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(Saginaw, Mich.) The Indoor Track & Field season couldn't start soon enough for Bryant Langdon. The junior from Big Rapids spent the summer either in the weight room or the throwing circle dedicating himself to the pursuit of hitting a national qualifying mark in the 35 pound weight throw. The Holiday Classic Meet hosted by Saginaw Valley State gave him his first opportunity.
The 2012 NAIA qualifying standards were released the last week of November with a throw of 54' 1.75" needed for a provisional qualifying mark and 56' 7.25 as the automatic standard. "Bryant has been throwing well beyond the auto distance in practice, but his best mark in competition was under 47' last season," said coach Rod Wortley. "The biggest challenge going into this meet will be for him to stay calm and execute good technique, which can be harder than it sounds when you finally get the chance to a reach a goal you've been focused on for five months."
In the opening round, Langdon got through three turns and sent the weight well over the 55' line, but couldn't keep his right foot inside the seven foot circle. For the second round he did a "safety" throw: just two turns to avoid a foot foul. This one measured 51' 11" a personal best by over five feet and a guaranteed spot in the finals, which gave him four more attempts. By the third round, every Cornerstone athlete who wasn't competing had gathered around the weight cage. Langdon's third attempt measured 53' 6". "Bryant did a very good job of staying focused in spite of all the attention he was getting," said Wortley. "Everyone on the team knows how much he wanted to qualify and it can be a bit unnerving to have 50 people standing around waiting to see it happen. He showed a lot of poise by patiently building with each throw, when all he really wanted to do was go all out and get the big one."
Going into the finals, Langdon was in first place and would throw last in the next three rounds. SVSU's Brian Bott let fly a 53' 10" effort taking over the lead just before Bryant stepped into the circle. This time he managed a good three turn and kept his feet in. The ball thudded just over the 55' line and measured 55' ½" nearly a foot beyond the NAIA provisional standard and regaining the lead. Langdon celebrated the moment, but remained focused on the competition. He added more speed to the second and third turns on his fifth attempt then watched it go 55' 9" extending his lead. In the sixth round, no one threw farther and Langdon's final attempt was the field event equivalent of a victory lap. With no reason to hold back he sent the weight into the 57' range, but it landed on the sector line, just foul. The win was the first of Langdon's T&F career and put him second on the Cornerstone all-time list.
In the 800 meters Zach Yeo opened his season with a convincing win in a provisional qualifying time of 1:56.77, making him the third fastest Golden Eagle in the event.
Spencer Perry tied his best time in the 60 meter hurdle prelims then ran a new best time of 9.25 in the finals to take third.
Freshman, Alex Macias grabbed fourth in the 400 meters in 51.64 and classmate Logan Norton was third in the pole vault, clearing 14'.
In the shot put freshman Ross Raymond's opening effort went 41' 5". He led a 5-6-8 CU finish with freshman Jon Norris reaching 41' 1.5" and Langdon adding over three feet to his previous best with a mark of 39' 8". The trio put themselves fifth, sixth and seventh on the CU top ten list.
Macias, Eric Schroeder, John Klumpp and Yeo combined for second in the 4 x 400 meter relay behind Lake Superior State in 3:29.22.