GVSU - Laker Men Hold First, Women Second at Track & Field National Championships

GVSU - Laker Men Hold First, Women Second at Track & Field National Championships

Provided by GVSU

Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant

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Day One Results

PITTSBURG, Kan. - Grand Valley State track & field saw several of their runners score key points for their squads on Friday (Mar. 11) as the Laker men hold a slim lead on first-place while the women finished Friday second at the 2016 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field National Championships at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Coming in ranked third in the country and first in the Midwest Region in the final USTFCCCA Computer Rankings of the indoor season, the Laker men hold the lead with 18 points on the first day of competition. The Laker women, ranked fifth nationally and first regionally, finished the day in second with 18 team points.

The highest scorer on Friday for the GVSU men was Bryce Bradley. Running in the 5000m, the junior finished with a time of 14:07.93 to place second, giving him eight points. Zach Panning also competed in the event, finishing in eighth with a time of 14:16.10 to earn one point.

Darien Thornton and Blake Donson also earned points for the Lakers. Competing in the weight throw, Thornton took third with a throw of 21.28m (69' 9.75'') while Donson hit a mark of 19.17m (62' 10.75'') to place seventh. Thornton scored six points for Grand Valley State, while Donson earned two points.

The final event where Grand Valley State earned points was the Distance Medley Relay. Comprised of Ricky Perez, Lawson Bright-Mitchell, Chaz Porter and Wuoi Mach, the GVSU relay team ran a time of 9:52.23, finishing eighth and earning one point.

Two Laker men also qualified for the finals of their events with strong performances in their preliminaries. 60m hurdle national champion Sean Wells ran a time of 7.83 to finish with the second-fastest time in the preliminaries. Ethan Barnes also qualified for the final of his event, finishing with the fourth-best time in the 800m prelim with a time of 1:50.86.

Jaime Roberts brings an individual national title home to Allendale with a first-place finish in the pole vault by hitting 4.11m (13' 5.75''), becoming the first female Laker to win an indoor field event at the National Championships since Sam Lockhart in 2013, and the first to win the pole vault during the indoor season at nationals since Kristen Hixson in 2012.

The 2015 national champion in the 5000m, Amy Cymerman took sixth this year, finishing with a time of 16:26.81, while fellow GV runner Kendra Foley finished seventh in the event with a time of 16:30.83, combining to earn the Laker women five points. The DMR team, comprised of Amy Creutz, Rachel Walters, Katie Shaheen and Jordan Chester, also scored points with an eighth-place finish by running a time of 11:41.43.

The only other field athlete to score points for the Grand Valley State women was Kyra Hull. The sophomore thrower finished seventh in the weight throw with a mark of 18.48m (60' 7.75'') to score two points for GVSU.

Three Laker women qualified for the finals of their events by finishing with the eighth best times in the preliminaries. Gina Patterson finished with the sixth-best time in the Mile prelims (4:52.84), while Beatriz Indurain finished with the seventh-best time in the 60m hurdle prelim (8.51), and Angela Ritter's time in the 60m dash prelim was also seventh-best (7.50).

Competition kicks off on Saturday (Mar. 12) with the 60m hurdle Heptathlon. Tor'i Brooks currently sits second in the Heptathlon with 3233 points. The first non-Pentathlon or Heptathlon event is the men's shot put, beginning at 1:55 pm.