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(Geneva, Ohio) The second day of competition at the Spire Midwest Indoor Track & Field Open began like the first day ended: with Cornerstone winning a relay. This time it was Tyler Grey, Louis Falland, Zach Bourdon and Zach Yeo holding off Edinboro in the 4 x 800 meters 7:56.17 to 7:56.98. The time was under the NAIA provisional standard and the first of five national qualifying events for the day.
CU's top 400 meter runner, Ryan Versen moved up to the 600 meters and raced it to perfection taking the lead in the homestretch and getting the win and a provisional qualifier. His time of 1:22.17 puts him second on the CU all-time list.
In the pole vault, Logan Norton broke his school record from last year, clearing 15' 1" on his third attempt. He also had two good attempts at 15' 7".
Cornerstone throwers had a good day in the circle. Ross Raymond's third attempt in the shot put measured 45' 7.25" giving him the school record after some near misses this season. He added over a foot to the old mark of 44' 4" set by Joel Leong in 2009. Senior Bryant Langdon came into the meet looking for a national qualifying mark in the 35 pound weight throw and got it on his third throw. His 54' 4.5" attempt gave him second place and bettered the NAIA provisional standard.
The final two events were the most exciting. In the 3,000 meters, Jared Courtright was looking to better the NAIA automatic qualifying time of 8:40.80. Needing to average just under 52 seconds per lap, the senior found himself in the hole when the field went out in 54 seconds for the opening lap. For the next five laps Jared raced in the pack just behind the leaders then made a bold move on the backstretch to break free as the pace started to slow. "On the bell lap I saw the clock and it was the same time as I had at nationals last year," Courtright said. "I knew I needed to have a great last 300." A determined sprint produced a 46 second final circuit and 2012 All-American in the event was rewarded with the qualifying time, a new PR of 8:37.28 and a fourth place finish.
The final highlight of the meet came in the 4 x 400 meter relay with Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference rivals, Cornerstone, Indiana Tech and Siena Heights in the fast heat. Tech had the best day taking second in 3:16.31 while CU's quartet of Eric Schroeder, Bourdon, Versen and Yeo nailed one more automatic qualifying mark, running 3:18.38 for third. Siena was fourth in 3:20.06.
The team travels to Indiana Wesleyan University for their next meet, February 2.