVSU swept the 60 meter events on day two of competition, led by sophomore Michaela Lewis winning the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.64 seconds, a provisional mark and the 18th-best time in Division II this year, putting her right on the cusp of qualifying for nationals. She was followed in the event by sophomores Brittney Banister in second (7.65) and Carly Scott in fifth (7.78), both also hitting provisional qualifying marks.
Junior Kalena Franklin, who was the top qualifier in the 60 meter hurdles on Saturday, held serve on Sunday by winning the event with a time of 8.41 seconds, just shy of the 8.36 second automatic qualifying mark.
Banister capped off her impressive individual day by winning the 200 meter dash with a provisional qualifying and meet record time of 24.77 seconds.
In the 400 meter dash, junior Andrea Kober finished third with a time of 56.95 seconds, while freshman Brittany Terry was fourth with a time of 57.07 seconds, both provisional qualifying marks. Junior Leiah Hess also scored points in the event for GVSU, finishing seventh with a time of 58.89 seconds, giving the Lakers 13 points in the event.
In the 4x400 meter relay, the team of Terry, Banister, Kober and Franklin won the event with a time of 3:45.84 in the final race of the day, just .03 seconds off an automatic qualifying mark.
Lewis, after winning the 60 meter dash and long jump events, fell just short of her third individual title in the meet, finishing runner-up in the triple jump with a mark of 11.53 meters (37'10"), a provisional qualifying mark. Junior Ashlynn Howell also picked up a point for the Lakers in the event after recording a mark of 10.62 meters (34'10.25").
GVSU had a trio of Lakers score in the high jump, led by sophomore Jordyn Kiser's clear of 1.66 meters (5'5.25") to finish second. Junior Alisha Weaver also cleared 1.66 meters, but took more attempts to do so than a pair of other student-athletes, finishing in fourth. Senior Jennifer Fuller placed seventh after a mark of 1.61 meters (5'3.25"). Both Kiser and Weaver hit provisional qualifying marks.
Following the meet, Jerry Baltes was named the GLIAC Women's Indoor Coach of the Year for the fifth straight time and 13th time overall. Lockhart, who dominated the field in both the shot put and weight throw, was named the GLIAC Women's Field Athlete of the Meet and was picked to be the Midwest Region Female Field Athlete of the Year.
The Lakers led the way with 229.5 team points, while the remaining standings went Ashland (89.5), Tiffin (80), Saginaw Valley State (48), Lake Superior State (45), Findlay (38), Hillsdale (36), Ferris State (29), Northwood (15), Lake Erie and Northern Michigan (13), Wayne State and Malone (12).
GVSU, who should be well-represented in the 2013 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, will await word this week on who exactly has made the field. The pinnacle indoor meet is scheduled to take place on March 8th and 9th in Birmingham, Ala.