GVSU - Track & Field Opens Season at GVSU Holiday Open

GVSU - Track & Field Opens Season at GVSU Holiday Open

Provided by GVSU

Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant

ALLENDALE, Mich. - At the first meet of the 2015-16 indoor season, the Grand Valley State track & field team came out against tough competition and saw several of their athletes come out on top at the GVSU Holiday Open at the Kelly Family Sports Center on Friday.

The GVSU teams, ranked first in Division II in the preseason USTFCCCA national rankings on November 25, competed against some of the best Division I competition in the country, as well as other strong teams from Division II, III, and the NAIA, and saw their women's team place third with 77.50 points and the men take fourth with 68 points. Eastern Michigan won both competitions, with the Eagles taking 133.50 points for the women and 133 points for the men.

GVSU saw two automatic qualifying marks achieved on the men's and women's sides. Fresh off a sparkling cross country debut season, the freshman Gina Patterson finished just inside the qualifying mark in the 5000m with a time of 16:34.57. For the men, returning USTFCCCA indoor All-American Darien Thornton won the weight throw with a mark of 21.38m, earning him an automatic spot in the 2016 NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas. The throw was also just .51m off the program record, set by Thornton just last season.

A total of 17 NCAA provisional marks were met during the meet, with the women hitting 10 and the men seven. Angela Ritter hit her mark in the 400m with a time of 56.7, Jordan Chester and Amy Creutz timed at 9:44.33 and 9:47.49 respectively in the 3000m, Kendra Foley and Kelly Haubert qualified with respective times of 16:41.55 and 17:25.96 in the 5000m, newcomer Beatriz Indurain hit a time of 8.78 in the 60m hurdles, Kathryn Mills jumped 1.83m in the high jump, Dajsha Avery hit 13.78m in the shot put, and Kaylyn Hill and Kyra Hull threw 18.18m and 17.25m respectively in the weight throw.

For the men, hitting provisional times were Ethan Barnes (1:51.92) in the 800m, Zach Panning (14:15.36) in the 5000m, Hunter Weeks (2.03m) in the high jump, Chris Saikalis (18.11m) and Thornton (16.49m) in the shot put, and Blake Donson (19.57m) and Mike Moon (19.39m) in the weight throw.

A number of Kelly Family Sports Center records also fell during the afternoon, with five coming in running events and two from the field events. Representing Saucony Running, Nicole Siufuentes shattered the record in the 5000m by running 15:42.31, breaking a record she previously set in 2013 by 8.21. Eastern Michigan saw two of their men's runners break facility records. Tyler Brown broke the record in the 300m with a time of 33.52, and Willy Fink set the record in the 5000m with a time of 13:56.66.

Peter Archibald of Loyola (Ill.) ran a 2:23.92 in the 1000m to break a record originally set by Ethan Barnes in 2012. In the field events, Matthew Oneal hit a mark of 15.72m in the triple jump, and Unattached Tynita Butts hit 1.88m in the high jump.

Grand Valley State returns to action on January 15 when they host the Bob Eubanks Open at the Kelly Family Sports Center.