Quick hits: GVSU track and field sweeps GLIAC honors, GVSU softball ranked No. 1 in preseason GLIAC poll

Lanthorn Sports

GVSU track and field sweeps conference awards

For the second time this season, the Grand Valley State men’s and women’s track and field teams have swept the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) weekly awards, announced Tuesday, Feb. 6. 

Senior Wuoi Mach and sophomore Jacob Battani took home the awards on the men’s side, while junior Rachael Walters and freshman Elli Kimes captured the women’s awards. The Lakers already have a combined 12 (eight women, four men) GLIAC Track & Field Athletes of the Week honors since the beginning of the season, which started early December.

For the women, Walters received the GLIAC Track Athlete of the Week recognition for the second time this season, while Kimes seized the GLIAC Field Athlete of the Week honors for the second week in a row. Walters had an excellent weekend at the Meyo Invitational in the 800-meter run, as she set a new personal best after she captured an NCAA automatic mark of 2:06.41. Walters’ blazing time was the second best time regardless of division, and she now has the best time in the conference and in Division II. Kimes had another outstanding performance after she hit a provisional mark and cleared 3.82 meters (12′ 6.25″) in the pole vault, the best mark in the GLIAC this season.

On the men’s side, Mach received his first GLIAC Track Athlete of the Week award this season, as Battani took home the GLIAC Field Athlete recognition. Mach, who competed in the 3,000-meter race during the Meyo Invitational, hit an NCAA automatic time of 8:04.81, setting a new personal best and breaking the GVSU men’s indoor track record of 8:05.19. Battani received his first career GLIAC Field Athlete of the Week award after he had a top performance this weekend in the pole vault during the Hillsdale Wide-Track Classic, as he hit an NCAA provisional mark of 5.12 meters (16′ 9.5″) en route to a first-place finish.

Both GVSU track and field teams will compete in the GVSU Big Meet on Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Kelly Family Sports Center. 

GVSU softball picked as favorite to win GLIAC in preseason poll

With 12 returning letter winners and seven starters from last season, it’s no surprise that the Grand Valley State softball team was picked as a favorite to win the 2018 GLIAC Title in the Preseason Coaches Poll, per a release from the league office Tuesday, Feb. 6.

After receiving 60 points and four first-place votes in the coaches poll, the Lakers finished one point ahead of Saginaw Valley State, which received the other four first-place votes.

GVSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season for the seventh straight year and the 15th time in program history, as the Lakers finished their campaign with a 33-18 overall mark and a 17-5 record in GLIAC play. Out of their 12 returning players, four of those were All-GLIAC honorees and one All-Region honoree. 

Although the spring season still seems far away, the Laker softball team will kick off its season at the 2018 Music City Tournament in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on Friday, Feb. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 18.