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(Geneva, Ohio) On the second day of the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Cornerstone Women's Track & Field team matched their feat from the first day by getting two All-Americans in the opening event. They also advanced two women to Saturday's final.
The 2014 edition of the 3,000 meter race walk featured the largest field in over a decade with 21 women entered, including four from Cornerstone. For fifth-seeded CU senior, Monica Lawrence, this would be her indoor championship. "The quality of the women's walk has grown tremendously since Monica's freshman year," said CU walks coach, Nate Van Holten. "She's done a great job improving every season to match the new talent."
From the start Lawrence positioned herself in the lead pack never letting the pace go above 88 seconds per 300 meter lap. With a season best of 15:01, Lawrence worked her way into third as the pack strung out. Holding form she got within four seconds of runner up Mereth Zalba of Missouri Baptist at the finish. Her time of 14:24.72 erased the school record set in 2011 by Janelle Brown and earned Lawrence her third All-America honor in the event.
Behind her, Brianna Griffiths put herself in the top ten and worked up to seventh for her first Indoor All-America plaque. Her time of 15:22.62 took eleven seconds off her best time. Sophomore Kayla Ovokaitys bettered her twelfth seed making the top ten with a fifteen second PR of 15:50.02. Freshman, Melissa Manlan finished fifteenth slicing 22 seconds off her previous best.
One day after the finishing third in the pentathlon, Anita Souza ran 8.77 to take second in her semi-final heat of the 60 meter hurdles. Her time advances her to Saturday's finals in the event.
As the top seed in the 800 meters, Julie Oosterhouse took control of her semi-final heat after a 67 second opening 400 meters. A 33 second last 200 meters gave her enough cushion to coast to the finish for the win in 2:15.73 while Cherie Gaines of Indiana Tech snuck in for a close second in 2:15.86. Both advance to Saturday's final.
Haley Russell made her Indoor Nationals debut in the 20 pound weight throw. Seeded 21st, Russell's second round was a new best 53-8.25 putting her fourteenth in the field of 23 competitors.
Brittany Green placed tenth in the long jump with a mark of 17-8.75.