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(Geneva) The Cornerstone University men had one event on the opening day of the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships and they made the most of it breaking the school record and advancing to Saturday's final in the distance medley relay.
Needing to finish first or second in their heat or have one of the next four fastest times out of the two semi-final heats, Jared Holmberg got the Golden Eagles started with a 3:09 split for 1200 meters. William Russell's 49.0 for 400 meters kept CU just off the back of the pack. Senior Tyler Grey put in his best ever distance medley 800 meter split of 1:59 before passing to Louis Falland.
Falland got the baton ten seconds out of second place and went to work. Knowing the teams in the next heat would have the advantage of knowing what time would qualify for the final, Falland needed to get as close to second as possible. With just over five laps to make up the distance, Falland made gradual progress. "With 900 meters to go I thought, 'I can get this,'" he said. At 600 meters to go, Louis had passed everyone except the lead group. He bridged that gap with 400 meters to go and settled in before the final kick. In the last 200 meters, Lyle Pocha of Carroll College, Adam Godwin of Oklahoma Baptist and Falland prepared to settle who would get second. Louis got around Godwin on the final turn and used the homestretch to pull even with Pocha. At the line Pocha got the better lean giving Carroll second in 10:02.20. Fallands 29 second last 200 and 4:03 split for 1600 meters netted a 10:02.28 finish for third. After waiting out the next heat, the CU quartet advanced as the fastest time qualifier. They also took three seconds off the school record of 10:05.62 set by Jared Courtright, Ryan Verson, Zach Bourdon and Falland last season.