GVSU T&F to Send 29 Athletes, Four Relays to NCAA Division II Championship

GVSU T&F to Send 29 Athletes, Four Relays to NCAA Division II Championship

Provided by GVSU

ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State track and field teams now know who will be competing at the 2014 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championship, as 29 individuals and four relays will head to Winston-Salem, N.C.

The women's team, ranked third in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) computer rankings, are tied with Lincoln (Mo.) for the most representatives being sent to the national championship, with 17 individual entries and two relays.

The men's team, ranked fourth in the latest USTFCCCA rankings, will be sending 12 individual athletes and two relays to compete, the fourth-most in the country.

On the women's side, the highest-ranked performer heading to nationals is senior pole vaulter Kristen Hixson, who will enter with a 4.35 meter entry mark, easily the best in the country. Joining her in the pole vault field will be Jacqueline Williams and Jennifer Schornak, who are both tied for ninth (3.85m) on the performance list.

The distance medley relay team of Katie Shaheen, Lisa Galasso, Natalie Nelson and Jessica Janecke will enter with the second-best time in Division II at 11:48.23.

Senior and potential national athlete of the year Kalena Franklin is ranked third in the 60 meter hurdles with a seed time of 8.33 seconds, and is also the eighth-best seed time in the 200 meter dash (24.57). She'll also be competing in the 4x400 meter relay with Andrea Kober, Brittney Banister and Brittany Terry, who enter with the fourth-best seed time in Division II at 3:49.11.

GVSU will hope to clean up in the 5000 meter run, with three student-athletes ranked in the top eight of the event. Courtney Brewis finds herself with the fourth-best seed time at 16:59.77, with Jessica Janecke (17:00.68) in fifth and Allyson Winchester (17:07.69) in eighth for the event.

A pair of Lakers will make the trip for the weight throw competition, as Alyssa Zokoe has the eighth-best entry mark (18.53m) and Laura Schroeder is just behind in ninth (18.28m).

In the 3000 meter run, Jessica Janecke (9th; 9:46.10) and Hannah Osborn (11th; 9:47.83) will look to sneak in to the top eight and earn team points towards the final score.

Galasso, who is competing with the DMR team, will also be running in the 800 meter event, entering with a seed time that is 10th-best in Division II at 2:13.05.

Michaela Lewis has the 12th-best time in Division II in the 60 meter dash at 7.61 seconds, while Alisha Weaver is 12th in the high jump with an entry mark of 1.74 meters.

In the mile run, the Lakers will have Jordan Chester (13th; 4:59.37) and Katelyn Cliff (16th; 5:00.38) looking to break in to the top eight during the meet.

On the men's side, Bret Myers leads the contingent with the second-best pole vault mark in Division II at 5.20 meters.

In other field events, the Lakers will have a trio of student-athletes competing in the weight throw, led by third-ranked Darien Thornton with an entry mark of 21.18 meters. Blake Donson (9th; 19.27m) and Jay Lechner (16th; 18.60) will also be competing.

Thornton will also throw in the shot put, entering as the 13th seed with a mark of 17.17 meters. The shot put pair will be led, however, by Chris Saikalis, who has an entry mark of 18.27 meters that ranks fourth in Division II.

The final field athlete will be Trent Chappell, who has a high jump mark of 2.10 meters that ranks 15th in the country.

On the track, a pair of Lakers in the 800 meter run will hope to gather big points, as Ethan Barnes (3rd; 1:50.61) and Jeremy Wilk (6th; 1:52.06) are both highly-ranked.

Sean Wells, who broke the GVSU school record in the 60 meter hurdles four times this year, is the third seed in that event at nationals with a seed time of 7.87 seconds.

Both relay teams on the men's side will enter the meet ranked sixth in the country. The 4x400 meter relay team of Nathaniel Hammersmith, TJ Burnett, Logan Hoffman and Mohamed Mohamed have a seed time of 3:16.27, while the distance medley relay squad of Wilk, Mohamed, Joel Rietsema and Ricky Perez enter with a seed time of 9:59.63.

Hammersmith will also run in the individual 400 meter dash, as he ranks 13th with a seed time of 48.81 seconds.

In the lone distance event GVSU will be represented in by an individual, Alan Peterson will hope to work his way in to the top eight of the 5000 meter run, entering with the 14th-best seed time of 14:33.85.

The complete performance lists and a time schedule for the 2014 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championship can be found by clicking here or at the link above.