GVSU - Laker Men and Women Tie for Fourth at NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships

GVSU - Laker Men and Women Tie for Fourth at NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships

Provided by GVSU

Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant

BRADENTON, Fla. – The Grand Valley State men's and women's track & field teams capped off another successful outdoor season, with both teams finishing tied for fourth at the 2016 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The Laker men earned 33 points over the three-day championship meet, finishing their stay in the Sunshine State in a three-way tie for fourth-place with Adams State and Academy of Art. GVSU finished just three points behind GLIAC-rival Tiffin and Texas A&M-Kingsville for a second-place finish. For the women, they finished with 36 points in a tie for fourth with West Texas A&M, putting them one-point ahead of Johnson C. Smith and Findlay for sixth and nine points behind third-place Hillsdale.

It's the second top five finish for both the men and the women track & field teams this season, after the women placed third and the men fifth at the 2016 Indoor Track & Field Championships in March.

Sean Wells, running in the final of the 110m hurdle, crossed the tape with a time of 13.97 to finish third and give GVSU six team points, ending his career with his second All-American finish during the outdoor season and fourth overall as a Laker.

The Laker men received eight team points from the 5000m final by way of two top-eight finishes. Zach Panning finished third in his first national championship appearance with a time of 14:14.85, while Bryce Bradley scored a seventh-place finish with a time of 14:17.02 to earn him his fifth all-time All-America finish and third during the outdoor season.

Grand Valley State also scored a bevy of points on the women's side of the 5000m. Kendra Foley finished fourth with a time of 16:40m42, while Amy Cymerman crossed the finish line close behind at 16:42.30, and Gina Patterson placed eighth with a time of 16:50.39 to give the Lakers three point scores within the event. Patterson also earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the 1500m by running the race in 4:25.92.

Angela Ritter scored a fourth-place finish in the 400m with a time of 53.64, beating the school record of 54.60 set by Christy Tedrow in 2002. Ritter earned a second All-America finish this weekend as the anchor of the 4x400m relay team that finished seventh with a time of 3:42.83 along with Jessica O'Connell, Breanna Luba, and Rachael Walters.

In the 400m hurdles, TJ Burnett finished with a time of 52.54 to place sixth and score three points for Grand Valley State. It's his fourth total All-America honor and first as an individual runner.

Tiara Wiggins earned her first All-America honor by placing seventh in the 100m hurdle final with a time of 14.01, giving the Laker women two additional points.

The lone Grand Valley State field athlete to earn points on Saturday, Dajsha Avery placed eighth in the shot put with a throw of 14.71m (48' 3.25''). Her eighth-place finish in the shot put gives Avery two All-America honors at the 2016 outdoor championships, after she placed seventh in the discus on Friday.

St. Augustine repeated as men's outdoor champions, while Pittsburgh State prevented St. Augustine from the sweep by winning the women's championship. The Falcons scored 75 points on the men's side to win their second straight title with ease, while the Gorillas barely edged out the Falcons on the women's side by one point with 52 points.