GVSU track and field drop times at Gorilla and Bison Classic

Track and field students. Track and field meet. Kelly Field house. Friday, 2/8/19. Athletic training. GVL

Track and field students. Track and field meet. Kelly Field house. Friday, 2/8/19. Athletic training. GVL

Jerod Fattal

The GVSU men’s and women’s track and field teams were all over the Midwest this weekend, competing in the Gorilla Classic, Bison Outdoor Classic, and the Ball State Invite on Saturday, April 13.

The Lakers entered the weekend with high expectations as both teams were ranked in the top five of the latest USTFCCCA index poll, with the men’s team ranked No. 5 with 129.90 points and the women’s team ranked No. 1 with 268.1 points.

“We obviously have some talented people on our team,” said senior sprinter Jordan Johnson. “It’s just about remaining humble and doing the small things that help us execute when we need too.”

GVSU split their teams into position groups Saturday, with the sprinters competing in the Ball State Invite in Muncie, Ind. Tyler Mansfield and Tyler Kirkwood started the meet for the Lakers, finishing first and second in the 110 hurdles with times of 14.56 and 14.79 seconds.

“I think (Mansfield) was a bit frustrated from the indoor season,” Johnson said. “This was one of his first outdoor meets of the season and I sometimes think that outdoor meets are better suited for certain people.”

Johnson and Emmanuel Arop followed their lead in the 100m dash, where Johnson barely edged out his teammate to take second with a time of 10.61 seconds, followed by Arop in third with a time of 10.78 seconds.

Johnson kept the momentum rolling in the 200m dash, setting a new personal record time of 21.22 seconds and taking first place.

“I was a little upset from the 100,” Johnson said. “So I used it as motivation for the 200 and it willed me to a good time.”

Alexander Porter finished the day for GVSU with a third-place finish in the 400m dash, where he finished in 55.18 seconds.

Nicole Sreenan, Angelica Floyd, Sarah Buella and Willow Stuedemann highlighted the women’s performances, earning a silver medal by crossing the line in 46.36 seconds in the 4x100m dash.

Sreenan also ran in the 400m dash, where she finished third with a time of 56.67 seconds. Floyd rounded out the sprinters’ day in the 100m dash, finishing first place with a time of 11.84.

“I think we took a big step forward this weekend,” Johnson said. “ A lot of people ran their season best and to see everyone cutting down times was a good sign.”

The GVSU field event athletes competed in the Gorilla Classic, hosted by Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Tabor Gleason led the way for the women’s team, clearing 1.60m in the high jump and taking second place.

Anna Obi and Alexis Duncan also earned silver medals in the triple jump and long jump, with leaps of 11.25m and 5.76m.

Ellianne Kimes finished the day for the Lakers, vaulting 3.97m and taking third place in the pole vault. Just a week after becoming the first GVSU athlete in program history to win the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Women’s National Athlete of the Week award.

“I was surprised and honored to win the award, but honestly it didn’t change how I felt about my performance,” Kimes said. “I don’t need to get recognition to feel like I jumped well.”

The Lakers’ distance runners competed at the Bison Outdoor Classic, hosted by Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn. Hanna Groeber was the first to place for the Lakers after a second-place finish in the women’s steeplechase, where she set a new personal record and the second fastest time in the country, crossing the line in 10:23.52 seconds.

Jacob Domagalski also ran a career best in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, posting the third fastest time in the nation and taking first place with a time of 8:59.48 seconds. Tanner Chada followed in the 5,000m, finishing second with a time of 4:10.32 seconds.

GVSU has continued to accumulate accolades over the past few weeks of the outdoor season and with less than three weeks until the GLIAC Championships, the Lakers are confident in their ability to perform.

“We are the most complete team in Division II,” Johnson said. “ I just think everyone has to step up to the occasion,do their job, and we will be fine.”

The men’s and women’s teams will both be back in action Thursday, April 18 at the MT. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., before returning home Saturday, April 20, for the first home meet of the outdoor season, the Al Owens Classic.