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(Hillsdale, Mich.) Day 1 and 2 - The Heptathlon at the 47th annual Hillsdale College "Gina" Relays isn't what it used to be. Just three women showed up to contest the seven events this year. Cornerstone's Anita Souza finished eleven points ahead of teammate Brittany Green to win as the Golden Eagles landed new personal bests in six events.
Thursday, Souza and Green completed the first four events of the heptathlon. Anita improved her season best and spot on the NAIA national qualifying list running 14.39. Brittany followed in 15.66. All three competitors cleared 4' 11 ¾" in the high jump. Green took the lead, outscoring Souza by almost 300 points in the shot put with a new school record of 41' 2 ½". The old mark of 40' 4" was set in 2005 by Vicki Wittingen. Souza got back within seven points finishing the 200 meters in 25.49 to Green's 26.91. Brittany completed the day with 2817 points to Anita's 2810. Krystin Reiser of Bowling Green stood third at 2357.
While most of the day was sunny and a bit cool for sprinting and jumping, conditions for the evening's 5,000 meter run were ideal. CallyAnne Wyma let a trio of Golden Eagles to new personal bests. The sophomore from St. Louis finished eighth in the second head and 32nd out of 77 running 18:44.02. Classmate, Sydney Tremaine finished sixth in the third heat and 55th overall in 19:34.83 and Erin Laplander lowered her best time to 20:34 in 68th.
Friday, the heptathlon resumed with more sun and seasonal temperatures for the first time this spring. While the long jump is one of Souza and Green's better events, neither came within 18 inches of her best. Brittany maintained her lead jumping 16' 6 ¾" to Anita's 16' 4". Next up, Souza added eight feet to her previous best in the javelin, throwing 76' 8". Brittany extended her lead with a 102' 3" effort, going into the last event 173 points ahead. Running her first ever 800 meter race, Souza followed Reiser for 700 meters then pulled clear on the homestretch, hitting the line in 2:30.51, sixteen seconds and 184 points ahead of Green. Anita's total of 4402 points won the competition with Brittany second in 4391. Both scores are in the top ten in the NAIA this season.
In the third heat of 100 meters, two false starts thinned the field. Katie Walker won the heat and placed fourth overall in a PR 12:49. Lindsay Lipa finished second in a new best time 12.78 and thirteenth overall. Walker also finished third in her heat of the 200 meters with another PR, 26.32, good for fifteenth overall. Freshman, Rachel McNay improved to 1:12.20 in the 400 meter hurdles, taking fourth in her heat and fifteenth overall.
The distance women finished the day with four more personal bests. Running in the first heat of the 800 meters, Julie Oosterhouse battled the lead pack that went out slowly and never broke up, finishing fourth in 2:17.10 and sixth overall. Julia Contreras took third in the second heat and tenth overall, lowering her best time to 2:18.43. Audrey Tremaine also ran a PR of 2:21.89, for sixth in her heat and 22nd out of 48.
Day 3 - On the final day of the Hillsdale "Gina" Relays, the Cornerstone Golden Eagles added two more national qualifying performances.
Senior, Julia Contreras got things started in the 1500 meters. Racing the event for the first time in good weather conditions this season, Contreras took full advantage, running in the lead pack through three laps. Covering the final 400 meter in 72 seconds, Julia reached the finish in fourth, clocking 4:42.24, just under the NAIA provisional standard of 4:42.50. The seven-second PR held up for sixth overall.
CU ended the day with the 4 x 800 meter relay looking for a national qualifying time from four women who had run five races in the previous 25 hours. Doubling off Friday night's steeplechase school record, Jill Louisignau led off in 2:21.2. Audrey Tremaine matched her 2:21.9 from the open 800 the day before then passed to Contreras. The senior had enough left to close a ten meter gap and pass conference-rivals, Davenport with a 2:20.7 effort. Julie Oosterhouse turned in a quick 2:15.9 to bring the Golden Eagles home in second place in the third fastest time in school history, 9:20.13.
Jill Louisignau took four seconds off her school record in the 3000 meter steeplechase, improving her spot in the NAIA national list. Her time of 11:14.07 put her fourteenth. Liz Baller chopped 29 seconds off her best time in the event, moving to third on the CU all-time list. She finished 25th in 11:45.26.