Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed on Feb. 8 and 9 at Grand Valley State University’s “Big Meet.” The meet included 1700 athletes represented from 85 different schools.
On Saturday, senior John Banovetz finished second in the shot put, throwing 54 feet and 2 inches. In the weight throw, he achieved a mark of 60 – 6, placing him at number 10 in the nation for Division II.
“Once you already qualified for nationals, to improve a few feet is very good,” head men’s coach Jeff Forino said, citing Banovetz’s personal record.
For junior Brett Dailey, however, Coach Forino expects that his best is yet to come.
“I am expecting him to throw a four foot personal record soon,” Forino said. “I’m surprised he didn’t drop a bomb this week.”
Junior Justin Fawley landed an NCAA provisional mark in the Heptatholon with a score of 4,761.
Freshman Nick Schuster finished ninth in the high jump by achieving a height of 6 – 4 ¾, beating his personal record. His freshman teammate Todd Frickey took sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.08 seconds.
Sophomore Joshua Mirth, sophomore Noah Hiser, freshman Joel Calvert and sophomore Matt Perkins took eighth place at the meet in the distance medley relay.
On the women’s side, the field events saw the best results. Senior Kayla Caldwell continued her winning streak by taking first place at the meet, clearing 13 feet, 5 and ¼ inches.
Senior Adrianna Yancho finished sixth place in the high jump with a mark of 5 – 3. Fellow senior and 2012 All-American Kathy Dirksen took seventh place in the weight throw with a toss of 58 – 6.
Sophomore Heather Lantis finished with a personal record in the shot put with a throw of 40 – 11 and ½.
“The training is always there,” head women’s coach Andrew Towne said. “What matters is having a positive attitude and getting the most out of yourself.”
This week, both teams will attend another meet at GVSU. Originally the coaching staff intended to have the meet at Hillsdale’s new indoor track, housed in the Margot Biermann Athletic Center. The facility, however, is not yet finished and the team will head back to Allendale, Mich.
With only about two weeks until NCAA Conference Championships, the teams continue to prepare. Both coaches remain positive about their preparation and training.
“It really depends on what the kids do now,” Towne said. “They need to take care of themselves. You never know with 18 to 22-year-olds what you’re going to get, but we are heading down the right path.”