School record marks strong outing for track and field team at Eubanks

GVL / Eric Coulter
Freshman Victoria Schiller competes in the Womens Hurdles during the Bob Eubanks Open held in the Kelly Family Sports Center

Eric Coulter

GVL / Eric Coulter Freshman Victoria Schiller competes in the Women’s Hurdles during the Bob Eubanks Open held in the Kelly Family Sports Center

Zach Sepanik

The Grand Valley State University men’s track and field 4×400-meter relay team set a school record Friday, one of 13 top-five finishes on the day, while the women’s team racked up 15 top-five finishes at the Bob Eubanks Open in the Kelly Family Sports Center.

“It felt good to finally break that record,” said sophomore sprinter Logan Hoffman, who also came in second in the 600-meter run. “We were really close last year and we definitely knew we could do it this year. It was just a matter of putting a good race together.”

Hoffman was a member of the school record-setting 4×400 meter relay team, along with fellow sophomores Mohamed Mohamed and Nathaniel Hammersmith and senior Xavier Parnell.

Even with the strong performance in the relay, each had outstanding races in other events. Hammersmith finished fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.19 seconds, Mohamed finished fourth in the 400-meter dash and Parnell earned two top-four finishes. He placed second with a personal best time of 35.29 seconds in the 300-meter dash and fourth in the 60-meter dash at 7.01 seconds.

“It wasn’t like we were just running the relay race at the end of the meet trying to get that mark,” said Jerry Baltes, GVSU men’s and women’s track and field head coach. “We feel pretty positive about the group moving forward and hopefully they can run some pretty fast times over the course of the season.”

The women saw solid performances en route to 15 total top-five finishes.

“Coming off of break, everyone was really focused and prepared to run fast because after these couple meets we start traveling and people want to get on the travel team,” said freshman distance runner Hannah Osborn, who finished third in the one-mile run. “I think there is room for improvement, but I also think we are stronger than last year at this time.”

Osborn also finished third in the 800-meter run at 2 minutes, 22 seconds. However, the Lakers’ only victory of the day came via senior Lauren Buresh’s 14.90-meter shot put throw.

Other strong performances also came from the field athletes as they placed three in the top-five of the weight throw competition, as well as from junior mid-distance runner Ashley Botham, who had two top-five finishes.

“I am more impressed that we competed well after the first week back in school and a hard week of training,” Baltes said. “Where we opened up was probably the most impressive thing and for a school record time in the 4×400 relay was even greater.”

The teams will get back to action Friday with the Mike Lints Alumni Open in the Kelly Family Sports Center at 3 p.m.

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