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The 2012-2013 Cornerstone University Men's Track & Field team begins the year with the momentum from finishing 19th at last season's NAIA Outdoor Championship and 25th at the NAIA Indoor National meet. Five All-Americans and 14 national qualifiers return the as well as a strong freshman class. The Golden Eagles are solid in each event group and look to improve at both the conference and national levels.
Three of the four men who broke both the Indoor (3:16.93) and Outdoor (3:14.11) school records in the 4 x 400 meter relay, return. Senior, Zach Yeo (Cedar Springs, MI) holds the school record in the 600 and brings a 48.23 best in the open 400. Junior, Ryan Versen (Grand Rapids, MI) has the 400 meter indoor school record (48.90), has run 48.23 outdoors and 22.23 in the 200 meters. Senior captain, Eric Schroder (Scotts, MI) remains the reliable leadoff man in both the 4 x 400 and 4 x 100 meter relays. Sophomores, Nick Hayes (Holland, MI) and Alex Macias (Lansing, MI) will contend for the open spot in the 4 x 400 while MHSAA All-State sprinter, Austin Hazen (Freeland, MI / Freeland HS) brings valuable experience in the 4 x 100.
In the 400 meter hurdles, Ryan Versen broke his school record, clocking 52.28 to earn his first All-America plaque placing fifth at the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Championships. The reigning WHAC champion in that event, Versen is joined by freshman, Deon Fox (Muskegon, MI / Western Michigan Christian HS). Fox earned MHSAA All-State honors last spring in both the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles, finishing eighth in the long hurdles and runner-up in the highs.
Unquestionably the deepest event group in the program, the Golden Eagles proved capable of scoring well in the WHAC and producing national qualifiers in nearly every race from the 600 meters through the marathon. Zach Yeo sits at the top of the CU all-time list in the 600 meters, has been an NAIA finalist in the event and has been an instrumental part of qualifying 4 x 400, 4 x 800 and distance medley relays for the National Championships for three seasons. Classmate Zach Bourdon (Muskegon, MI) enters his final year with bests of 1:56.73 in the 800 meters and 2:33.91 for 1,000 meters. Junior, Louis Falland (Noriootpa, Australia) combines sub 4:00 speed in the 1500 meters with the strength to be WHAC champion and NAIA All-American in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (9:17.30). Senior, Jared Courtright (Wyoming, MI) earned NAIA All-America honors in the 3,000 meters last indoor season (8:40.24), was WHAC runner up in the 5,000 meters (15:12.11), broke the school record in the half-marathon (1:11:04) and finished the year placing 19th in the marathon (2:43.07.80) at the NAIA Outdoor Championships. Classmate Travis Mabe (Deford, MI) also has great range in the long distance events with the ability to qualify for Indoor Nationals in the 5k (15:12), place second and third at the Outdoor WHAC meet in the 10k and 5k, match Courtright in the half marathon and finish 15th in the marathon (2:41:07.60) at the NAIA Championships. NAIA National Runner up from 2012 in the 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter race walks, Cody Risch (Mason, MI), looks to finish one place better this season. The senior also has solid credentials in the 5k having run 15:38.60 and is a WHAC scorer in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a 9:44.44 best in that event. The Golden Eagles remain one of the deepest race walk programs in the NAIA. Sophomore, Nate Vanderwall (Byron Center, MI) earned All-America honors in the event outdoors and classmate Isaac Withrow (Tinley Park, IL) has Indoor and Outdoor Nationals experience.
Last season's jump squad produced three freshman records and two school records. Logan Norton, (Comstock Park / Calvin Christian HS), broke both the Indoor (14' 11") and Outdoor (15') Freshman and School Records in the pole vault and is set to better the NAIA national qualifying standards this season. Cameron Hill (Coopersville, MI / Coopersville HS) earned his first trip to the Indoor National Meet in the high jump with his Freshman Record performance of 6' 6 ¾". In the long jump, Schroeder (21' 10") and Norton (21' 5 ¾") extended their personal bests, placing third and fourth at the WHAC Indoor Championships.
2012 was a productive year for the Golden Eagle throwers. Junior Bryant Langdon (Big Rapids, MI) improved to second on the CU all-time list in the 35 pound weight throw, behind 2010 NAIA National Champion, Joel Leong. Bryant's best of 57' 5 ¾" earned him a trip to the NAIA Indoor National Meet. Langdon also finished the season second to Leong's School Record in the hammer throw, improving to 158' 8". Ross Raymond (Tustin, MI) set freshman records in the Indoor shot put (43' 11 ¾") and the hammer throw (143' 3") while classmate Jon Norris (Holland, MI) extended the Freshman Record in the discus to 138'. With Norris now serving in the U.S. Army, MHSAA All-State discus specialist, Michael Mahon (Middleville, MI / Thornapple-Kellogg HS) steps in with a 159' 3" best with the 1.6k implement.
Junior, Spencer Perry (Adrian, MI) enters his thirds season with true multi-event abilities. In the field events he's cleared 6' 5" in the high jump and thrown the javelin 152' 2". On the track his middle distance speed earned him fourth at the WHAC Indoor Championships in the 1,000 meters (2:38.08) and he has contributed to a national qualifying 4 x 400 meter relay effort. Joining Spencer will be freshman Deon Fox, whose solid hurdles and jumps experience provide a foundation for the heptathlon and decathlon.