Track and field teams confident heading into GLIACs

Bryce Derouin

With the GLIAC Championship meet rapidly approaching, the Grand Valley State University track and field teams entered their Tune Up meet on Friday with an eye on sharpening their times and focusing on the postseason.

“I think we’re in a great spot as long as we stay focused on the task at hand,” said head coach Jerry Baltes. “We need to focus on competing to the best of our ability, and I’m very confident we will be ready to go next week in Findlay.”

The GVSU women’s indoor track and field team hit 15 provisional, and four automatic NCAA qualifying marks. On the other side, the GVSU men hit three provisional marks and one automatic NCAA qualifying mark.

“Some people we were trying to run fast and qualify for national championships and other people were sharpening up or backing down and resting,” Baltes said. “Both relays, men and women ran faster and a lot of sprinters dipped down and ran faster times. We had a very positive night across the board.”

Two new school records were also set at the Tune Up meet. Sam Lockhart set the women’s shot put record (Lauren Buresh, 16.11 meters) with a throw of 16.16 meters. Lockhart also made an automatic NCAA qualifier in the weight throw, with a toss of 20.34 meters.

On the men’s side, the relay team of Nathaniel Hammersmith, Chris Teitsma, Mohamed Mohamed and Logan Hofferman set a new record in the 4×400 relay (Hammersmith, Xavier Parnell, Mohamed, Hoffman; 3 minutes and 15.36 seconds) with a time of 3:15.15.

“We just wanted to come out in our events and run great times, so when the competition comes, we will be ready,” Mohamed said. “We wanted our confidence to go up by coming out here and running fast times.”

The Tune Up meet was the last chance for runners to work out the kinks for the GLIAC Championship, and many runners looked forward to this opportunity.

“For some people that haven’t done so well in the last meet, this was a chance where we can try to get back in the swing of things,” said sophomore Jeremy Wilk. “I think this is a good way to get back on the trail. I think we are in very good shape as long as we stay focused I think we have a good chance at winning GLIAC’s.

There was an intermission honoring the graduating seniors and their accomplishments. This was their last indoor track meet at GVSU.

“Anytime a group of seniors passes through your program, you want to do something to show your appreciation,” Baltes said. “We appreciate all the hard work, the energy, the time, effort and determination. They accomplished quite a bit, including three national championship banners. We are really proud in each and every one of them and what they have given to the program.”

The Lakers will be back in action Friday in Findlay, Ohio, for the GLIAC Championship.

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