Personal records broken for GV track and field at Bill Clinger Classic

James Herrick, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted the Bill Clinger Classic on Jan. 28. The event was a success for the Lakers as the women won seven events while the men won six.

Standout performances from the meet include sophomore Eli Kosiba in the high jump. Kosiba cleared 2.15 meters to take first place in the event. This also set Kosiba’s personal record and moved him into a tie for first place in DII high jump. 

In another jumping event, junior Mac Mitchell finished in first place in the triple jump with a final score of 13.63 meters. 

The women also won a handful of jumping events. Sophomore Jenna Doyle won the high jump as she cleared 1.67 meters. In the long jump event, sophomore Ashley Perryman finished with a distance of 5.16 meters to take first. 

GVL / Lauren Seymour

Both the men’s and women’s teams dominated the throwing events. For the men, sophomore Myles Kerner won both weight throw and shot put as he threw for distances of 19.90 meters and 18.54 meters, respectively.

On the women’s side, junior Judith Essemiah set a personal record of 20.43 meters to win the weight throw and freshman Mackenzie Bohrer threw 13.79 meters to finish first in the shot put event. 

The final win in the field events came from senior Elli Kimes in the pole vault as she cleared 3.95 meters. 

In track events, the only individual win for the women came from sophomore Klaudia O’Malley in the mile when she set her personal record of 4:48.34. 

GVL / Lauren Seymour

“I was coming into (the mile) a little bit skeptical,” O’Malley said. “I had COVID last week, so I was doing the return to play process and I didn’t get my first workout back on the track until this Tuesday. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was pretty confident. I felt I was in a good spot; but still not 100% sure. I’m really happy with how it went.” 

The only other track win for the women came in the 4×400 relay. The team consisted of sophomores Cameron Cleveland and Sydney Nesbitt along with freshman Taryn Chapko and Maria Mitchell. They finished with a time of 4:00.14. 

The men picked up two wins on the track as senior Marcos Garcia won the 3000-meter run and junior John Groendyk won the 800-meter run. 

“I feel like I am running pretty well right now,” Groendyk said. “I feel like I am sitting pretty good heading into postseason stuff.” 

The Bill Clinger Classic provided GVSU with a number of positives achievements to look back on. 

“A lot of bright spots,” said coach Jerry Baltes. “We just need to continue making progress and keep checking some boxes. Hopefully come big meets, conference and nationals, we will be in a good spot.” 

Next week, GVSU will be rotating the student-athletes that will compete. As they are about a month into their indoor season, the runners that have competed over the last couple of weeks will get time off; meanwhile, those that did not compete on Friday will be back in action next week. 

On Feb. 4, the GVSU men’s and women’s track and field teams will be at home as they host the Snowdown Showdown.