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(Marion, Ind.) Cornerstone sent eight women into the final day of competition at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship on their way to a top fifteen team finish.
The quartet of Julia Contreras, Erin Laplander, Leah Shepherd and CallyAnne Wyma started the marathon at 6 a.m. in a field of 43 competitors. The four followed a conservative race plan, running together for the first 25 kilometers. Wyma broke away in after 20 miles, becoming the third fastest woman in program finishing 21st in 3:17:53.01 in her first attempt at the 26.2 mile distance.
Just thirteen hours after anchoring the 4 x 800 meter relay to an All-American finish, Contreras ended her collegiate career finishing 25th in 3:20:23.10. "What Julia did was unbelievable," said coach Rod Wortley. "There was no reason for her to run this race, other than to help her teammates one last time. She didn't train for this event and the reason she qualified was because she was pacing CallyAnne in her half marathon in December. I find it fitting that her last race underscores the essence of who she is as a teammate and a captain." Shepherd took 30th in 3:24:42.80 and Laplander was 35th in 3:29:26.80.
Saturday afternoon, Anita Souza found enough energy to take sixth in the 100 meter hurdles, running 14.40 and earning her second All-America plaque of the meet.
Louisignau improved one spot from last season, taking ninth in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Her time of 11:05.56 was just off her school record set two weeks earlier.
Haley Russell matched her seeding placing sixteenth in the discus. Her best throw of 136' 6" second only to her school record of 141' 1".
Julie Oosterhouse completed the day for the Golden Eagles in the 800 meter final. After going out in 63 seconds in the first laps of 4 x 800 semis and finals, Oosterhouse was hoping the pace would be closer to 65. All nine women reached 400 meters in 65 seconds with Julie positioned at the back of the pack on the outside. As the leaders stretched out the field on the backstretch, the sophomore from Byron Center began passing. "I had to go earlier than I wanted to, but I needed to cover the move" said Oosterhouse. Off the final turn, she found herself on the rail in the dash for home and matched her sixth place finish from 2012. Her time of 2:11.54 broke the school record of 2:12.29 she set exactly one year ago and earned her second All-America plaque of the meet.
Cornerstone's eight All-Americans totaled 22 points, tying them with Carroll College for fourteenth place out of 60 scoring teams. Indiana Tech dominated the competition winning with 122 points, ahead of Oklahoma Baptist in second with 82.7. WHAC rivals Aquinas finished 23rd with twelve points.