Grand Valley State Sweeps GLIAC Outdoor Championships
Provided by GVSU
Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Valley State track & field have swept the men's and women's titles once again at the 2016 GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. This makes it 17 straight titles for the women's team, while the men's team has pulled in three consecutive outdoor titles for the men and five in six years. It also marks the third straight year Grand Valley State has swept the GLIAC Outdoor Championships.
The Grand Valley State men racked up 190.5 points in the three-day competition, hosted by Ferris State. Trailing the Lakers in second were Tiffin (155), while Hillsdale (121), Ashland (81.5), and Saginaw Valley State (55) rounded out the top five. Findlay (49) came in sixth, and following the Oilers are Michigan Tech (42), Malone (39), Walsh (25), Lake Superior State and Lake Erie (16), host Ferris State (9), Ohio Dominican (8), and Northwood (7).
Grand Valley State's women earned 183.5 points at this year's GLIAC Championships. Finishing behind the Laker women were Hillsdale (110.1), Findlay (108), Ashland (93.6), and Tiffin (73.5) in the top five. Saginaw Valley State (53.5) was next in sixth, and following the Cardinals were Wayne State and Northern Michigan (44.6), Walsh (36.6), Lake Erie (22), Michigan Tech (13), Malone and Ferris State (11), Northwood (8), and Ohio Dominican (3).
Four Laker individuals and one relay team took home first place in their respective events Friday afternoon. Angela Ritter scored a first-place finish in the 200m dash with a time of 24.62 and helped the 4x400m relay team also comprised of Jessica O'Connell, Alexis Duncan and Breanna Luba score a first place finish with a time of 3:43.47, breaking the previous GLIAC record set in 2012 by the GVSU relay team of Chanelle Caldwell, Leiah Hess, Adrienne Chandler, and Kalena Franklin.
Ethan Barnes finished first in the 800m with a time of 1:54.15, while Zach Panning crossed the finish line in the 5000m in 14:49.77, and Sean Wells touched the tape in the 100m hurdles at 14.12.
A significant number of Lakers who qualified for Saturday's finals on Friday scored points for Grand Valley State with finishes inside the top eight. Along with her two first-place finishes, Ritter placed second in the 100m dash (11.89) and third as the anchor in the 4x100m relay (46.94) with Luba, Duncan, and Indurain. Lawson Bright-Mitchell finished second in the 200m dash (21.57) and as a member of the 4x100m relay team (41.46) with Kenny Jones, Wells, and Thomas Capers, and he also recorded a third place finish with Capers, Wells, and TJ Burnett as a member of the 4x400m relay team (3:13.58).
Skylar Dantzler took eighth in the 400m dash (57.89) and Rachel Walters finished fifth in the 800m (2:13.50), while Dakota Brasseur placed fifth (1:56.66) and Chaz Porter seventh (1:59.58) in the 800m run. In the women's 1500m, Kendra Foley finished fourth (4:27.43), while Gina Patterson took fifth (4:29.36) and Amy Creutz took sixth (4:34.35). In the men's 1500m, Ricky Perez took fourth (3:58.66) and Mitchell Wilkins placed eighth (4:00.83). Amy Cymerman scored a second-place finish in the women's 5000m (17:02.26), while Bryce Bradley took second (14:50.31), Chris May took fourth (14:54.82) and Kevin Black finished eighth (15:12.93) in the men's 5000m.
Tiara Wiggins scored a third-place finish in the 100m hurdle (13.95), and she was followed from GV by Luba in sixth (14.24) and Indurain in eighth (18.15), while Gary Hickman finished third (14.77) in the men's 110m hurdles. O'Connell took second in the women's 400m hurdles (1:00.53) and Eskolunbe Puente finished fifth (1:02.03) in the same event, and Tyler Pavliga crossed the line in fifth (54.09) in the men's 400m hurdles.
In Saturday's field events, a total of 12 Lakers finished in the top eight to earn points for Grand Valley State. Samantha Saikalis and Kathryn Mills tied for third in the high jump with a mark of 1.64m (5' 4.5''), while Ryan Camp took fifth (4.62m/15' 1.75'') and Michael Martin tied for seventh (4.47m/14' 8'') in the men's pole vault. Samora Nesbitt placed eighth in the men's triple jump (13.61m/44' 8'') and Dajsha Avery finished fourth in the women's shot put (14.40m/47' 3''). In the men's shot put, Chris Saikalis placed second (17.99m/59' 0.25'') and Darien Thornton finished sixth (16.85m/55' 3.5''), and Mariah Mansperger took second in the women's discus throw (45.50m/149' 3''). Finally, in the men's discus throw, Blake Donson took fourth (51.65m/169' 5''), Mike Prestigiacomo took fifth (51.06m/167' 6''), and Denzel Graham finished seventh (49.59m/162' 8'').
Jerry Baltes was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year for both the men and the women, the fourth time Baltes has swept conference Coach of the Year honors in his illustrious Laker coaching career. Mariah Mansperger was named the women's Freshman of the Meet for the field events for her first-place finish in the discus throw, and Rachel Walters was named the women's Freshman of the Meet for the running events by placing fifth in the 800m.
Grand Valley State heads back to Allendale to host the final two meets of their regular season schedule. On Friday (May 13), the Lakers will host the GVSU Second to Last Chance Meet, and on Saturday (May 14) the Lakers will host the GVSU Last Chance Meet.