GVSU - Women Sit Second, Men Tied for Sixth at National Championships

GVSU - Women Sit Second, Men Tied for Sixth at National Championships

Provided by GVSU

Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant

ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Grand Valley State men's and women's track & field teams concluded the first day of the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships with five Laker men and women earning spots on the podium, including one national champion.

The Laker women finished Thursday in second place with 24 points, trailing Central Missouri by five while leading Pittsburgh State by 12. Over on the men's side, GVSU currently sits tied for sixth with Alaska Anchorage, both teams earning eight points on the day.

Long distance runner Amy Cymerman, an individual national champion in the 5k at the indoor National Championships in March, earned her second individual title in 2015 by taking first in the 10k with a time of 34:43.16, finishing ahead of Julia Kohen of Southern Indiana by 1.92 seconds. With the win, Cymerman becomes the first outdoor running champion for the Lakers since Rachel Patterson won the 10k and Betsy Graney won the 3000 steeplechase at the 2012 National Championships in Pueblo, Colorado.

Laura Schroeder earned yet another All-America plaudit by taking second place in the hammer throw with a mark of 59.47m (195'1"), finishing 4.88m behind Central Missouri's Heavin Warner. Schroeder placed eighth at the Indoor National Championships in the weight throw in March with a mark of 18.12m.

Darien Thornton earned the first points of the day for the men by placing fourth in the hammer throw with a mark of 62.44m (204'10"). After his second-place finish at the Indoor National Championships, this gives him two All-America plaudits in 2015.

A pair of GVSU pole vaulters tied for fifth in the women's pole vault. Jennifer Schornak and Alexandra Kitz both hit 3.80m (12'5.5") in the event, sharing the fifth-place podium with Michelle Grecni of South Connecticut State.

In addition to the athletes who finished in the top eight, two individual runners and one relay team qualified for the finals of their respective events. Ricky Perez placed sixth in the preliminary of the 1500m with a time of 3:53.13, while TJ Burnett took seventh in the 400m hurdles prelim with a time of 52.62, and the women's 4x100 relay team of Carly Scott, Brittney Banister, Michaela Lewis and Angela Ritter placed sixth with a time of 46.48. The finals for all three events will take place on Saturday (May 23), with the 4x100 relay taking place at 2 p.m., the 1500m at 2:35 p.m., and the 400m hurdles at 4:10 p.m.

The non decathlon/heptathlon events on Friday (May 22) will kick off at 2 p.m. with the women's discus finals, while the first running event will be at 5:30 p.m. with the women's 200m dash prelim.