(Allendale, Mich.) The 2013-14 Indoor Track & Field season got underway at the Grand Valley State Early Bird meet. Cornerstone women started and ended the evening with national qualifying performances as well as six top three finishes.
Julie Oosterhouse made the most of her fitness from the cross country season running the 5,000 meters, looking to take a shot at the CU school record set in 2000. The junior from Byron Center demolished the Erin Clason's old record of 18:17.03 finishing thirteenth in 17:52.55, well under the NAIA automatic qualifying standard.
In field event action, a trio of CU freshmen swept the pole vault. Gabby Reams won with a 10' 10" clearance followed by Cathy Kim in second at 10' 6" and Mariah Holmes third at 9' 6".
Freshman Tess Odegard took third in the high jump clearing 5' 3.25" while Brittany Green finished fourth in a new best of 5' 1.25". Green and Haley Russell placed seventh (40' 3.5") and eighth (40' 1.25") in the shot put, giving CU two women over 40' feet in the same meet for the first time. Russell also came within an inch of her best in the 20 pound weight throw, taking fifth with a toss of 49' 9.25".
Lindsay Lipa had an incredible meet, bettering the NAIA automatic standard in the triple jump, taking second with a mark of 36' 5.5". The junior from Canton added a provisional qualifying leap in the long jump, going 17' 9" for second place.
To end the day, Lipa led off the 4 x 400 meter relay. Her effort, combined with Kaitlyn Bronkema, Lyndee Sayers and Larissa Hampton resulted in a fourth place finish and their time of 3:59.81 was another NAIA automatic qualifying performance.
"Ideally, you want to pick up where you left off after last season," said CU Women's Head Coach, Paul Koutz. "I'd have to say we did that today. These women have worked very hard all semester and if this is the starting point, things look pretty good."