(Allendale, Mich.) The term "big"
applied to nearly every aspect of the appropriately named Big Meet hosted by
Grand Valley State University. The field was big, with over 1700 athletes from
around the country participating. The crowd was big, selling out the Laker Turf
Building. Best of all, big PR's were the order of the day both Friday and
Saturday as the Cornerstone men tallied seventeen personal bests, seven NAIA
national qualifying performances, two freshman records and two school records.
Freshman, Chad Butler spent all day
Friday contesting the first part of the two-day heptathlon, setting personal
bests in the 60 meter dash (7.67), shot put (31' 9.25") and high jump (5'
Friday night featured the elite
invitational heats and two CU 400 meter runners welcomed the chance to race the
best competition they've faced all season. Senior, Jacob Erickson took third in
his heat in 48.95, taking .23 off the school record set by Jeremy Underwood in
2004. Two heats later, Zach Yeo took the runner up spot in his round, lowering
his own freshman record from 49.66 to 49.49.
The evening ended with PR's from
Kurtis Koffkey (1:23.79) and John Klumpp (1:28.04) in the 600 meters.
Saturday started out well and
improved from there. In the 5,000 meters, senior Stephan Larson cranked out
15:15.97 for his first NAIA Indoor qualifying mark and a personal best by :33.
Freshmen, Cody Risch (15:53.07) and Travis Mabe (16:19.90) also set PR's.
Next the distance medley relay of
Jared Courtright, Erickson, Yeo and Zach Ripley combined for a school record,
improving their NAIA automatic qualifying time 10:11.72. The old mark of
10:11.92 was set by Todd Smith, Joey Symonds, Robert Atwood and Derek Scott in
Ripley and Courtright also ran the
800 meters resulting in three more PR's.
Ripley clocked 1:59.56 followed by Peter Kaijala (2:00.64) and
Butler's second day in the Heptathlon
went very well with PR's in the 60 meter hurdles (9.29), breaking his school
record in the pole vault by two inches clearing 14' 5.25", and then running
3:12.90 for 1,000 meters. His seven event total of 4296 points established the
Alex Green and Adam Looman kept the
PR parade going in the 3,000 meters with Green improving his NAIA automatic
qualifying time to 8:36.28 and Looman lowering his best to 9:18.34.
In a fitting conclusion to the
weekend, Koffkey and Adam Duerksen joined forces with Yeo and Erickson to
better the automatic national qualifying standard in the 4 x 400 meter relay
with a time of 3:19.83.