(Geneva, Ohio) The opening day of the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships proved productive for the Cornerstone relay teams. Qualified in the 4 x 400, 4 x 800 and distance medley relays, the men advanced to Saturday's finals in two.
After just missing the final in the 4 x 400 meters last season, the Golden Eagles returned Eric Schroeder, Ryan Versen and Zach Yeo and added Spencer Perry. Running in the first of two heats, the men needed to finish first or second or have one of next four fastest times in the field of 16.
Schroeder's lead off leg of 49.2 and Perry's 49.9 put the Golden Eagles in the middle of the pack at the second exchange. Senior, Zach Yeo's 48.9 set up things up perfectly for Versen who userd a 47.3 effort to reach the finish in 3:15.61. The time broke the school record of 3:15.78 set three weeks earlier at the GVSU Big Meet and placed third in their heat. As the fifth fastest time the men qualified by time for Saturday's final.
One hour later, the distance medley relay got underway. In the second of three heats, Cornerstone needed to finish in the top two or run one of the next two fastest times. Senior, Jared Courtright match his 3:07 split from last year on the 1200 meter leg. Versen then ran his second :47 split of the night in the 400 meters. Zach Bourdon kept CU in the hunt running 1:58 for 800 meters before handing off to Louis Falland. The junior patiently moved up to the front of the pack then kicked just enough to secure second place with a 4:12 split. Cornerstone's time of 10:05.62 erased the school record of 10:06.35 run on the Spire track five weeks ago.
Following the race, Falland was overwhelmed to discover his father hand flown in from Australia to attend the meet. "I was texting him all day, telling how the meet was going. He kept replying that he wished he could be here." Falland said. Just before the start of the race Louis told Ryan Versen he though he saw someone in the stands who looked like his dad. "I told him to focus on the race," said Versen, who was in on the surprise.
The men's 4 x 800 meters, Jared Holmberg, Tyler Grey, Michael Darling and Derek Schaaf combined to finish eighth in their heat in 8:13.07.