GVSU - Both Laker Track & Field Squads Finish in Top Seven of 2014 Outdoor Nationals
Provided by GVSU
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State track and field teams both finished in the top seven at the 2014 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday (May 24), with the women's squad finishing third with 53 points and the men's team finishing seventh with 30.5 points at the GVSU Track & Field Stadium.
The women's champion was Lincoln (Mo.) with 64 points, while the men's team at St. Augustine's scored 112 points to take the title.
The first Laker competing on the final day was sophomore Rebecka Anderson, whose first attempt ended up being her best en route to a ninth-place finish. Her toss of 44.85 meters (147'1") in her opening throw was her best effort of the day.
The first Saturday All-American performance for GVSU came from freshman Chris Saikalis in the men's shot put, as he placed sixth with a toss of 17.84 meters (58'6.5") and was the top freshman in the field, picking up three points for the team competition. Also competing was sophomore Darien Thornton, who finished 14th with a throw of 16.03 meters (52'7.25").
Junior Bret Myers picked up the fifth All-American honor of his career in the men's pole vault, clearing a personal best of 5.30 meters (17'4.5") and was one of the final four competitors in the event. 5.30 meters was the championship-winning height, but Myers finished in a tie for second, his best finish ever, based on misses at the previous 5.20 meter height.
The first Laker runner on the track for championship day was actually a team of runners, as the women's 4x100 meter relay team of junior Carly Scott, senior Kayla Addison, junior Michaela Lewis and junior Brittany Terry, which came in to the event as the eighth-seed after prelims, jumped up to a fifth-place finish with a time of 46.17 seconds to pick up four team points and All-American honors.
In the final individual event of her career, senior Kalena Franklin saved her best for last, matching her school record time in the women's 100 meter hurdles, finishing fifth in 13.41 seconds to pick up four big team points towards the team race leaderboard.
Tendo Lukwago, in his final event as a Laker, earned his first hard-earned career All-American honor, finishing eighth with a school-record mark of 15.36 meters (50'4.75") in the men's triple jump, surpassing his own record of 15.18 meters (49'9.75").
GVSU got a pair of All-American performances in the men's 800 meter run, led by sophomore Ethan Barnes, who finished fifth with a time of 1:49.58, a new school record, surpassing his own mark of 1:50.32. Just behind him in sixth, with now the second-best time in school history, was senior Jeremy Wilk with a time of 1:49.60. The two combined for seven team points in the event.
The final All-American performance on the men's side for the Lakers came from freshman Bryce Bradley in the 5,000 meter run, who came across in eighth place, the final scoring spot, with a time of 14:10.98, his personal-best by nearly three full seconds. Also competing in the event for GVSU was senior Alan Peterson, who finished 15th with a time of 14:31.07.
In the women's 5,000 meter run, the Lakers had five student-athletes competing, and three of them ended up finishing in the top nine. GVSU was led by junior Allyson Winchester with a time of 16:36.39 to score six points, while freshman Kendra Foley finished fifth with a time of 16:36.90, both picking up All-American honors and scoring a combined 10 points. Junior Jessica Janecke finished in ninth with a time of 16:48.32, while senior Courtney Brewis was 13th (16:56.45) and Hannah Osborn was 14th (16:58.80).
The final event of the championship was the women's 4x400 meter relay, and the Lakers picked up an All-American honor with their result, as the team of senior Andrea Kober, junior Brittney Banister, sophomore Brittany Terry and Franklin crossed the line in eighth with a time of 3:43.13.
The women's team as a unit would end up finishing in third place with 53 points. Winning the 2014 outdoor championship was Lincoln (Mo.) with 64 points, while Johnson C. Smith finished second with 59 points. Fourth was Adams State (39) and fifth was Ashland (38).
The men's team finished seventh 30.5 points, while the 2014 men's champion was St. Augustine's with 112 points. Adams State was second (67), followed by Ashland (53), Texas A&M-Kingsville (49), Pittsburg State (36), Chico State (31) and GVSU.