Women’s track, field takes third at nationals; men finish 23rd

Lauren Fitch

The Grand Valley State University track and field teams started off their Memorial Day weekend with some national competition in Charlotte, N.C.

Despite humid weather and storms that cancelled the preliminary races on the second day of the meet on May 27-29, the women’s team finished third in its final meet of the outdoor season with 47 points, which is the program’s best finish.

“I am really proud of all of our student-athletes, especially our seven seniors,” said Jerry Baltes, head track coach, in a press release. “They have given this program so much over the course of their careers, and I could not have asked for more.”

Seniors Danielle Fonseca and Candice Wheat had stand-out performances. Fonseca broke her own school record in the 400-meter hurdles for an eighth place finish with a time of 1 minute 0.37 seconds. Wheat claimed all-American honors with a fourth place finish in the 100-meter hurdles.

One underclassmen who also distinguished herself at the meet was sophomore Monica Kinney, who scored 13 points. Kinney took second in the 1,500-meter run in 4:23.0 and fourth place in the 5,000-meter run with 16:24.67. Lakers Megan Maceratini, Eileen Creutz and Amy Kolin followed Kinney in the 5,000-meter run, finishing 12th, 14th and 18th respectively.

Other all-American performances at the meet included Chanelle Caldwell (third in the 800-meter run), Jocelyn Kulska (fourth in pole vault), Maegan Doyen (seventh in high jump), Sam Lockhart (seventh in discus throw) and the 4×400-meter relay team of Caldwell, Wheat, Kayla Valler and Leiah Hess took fourth, which also set a new school record.

On the men’s side, the team scored 11 points to finish 23rd.
Two school records were set by Tyler Emmorey in the steeplechase and Matt Armstrong with a throw of 59’2.75” in the shot put.

Emmorey, a junior, completed the 3,000 meter steepchase race in 8:55.42 for sixth place. Going into the meet, Emmorey said he had hoped for a top-three finish.

“I am happy that I (ran a personal record) and happy I was in the top eight as an all-American,” Emmorey said. “But I was disappointed that I didn’t put myself in position with a lap and a half to go to be top three with the group that was up front. I let them get too far away and that was a mental mistake.”

Overall, Emmorey said he enjoyed racing on the track with “great competitors and teams and a good number of fans.”

Other men who competed in the finals for the Lakers included Ian Evans and Donny Stifler in the shot put, John Dyer in the 800-meter run, Paul Zielinski in the 10,000-meter run and Quinton Dennis in pole vault.

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