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(Angola, Ind. ) The Cornerstone University Men's Track & Field team took third at the 2010 Wolverine-Hoosier Conference Championships. Senior Joel Leong won Performance of the Meet for his effort in the 35 pound weight throw and freshman Zach Yeo won Performer of the Meet with the most points (20.5) scored in the meet.
Joel Leong picked up where he left off at the 2009 Indoor WHAC championship when he broke the meet record in the 35 pound weight throw three times leaving it at 59' 10.25". On his first attempt he sent the implement 61' 11.75". On his second attempt everything set up perfectly, "It felt good so I kept pushing harder through each turn," said the 2009 NAIA All-American in the event. "The finish was good and I knew it was going to be a big throw." Indeed it was, bouncing over the eighteen inch wood barriers at the far end of the throwing sector. The tape measure revealed how big: 63' 5.5" - a personal best, school record and conference meet record. Leong, who has the longest throw by anyone in the NAIA this season, added over nine inches to his national leading mark. Still tired from the effort, Joel fouled his final attempt in the preliminary round then had two more throws beyond his previous PR in the finals, 62' 9.75" and 63' .5".
On the track, Alex Green won the 5,000 meters easily in 15:17.19. Senior Stephan Larson ran a patient and tactical race moving up for third in 15:29.74.
In the mile, Zach Ripley and the rest of the field let Joey Snellink of Davenport take the early led. With two laps remaining it appeared Snellink had stolen the race. Ripley's trademark 29 second last lap was almost enough to catch the fading leader. Snellink barely held on to win in 4:18.53 ahead of Zach's 4:19.68.
The 400 meters featured another great duel between Siena's Dough Dawson and CU's Jacob Erickson. The Cornerstone senior put in a strong move after 200 meters, with Dawson closing in the final stretch to grab the win 49.06 to 49.21. Jeff Burd ran a PR 50.85 in fourth.
Next up, freshman Zach Yeo lit up the field in the 600 meters winning by nearly one second in 1:22.97. He returned in the 200 meters with a freshman record and NAIA provisional time 22:32 to take second.
Ripley and Green teamed up for a great race in the 3,000 meters, breaking away from the field in the final laps to finish 1-2. Ripley got the win in 8:47.07 with Green three steps back in 8:48.78.
The meet concluded with an exciting 4 x 400 meter relay. Burd's 50.9 opening leg gave Yeo the baton two steps behind Indiana Tech. Zach's 50.3 split reversed the positions for Adam Duerksen. Tech's third man worked his way back in front of Duerksen. Adam passed to Erickson five meters behind Tech. Jacob reached the shoulder of his opponent on the homestretch of the first lap then beat him to the corner going into the first turn. Tech stayed close but couldn't respond. Erickson's 49.3 anchor leg gave Cornerstone the win in another NAIA automatic qualifying time of 3:22.10.
Leong was awarded the Performance of the Meet plaque for his efforts in the 35 pound weight throw. The Performer of the Meet award for the most points scored by an individual went to a surprised Zach Yeo who totaled 20.5 points for his win in the 600, runner up finish in the 200 and win in the 4 x 400.
Siena Heights took home the WHAC team title with 171 points followed by Aquinas with 143.5 then Cornerstone with 114. Indiana Tech was fourth with 72, Davenport fifth with 43.5 and Concordia scored 10 for sixth.