School records fall at GVSU Big Meet

Courtesy Photo /
Liz Murphy throwing weight. She set a new record 64 6

Courtesy Photo / Liz Murphy throwing weight. She set a new record 64′ 6″

Jon Adamy

It is safe to say Grand Valley State University’s Big Meet lived up to its name.

On Friday and Saturday, more than 1,800 athletes, including many representing Division I schools, came from all over the Midwest to the annual meet hosted by the GVSU. Schools such as Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Eastern and Western Michigan University and out-of-state teams such as Purdue University and Western Kentucky University were on hand to test their skills at the Laker Turf Building in the non-scored meet.

The Laker women continued their record-setting performances with sophomore thrower Sam Lockhart improving on her own school record and junior Monica Kinney beating the previous school record in the 3,000-meter run. Kinney crossed the finish line second with a time of 9 minutes and 22.75 seconds, while Lockhart recorded a toss of 51-3 in the shot put, landing her in fourth place overall.

Lockhart said she is focused on continuing to improve on her already record-setting marks and was motivated by being able to compete against Division I competition.

“It was awesome to have this kind of competition,” Lockhart said. “It’s great because I knew we had been working hard, and I haven’t backed off of lifting and training or anything. I just wanted to show that I’ve been working hard, that I can compete with [Division I] throwers.”

The 4×400-meter relay team took home a third-place finish while setting a provisional time of 3:46.18.

The women’s team also saw a fourth-place finish in the mile by senior middle distance runner Katherine McCarthy with a time of 4:52.07.

For the men, junior thrower Daniel Vanek took first overall in the shot put and sealed an automatic qualification for the Division II Indoor Nationals with a throw of 59-10 1/2. Teammate Matt Armstrong finished second behind Vanek with a throw of 59-6 3/4. Even though Vanek was able to take first, he said he still looks to improve as the season goes on.

“It’s always good to be first and get points for your team, but I wasn’t really satisfied with my mark yesterday,” Vanek said. “I had a little technical difficulty, so hopefully by the conference or nationals, I want to improve. That’s my plan.”

On Saturday, both the men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams both ran well with the men taking first and setting a provisional time with a finish of 9:57.45. The women took second in the relay while automatically qualifying for national competition in Division II with a mark of 11:40.60.

The Lakers will next compete when they host the GVSU Tune-Up on Friday. The meet will serve as their final preparation before beginning the GLIAC Championships in Saginaw, Mich., on Feb. 25.

[email protected]