GVSU - Laker Women Continue to Lead After Day Two of Outdoor Nationals
Provided by GVSU
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State track and field teams had another successful day of competition on Friday (May 23) on the second day of the 2014 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, being held at the GVSU Track & Field Stadium. The day was highlighted by a pair of All-American performances and the women's squad still stands alone at the top of the team score leaderboard going in to the final day of competition.
The GVSU women lead the field with 34 points, followed by New Mexico Highlands (31), Pittsburg State (21), Central Missouri (21) and Adams State (20) to round out the top five.
The men's team sits in seventh place with 11.5 points, trailing Chico State (31), Adams State (25), Ashland (22), Findlay (18), Colorado Mines (13) and Emporia State (12).
GVSU will have 15 student-athletes (7 women, 8 men) and two women's relays participating in Saturday's final day of competition.
The first GVSU student-athlete taking to the field on Friday was sophomore Blake Donson, who ended up with a 12th-place finish in the men's discus. Donson's best throw of 51.43 meters (168'9") was less than two feet out of a top-10 finish.
Senior Kalena Franklin was the first Laker track athlete in action on day two, taking part in her second-best individual event in the 200 meter dash. Franklin ran a good time at 24.20 seconds, but it was not enough to qualify for finals, as she finished 11th, only .15 behind the final qualifying spot.
The pair of Lakers competing in the men's 800 meter run both qualified for finals, as sophomore Ethan Barnes (fourth; 1:50.87) and senior Jeremy Wilk (sixth; 1:50.93) finished right next to each other in their heat to advance to Saturday's final.
Sophomore Sean Wells was one of the three leaders chest-to-chest going in to the last hurdle of his 110 meter hurdle heat, but a slight stumble meant Wells finished 17th overall and fifth in his heat with a time of 14.54 seconds, only .11 behind the final qualifying spot in ninth.
Becca Leppelmeier finished 20th in the women's discus finals, her best throw coming in her first attempt, a toss of 35.15 meters (115'4").
Franklin had her turn come up again later in the day in her top event, the 100 meter hurdles. She redeemed her earlier 200 meter effort by finishing third in the hurdle prelims with a time of 13.43 seconds, only .02 behind her own school record. She will be competing in Saturday's final as one of the top seeds.
In the high jump, junior Trent Chappell picked up his third top-five finish in NCAA Championships, tying for the position at this year's meet after a height of 2.10 meters (6'10.75"). He had previously finished fifth in the 2013 indoor and outdoor championship.
That All-American performance was joined by another Laker All-American performance in the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase, as senior Hannah Osborn came across in third place with a personal best time of 10:17.86 to pick up six big team points. Also competing in the event were junior Jordan Chester, who finished ninth with a time of 10:45.89, and sophomore Katelyn Cliff, who crossed the line 12th with a time of 11:04.76.
The men's 4x400 meter relay, including Nathaniel Hammersmith, TJ Burnett, Logan Hoffman and Mohamed Mohamed, came up just short in qualifying for Saturday's final, coming home with an 11th-place finish in a time of 3:13.19, less than two seconds behind the ninth spot.
The final event of the day, the women's 4x400 meter relay prelim, included Franklin running in her third race of the day, teaming up with Andrea Kober, Brittney Banister and Brittany Terry to cross the line in 3:43.79 in third place in their heat and the fifth-best time in the event, qualifying for the final on Saturday evening.
Live results for Saturday's final day of competition is available at the link above. The schedule for GVSU student-athletes competing is listed below.
2:00pm – Women’s Javelin (Anderson)
2:15pm – Men’s Shot Put (Thornton, Saikalis)
2:30pm – Men's Pole Vault (Myers)
4:45pm – Men’s Triple Jump (Lukwago)
5:20pm - Women's 4x100m Final
6:05pm – Women’s 110m Hurdle Final (Franklin)
6:55pm – Men’s 800m Final (Barnes, Wilk)
8:05pm – Men’s 5000m Final (Peterson, Bradley)
8:30pm – Women’s 5000m Final (Foley, Janecke, Winchester, Brewis, Osborn)
9:05pm - Women's 4x400m Final