Kinney Sets 5K GVSU Record at Early Bird - GVSU Women

Kinney Sets 5K GVSU Record at Early Bird - GVSU Women

Provided by GVSU

Allendale, Mich. - The Grand Valley State women's track and field team began their indoor season on Friday (Dec. 2) evening at the GVSU Laker Early Bird Open. It was a banner day for Sam Lockhart, who hit two qualifying marks on the day, one in the shot put and one in the weight throw.

It started off with senior Monica Kinney setting a GVSU record of her own in the 5k run and crushing the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark with a time of 16:13.81. Just behind her, making her Laker debut, was senior Rachel Patterson who also broke the GVSU record and hit an automatic mark by hitting a time of 16:15.83. The Lakers actually swept the top five of the event as senior Betsy Graney (16:39.13) and freshmen Rachel Clark (16:43.33) and Callie Clark (16:54.32) rounded out the top five. Graney and Rachel Clark's times were enough to hit provisional marks.

In the mid-distance running events, sophomore Lisa Galasso carded a second place finish in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:38.82 while senior Chanelle Caldwell finished second in the mile with a time of 5:28.06.

Lockhart took the stage in the shot put as the only Laker participating in the event and unleashed a toss of 14.81 meters, hitting an NCAA provisional mark in the event.

She followed that up with another victory in the weight throw as she recorded a toss of 19.66 meters, this time it was enough for an automatic qualifying mark into the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships. Just behind her was Liz Murphy who had a toss of 18.67 meters to set an automatic mark of her own. The Lakers dominated the weight throw competition, taking the top five spots as junior Jamie Smith (17.24m), sophomore Alyssa Zokoe (17.15m) and junior Katelyn Fox (16.11m) finished third through fifth, respectively. Those three hit distances that qualify as provisional marks for the national championships.

"This was a great start to the indoor track and field season for our squads," said reigning national coach of the year Jerry Baltes. "Our throwers picked up where they left off last year with some nice personal records and qualifying marks to kick off the indoor season. The women weight throwers looked really strong for this early in the season."

Speaking on his distance runners, Baltes had nothing but praise. "They did a great job coming off the NCAA championships two weeks ago to run some great times and earn qualifying marks in the 5,000. Kinney and Patterson had the two fastest times in school history, which says a lot knowing that Mandi Zemba held the previous school record."

Although the sprinters and hurdlers didn't record any victories in the meet, Kalena Franklin hit a provisional mark in the 60-meter hurdles. The jumpers did not compete in this event but will be in action in two weeks at the Holiday Open.

"All in all it was a great first meet for our squads," said Baltes. "It was great having programs like South Florida, Central Michigan, Indiana Tech and Lewis here to add to the overall quality of the meet. We are excited to see what the rest of the 2011-12 campaign brings our way."

The Lakers are back in action on Friday, December 16th at 3 p.m. when they host the GVSU Holiday Open inside the Kelly Family Sports Center.