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ANGOLA, IN (2/16) The Golden Eagles won every event 1,000 meter and longer at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. Louis Falland led the team with three wins earning the Performer of the Meet award.
In the first event, the distance medley relay, most teams save their best runners for other events so the outcome is often a surprise. Zach Bourdon, Alex Macias and Tyler Grey completed the 1200, 400 and 800 meter legs, leaving Thomas Bambach the 1600 meters and a closable gap behind Indiana Tech. The sophomore from Allendale ran a 4:23 anchor split, taking the lead in the final 400 meters giving CU the win in 10:32.62.
Next up, Jared Courtright cruised through the 5,000 meters, taking control with a 65 second final 400 and earning his first WHAC indoor title in 15:11.77. "Jared has run some outstanding races at WHAC meets in his career, coming within inches of winning on several occasions," said coach Rod Wortley. "It was great to see him go out and not just win, but control the outcome. Seniors have a way of doing that."
Then Falland took over. As the top seed by over ten seconds in the mile, no one was willing to push the pace ahead of him and the field jogged through the first half in 2:30. Louis eased the gas pedal toward the floor with laps of 33, 29 and 30 before accelerating away with a 28 second last 200 meters making it 2:00 for the last 800 of the race. His winning time was just 4:30.26 and left plenty of energy for his next two events. Ninety minutes later, Louis lined up for the 1,000 meters. This time the pace was more ambitious with the leaders running 62 seconds for the first 400 meters. As he did in the mile, Grant Gunneson of Aquinas tried to pull even in the last 200, but Falland would have none of it, closing with a 28.4 lap to win in 2:34.51.
To accomplish the distance events sweep, Falland needed to win the 3000 meters, 45 minutes after the 1k. To add difficulty to the challenge, the Australian would have to run in the first heat instead of the faster second heat. "We were hoping for the 3k to scratch down to just 25 guys so there could be one heat," said CU distance coach, Nate Van Holten. "Louis didn't run a 3k this season so if it split into two heats he would be in the slower one because he didn't have a seed time." Teammate, Jared Holmberg who was also in the first heat got the job of being Falland's pacesetter for as long as possible. He got in four laps at 36 seconds and Falland took over. Louis won by 15 seconds in 8:49.92, a new personal best, then waited to see what the fast heat could do. A pack of three broke away in the final laps with Aquinas' Jacob Towne hitting the line in 8:54.54, giving Falland his third win of the meet. For his 30 points, Louis earned the WHAC Performer of the Meet trophy for the highest point total.
While CU runners didn't win the 600 or the 800 meters, they did put a man second in both races. Spencer Perry took the runner up spot in the 600 with a personal best and NAIA provisional qualifying time of 1:22.63. Zach Yeo was second in the 800 meters in 1:58.48.
While Indiana Tech dominated the sprint events, senior Eric Schroeder broke up a 1-5 Tech sweep in the 60 meter dash running a new best 7.01 for fourth.
Senior Bryant Langdon and freshman Mike Mahon placed fourth and fifth in the 35 pound weight throw. Langdon sent the ball 54' 8.3/4" and Mahon broke his freshman record on his first and sixth attempts. The mark now stands at 50' 4".
The evening concluded with Schroeder, Perry, Versen and Yeo combining for second in the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 3:21.77.
Indiana Tech took the team title with 198 points followed by Siena with 132.5, Aquinas at 95.5 and Cornerstone at 94. Davenport was fifth scoring 24 followed by newcomers, Marygrove with 12 and Concordia with 1 point.