In their second Grand Valley State University meet of the semester on Feb. 14 – 15, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams had members qualify for provisional marks and break personal records in several events.
“The women’s team did really, really well, and it was a really strong meet for us across the board,” women’s head coach Andrew Towne said. “All around it was a really great week for us, and for next week we’re just trying to get ready and make final preparations for the GLIAC championships.”
The women’s team made high marks in a variety of events, and almost broke the school record in the 4x400-meter relay. The team composed of freshmen Allison Duber and Jessica Hurley, and sophomores Danielle Gagne and Corinne Zehner, ran with a time only .12 seconds below the school record.
“The distance girls specifically were extremely strong this weekend,” freshman Sarah Benson said. “It’s a great accomplishment for the team in general when so many girls are performing at a national level.”
Duber and fellow freshman Alexandra Whitford received provisional marks in the 400-meter and pole vault, respectively, as did junior Amy Kerst in the 800-meter. Sophomores Emily Oren and Kristina Galat both made provisional marks in the mile. The distance medley team of freshman Kathryn Royer, Kerst, Oren, and sophomore Emily Guy also met provisional marks and took 6th.
“This meet was probably the best so far this season just because everybody showed up and did really well,” Oren said. “There were a lot of personal bests on the girls’ team; a lot of provisional qualifying times and nearly provo times.”
For the men’s team, senior Maurice Jones took second in the 400-meter, breaking his personal record and meeting the provisional mark. Junior Joshua Mirth met the provisional mark and placed 6th in the 3000-meter, sophomore Matthew Harris took 4th in the the pole vault, senior Brett Dailey 5th in the weight throw, and sophomore Nick Shuster 5th in the high jump. Also, in the 4x400-meter relay, freshman Ty Etchemendy and seniors Jared Van Dyke, Matthew Raffin, and Jones, made the provisional mark and received 7th place.
“I think the meet went pretty well. It’s always good when we go to Grand Valley for the big meets. There were over 2,400 athletes and there are always a lot of good competitors, so you have competition,” junior John Wierenga said. “Everyone has competition at their level, and everyone rises to the challenge.”
With the GLIAC conference meet on the near horizon, the teams are taking on a somewhat lighter meet this week and working on qualifying for nationals.
“The tune-up is a smaller meet focusing on recovering, and we’re trying to do some fine-tuning,” men’s head coach Jeff Forino said. “We’re hoping to get some people doing the meet like us, competing in one or two events and working on getting some good times and lanes for conference the next week.”
The Chargers will be at home this week for the third time this season. The Hillsdale Tune-Up will take place in the Margot V. Biermann Center on Feb. 22. On the following weekend, March 1 and 2, Hillsdale will host the conference meet.