GRAND RAPIDS (10/23) After an overnight shower and some intermittent drizzle the sun came out just before the start for the NAIA Great Lakes Invitational. Twenty-five teams from six states spanned the starting line at Riverside Park.
The opening mile was fast as the field of 271 women raced to position themselves. Jill Louisignau
paced the Golden Eagles, splitting 5:47 ahead of Audry Yonge
(5:57) and Mindy Lewis
"Even though this is a flat course, the second mile is usually the slowest. Our focus was today was to get to the two mile mark on pace," said coach Rod Wortley
The CU women executed their plan perfectly then took advantage of the large crowd of noisy spectators lining most of the final mile of the course.
Louisingau ran the second fastest time for a freshman in program history taking 30th in 19:07, a personal best by 43 seconds. Mindy Lewis took 22 seconds off her previous best running 19:25 for 43rd place. Senior Janelle Brown lowered her PR to 19:49 in 58th followed by Brianna Hansen's third PR in three meets , taking 68th in 19:59. Audry Yonge collapsed in the final meters, but regained her feet and made it across the finish line in 20:00, one place behind Hansen. After 45 minutes of attention in the trainer's ten, Yonge was hospitalized briefly and released no worse for the wear. Julia Contreras (20:05 / 76th) and Jamie Caminiti (20:14 / 83rd) also ran PR's.
Olivet Nazarene won the meet with 71 points, ahead of Aquinas with 100 and Shawnee State's 158. Cornerstone was ninth with 268. Their team time of 1:38:21 is the fifth best in school history.
Cornerstone races next on November 6, again at Riverside Park as they host the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championships.