Lakers hit 60 provisional marks in Big Meet

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Brent VanEnk

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Brent VanEnk

Andy Smith

The Grand Valley State track and field program hosted more than 2,000 student athletes inside the Kelly Family Sports Center on Friday and Saturday for the GVSU Big Meet. The No. 5 Laker women and No. 6 GVSU men shined on their home turf, posting impressive performances from start to finish.

“We had a very good two days of competition as a whole,” said head coach Jerry Baltes. “This was a very good step forward and in the right direction for the program.”

On day one, GVSU’s group of athletes competing in pole vault was among the most successful on the women’s side. Jamie Roberts led a cast of six Lakers who hit provisional marks on the day.

Roberts placed third with her vault of 3.88 meters, which easily eclipsed the provisional mark and left her just 0.12m away from automatically qualifying for the NCAA National Championships. Her Laker teammates; Whitney Bice, Alexandra Kitz, Krista Nauseda, Jennifer Schornak and Michaila Lawcock; also earned provisional marks by landing in the fifth through ninth-place spots, respectively.

Amy Cruetz in the 5000 meter run, Amy Cymerman also in the 5000 meter run, Alexis Duncan in the long jump, Kendra Foley in the 5000 meter run, Kaylyn Hill in the weight throw, Jess Janecke in the 5000 meter run, Brianna King in the 8000 meter run, Breanna Luba in the 60 meter hurdles, Natalie Nelson in the 800 meter run, Hannah Osborn in the 3000 meter run, Laura Schroeder in the weight throw and Katie Shaheen in the 800 meter run all hit provisional marks, as well.

“The team had great results,” said senior Michaela Lewis. “We hit a lot of marks and showed the great potential that we have not only to win the GLIAC, but it showed the potential that we have as a team to win a national championship also.

“A big meet like this also shows our team what areas we do need to focus on and improve on to make sure we are where we want to be at the end of the year.”

The Laker men had just as much success on Friday and they were once again led by junior standout Sean Wells, who broke the GVSU school record with his time of 21.62 in the 200 meter dash. Wells’ mark was .23 seconds faster than the previous record set by Torri Tillman in 2013.

Bryce Bradley, Chris May and Brady Seiner also paced GVSU by hitting provisional marks in the 5000 meter run. Bradley led the way, finishing in second place.

Ethan Barnes in the 800 meter run, Bradley Bean in the high jump, T.J. Burnett in the 400 meter dash, Trent Chappell in the high jump, Blake Donson in the weight throw, Gary Hickman in the 60 meter hurdles, Jay Lechner in the weight throw, Wuoi Mach in the mile, Gerald McGee in the long jump, Joel Rietsma in the 800 meter run, Chris Saikalis in the shot put and Darien Thornton in the shot put and weight throw all came away with provisional marks for the Laker men.

On day two, the Lakers finished strong as a team, hitting 22 more provisional marks on the day. Five of those provisional marks came in first-place efforts.

On the women’s side, Laura Schroder had the lone victory with her throw of 18.75 meters in the weight throw. Meanwhile, Wells in the 60 meter Hurdles, Saikalis in the shot put and Lechner in the weight throw all came away with individual victories on the day for the Laker men. The relay team of Mach, Reitsma, Burnett and Ricky Perez also came away with a team victory in the DMR, hitting a provisional mark.

“This was a big qualifying weekend for us only being two weeks out from the GLIAC (Championships),” Baltes said. “Everyone was focused on this event, trying to get momentum from the big performances. This was our big tune-up event before the GLIAC; now the team can take a deep breath next week and relax.”

Both GVSU teams are back in action Friday for the GVSU Tune-Up, the program’s final home meet of the indoor season.