GVSU - Lakers Open 2016 with Strong Showing at Bob Eubanks Open

GVSU - Lakers Open 2016 with Strong Showing at Bob Eubanks Open

Provided by GVSU

ALLENDALE, Mich. – Grand Valley State track & field returned from their month off in a big way, placing third in both the men's and women's sides in the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open on Friday (Jan. 15) at the Kelly Family Sports Center. It was the first meet of the new year for the Lakers, and their first day of competition since the GVSU Holiday Open on December 4.

GVSU, looking to make a return trip to the Division II Indoor National Championships held in Kansas this year, took third place against a challenging line-up of competition. The Laker women scored 61 points to finish behind Eastern Michigan (135.5 pts.) and Michigan State (86.5) and finished ahead of Toledo (50 pts.), and the Laker men tallied 69 points to finish behind Michigan State (84.5 pts.) and Oakland (71 pts.) and well ahead of DePaul (32 pts.).

13 total NCAA qualifying marks were hit on the night for Grand Valley State, with eight coming on the men's side and five from the women. Darien Thornton, who hit an automatic qualifying mark at the Holiday Open, picked up right where he left off by hitting another automatic mark in the same event, throwing 21.83m (71' 7.5") to place first and improving on his previous top mark in Division II in the process. The returning All-American also achieved a provisional mark in the shot put by making a throw of 17.00m (55' 9.25") to place fourth.

Also hitting provisional qualifying marks for the men were Sean Wells in the 60m hurdles (7.98), newcomer Tor'i Brooks in the high jump (2.11m/6' 11"), Tyler Pavliga in the long jump (7.03m/23' 0.75"), Chris Saikalis in the shot put (18.06m/59' 3"), and Mike Moon (19.18m/62' 9.25") and Blake Donson (19.13m/62' 9.25") in the weight throw.

Of the five provisional qualifying marks hit by the Laker women, four came in the field events and one came from a running event. It was the 4x400m relay "A" team of Skylar Dantzler, Brittany Terry, Kylie Hicks and Angela Ritter hitting the mark with a time of 3:50.42, placing them first in the event. Also achieving provisional marks for GVSU were Dajsha Avery (13.64m/44' 9") and Kaylyn Hill (13.47m/44' 2.5") in the shot put, and Kyra Hull (17.53m/57' 6.25") and Hill (16.47m/54' 0.5") in the weight throw.

Two Kelly Family Sports Center records were broken on the afternoon, both coming in running events. Kelsey Balkwill of BorderCityAthleticsClub broke the 300m dash record with a time of 38.31, and Eastern Michigan's Tyler Brown broke the 400m dash record with a time of 46.76.

Grand Valley State will be back in action on Friday (Jan. 22) for their third of four consecutive home meets with the GVSU Open at 3 p.m.