(Saginaw, Mich.) The Cornerstone University Men's
Track & Field team wasted no time pursuing season goals at the Holiday
Classic hosted by Saginaw Valley State University.
The Golden Eagles won the first event, last event
and two others in between while recording three national qualifying
performances and a freshman record.
Senior, Joel Leong got things going by landing his
first attempt in the 35 pound weight throw 53' 11.75" - nearly eighteen inches beyond the NAIA
automatic qualifying standard. After adding to his early lead with a 56' 7.5"
effort on his second attempt, the 2009 All-American found himself in second
place after Josh Koglin's third attempt went 58' 2". Leong responded with a
59'2.75" toss on his fourth throw to seal the win then added to that margin on
his final attempt which measured 59' 9".
During the weight throw, Jared Courtright, Zach Yeo,
Darryl Sluka and Cody Risch established the freshmen record in the distance
medley relay. Their time of 11:20.25 placed third.
Fresh off the cross country season, Zach Ripley and
Alex Green entered the 5,000 meters with the intention of using their fall
fitness to achieve national qualifying marks. Ripley shot off the starting line
and through the first of 25 laps in 31 seconds then extended his lead, lapping
14 of the 19 competitors in the race. Zach's winning time of 14:50.03 was a
personal best by 29 seconds and well under the NAIA automatic standard of
15:15.75. Green raced patiently in the pack behind Ripley with mile splits of
4:42, 4:52 and 4:58. He finished third in 15:08.40, less than four seconds off
his personal best and an automatic national qualifying mark.
In the 400 meters, freshman, Zach Yeo used an
aggressive first lap of 23.7 to put himself in the lead which he held, taking the
win in 50.79. Fellow freshman, Jeff Burd was third in 51.49 just ahead of
senior Jake Erickson's 51.72.
Chad Butler took fourth in the pole vault. His 13'
7" clearance was just ¼" off the freshman record.
Kurtis Koffkey, Yeo, Burd and Erickson closed the
meet with a solid win in the 4 x 400 meters. After trading the lead with
Central Michigan during the first three legs, Burd opened a two meter gap
before handing off to Erickson. Their winning time of 3:24.76 was just .26 over
the NAIA provisional standard.
The Golden Eagles return to action on January 8 at
Grand Valley State University.