Cornerstone's T&F Women opened their
outdoor season at the Coastal Carolina University Invitational. Just one week
after their top ten finish at the NAIA Indoor National Championships, the plan
was to see if there was enough left in the tank to get some qualifying
performances for Outdoor Nationals before taking a break.
running event on Friday showed there was more than enough. Julia Contreras,
Audry Yonge and Julie Ooosterhouse, three-fourths of CU's All-American distance
medley relay, were joined by NAIA Indoor 3,000 meter finalist, Jill Louisignau
in the 4 x 800 meter relay. "Since there are so few meets with good 4 x 800
competition, we really wanted to qualify and not have to think about it again
until May," said coach Rod Wortley.
didn't figure in favor of the Golden Eagles. Yonge and Oosterhouse were not feeling
well, putting pressure on Louisignau whose best events are longer than 800
meters. The forecasted rain, which held off all day began to sprinkle the track
as the temperature dropped. In spite of the conditions, Yonge led off with her
best 800 split, 2:22. Louisignau raced aggressively keeping Cornerstone in
third with her 2:24 leg. Contreras ran 2:20 bringing the stick to Oosterhouse
with a two-step lead. Emma Tobin of
Towson followed Julie through the first lap, matching her 1:07 for 400 meters.
Down the backstretch she held her position, clearly gathering for a move in the
final half lap. Oosterhouse kept the pressure on stretching the gap to three
meters, then five meters going into the final turn. Her 1:08.5 last lap
resulted in a three second margin of victory. CU's time of 9:22.25 bettered the
automatic qualifying standard of 9:25.00.
field events had a familiar theme as Lindsay Lipa and Brittany Green swapped
freshman records. In the long jump, Lipa broke the record on her first attempt,
adding 3/4th of an inch to the old mark of 17' 2.5" set by LeAnne
Ericksen in 2001. Brittany Green, on her fifth attempt jumped 17' 5.75" to take
over the freshman mark then extended it to 17' 6" on her final jump.
Kayleigh Hammond extended her best in the discus to 108' 11"
and Haley Russell's debut in the hammer throw measured 122' 9"
ended with the 10,000 meters under the lights. Mindy Lewis and CallyAnne Wyma
raced well together with Wyma 14th in 42:22.88, Lewis 15th
in 42:35.93 and Leah Shepherd 16th in 44:03.32.
sunny, but windy. Contreras had no trouble, though, running 4:56.69 for 13th
in the 1500 meters, putting her fourth on the CU all-time list.
Hampton's collegiate debut of 25.66 in the 200 meters put her fifteenth in a
field of 84 and fifth on the CU all-time list. Her 58.78 placed 11th.
Lauren Pierce's season opener in the 400 meter hurdles clocked 1:06.7 for 7th
returned for the second to last event, the 3000 meter steeplechase. Based on the
entry list, she wouldn't be challenged for the win. That meant she would need
to do all the work herself to hit the NAIA automatic mark of 11:25.00 and earn
a return trip to nationals in the event. Needing laps of 1:31, Jill was on pace
and in the lead for three laps before Amber Thompson of Mount Olive caught up.
Louisignau ran the next four laps in 1:32 with Thompson hold in a ten meter
lead. The two charged into the last lap with Jill gaining slightly with each
barrier jump due to her better hurdling form. Coming off the final water jump
and into the homestretch, the CU sophomore mounted a determined effort that
brought her even, with ten meters remaining. Thompson leaned at the line and
Jill ran through the finish, getting the win 11:19.88 to 11:19.96.
Contreras, Oosterhouse, Hampton and Pierce closed out the
day taking sixth in the 4 x 400 meter relay in 4:02.19.
"Coming off Indoor Nationals and a solid week of practice,
we got great effort and great results out of a lot tired athletes," said
Wortley. The women have three weeks before their next meet on March 30-31 at
the Grand Rapids Open.