GVSU Women Go Back-to-Back, Win 2012 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field National Championship

GVSU Women Go Back-to-Back, Win 2012 NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field National Championship

Provided by GVSU

Mankato, Minn. - The 2012 Grand Valley State women's track & field team led from start to finish en route to claiming its second straight NCAA DII Women's Indoor Track & Field National Championship. The Lakers dominated from the opening event and scored 94 team points, 43 more than second-place Adams State (51). Lincoln (TN) finished third (43) and Central Missouri fourth (42). In addition, the Lakers won five event National Championships and claimed three second-place finishes. GVSU's 94 team points rank as the fourth-best championship total in NCAA DII Indoor National Championship history.

"I am so proud of our team and this was a total team effort as we scored points in so many events from the field events and the running events," said head coach Jerry Baltes. "When you look at the results and we have five National Championship event winners, three second-place finishes and five additional top eight placers that earned All-American honors you see how strong our entire team was."

Senior Lauren Buresh (Stanwood, Mich./Morley-Stanwood) won the 2012 shot put National Championship on the final throw of her indoor career. Buresh, who has now won three straight shot put National Championships (2012 Indoor, 2011 Outdoor, 2011 Indoor), tallied a throw of 52-10.25, bettering the toss of teammate Sam Lockhart (Jr., Lansing, Mich./Sexton) who was in first prior to Buresh's toss and eventually finished second (52-04.75).

Senior Rachel Patterson (Rochester, Mich.) crossed the finish line first and claimed the National Championship in the 5000 meter run. Patterson did so in an NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field National Championship meet-record time of 16:07.28, smashing the previous record time of 16:16.77 held by former Laker National Champion Mandi Zemba.

Senior Chanelle Caldwell (Toledo, Ohio) finished second in the 800 meter run (2:10.26), just missing out on an individual National Championship of her own by just over one second. Kalena Franklin (West Branch, Mich./Ogemaw Heights) earned All-American honors with her seventh-place finish in the 60 meter hurdles (8.53), while Karie McDonald (Frankenmuth, Mich.) finished sixth (4:53.88) and Betsy Graney (Harper Woods, Mich.) seventh (4:54.61) in the mile to each earn All-American honors.

The Lakers' 400 meter relay team of Caldwell, Brittney Banister (Flint, Mich./Carman-Ainsworth), Franklin and Leiah Hess (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview) closed out the 2012 Championship with a third-place finish (3:48.46).