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(Allendale, Mich.) The appropriately named Big Meet brings in outstanding competition from around the nation to race on Grand Valley State's 300 meter oval. The Golden Eagles turned in two school records, three national qualifying performances and ten personal bests.
Friday evening's highlight was the elite invitational section of the mile. After easily winning the second heat in the event last year, Louis Falland was moved up to the first heat this time. The 2013 NAIA runner-up in the event positioned himself with the leaders just behind the pacemaker who got the field through halfway in 2:00. From there, Falland held on to second as Josh McAlary of Playmakers / New Balance opened a ten meter gap. McAlary won in 4:03.55 as the next three hit the finish two seconds later with Louis fourth in 4:05.87. Falland's new school record bettered the 4:07.57 he ran at this meet last season and puts him second on the NAIA list.
Saturday morning the distance medley relay of Jared Holmberg, William Russell, Tyler Grey and Falland needed a time of 10:20.20 to qualify for the NAIA Championships in three weeks. Holmbers covered the 1200 meter lead off leg in 3:11, Russell contributed a :49 for 400 meters and Grey clocked 1:59 for the 800 meters. Falland grabbed the baton with six minutes gone by, giving him an eternity, 4:20 to finish the job. "We didn't want to put it all on Lou to qualify," Holmberg said. Falland breezed through 1600 meters in 4:15 to finish in 10:15.07. Holmberg added a PR 1:59:15 in the open 800 meters, finishing 23rd
In the shot put, Ross Raymond fouled his first two attempts then got off a careful 48' 2 ¾" effort to make the finals. After adjusting his timing, Ross' fourth round attempt went 49' 4 ¾". That set up at 50' 7 ½" blast in the fifth round, moving him to fourth, breaking his school record of 50' 3 ¼" set in January and moving him up on the NAIA nationals list.
Saturday, February 22 the team travels to Trine University in Angola, IN for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championship.