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(Saginaw, Mich.) Cornerstone's Women's Track & Field team opened the season at the Holiday Classic hosted by Saginaw Valley State University. Normally the meet is a low-key event used to establish a baseline of performance for when the athletes return from Christmas break. It seems CU's women didn't get that message.
Freshman, Erin Swinger set the tone in the field events starting with the 20-pound weight throw. Competing in the difficult event for the first time, Swinger's initial attempt landed outside the throwing sector. Her second attempt traveled 43' 1.5". Her third measured a freshman record, 45' 7 putting her in third place and adding nearly a foot to Erin Schuyler's mark of 44' 7.5" set in 2004. From there it was on to a more familiar event, the shot put. Erin's second attempt went 35' 5.75" for a personal best and added twelve inches one of the oldest freshman records set by Kendra Lindberg in 2000 (34' 5").u
Brandi Hagan picked up where she left off last year, exceeding the NAIA automatic qualifying standard by four inches and winning the pole vault at 11' 7.5.
In the 60 meter hurdles, Hagan and Amy Boyer advance through the semi finals then took fourth and fifth in the finals. Boyer prevailed just missing the NAIA auto mark running 9.26 while Hagan was .02 off the provisional standard clocking 9.42.
Freshman Emma Ordway made her debut in the 400 meters memorable, taking third in a provisional qualifying time of 1:00.01 and joining the elite club of CU athletes who achieved national qualifying marks in their first college meet.
Following her best cross country season, Janelle Lindman entered the 5,000 meters with the idea of seeing how close she could get to the NAIA provisional qualifying time of 18:47.79. The senior from Farmington Hills ran an uncharacteristically patient first mile of 5:57. After passing the second mile in 6:04, Lindman was still on pace. After four laps at 46 seconds, coach Rod Wortley informed Lindman she needed to run 45 seconds for the final four laps. The next two were still 46, the third, 44.2. Janelle churned out a 37.8 last 200 meters finishing fifth. The unofficial time was only useful insofar as it confirmed she either barely made it or just missed her goal. Ten tense minutes later the official results were posted revealing the good news: 18:47.52.
Things went nearly as well for the CU distance women in the 3,000 meters. Andi Ripley paced the trio of Melissa Sawicki, Nicki Erler and Audry Yonge for lap after lap at 45 seconds until the Golden Eagles pulled clear of the rest of the field. Unfortunately, a lap counting error in the final 400 meters resulted in the race become a 3200 meter event. Ripley won in 11:54.36 followed by Sawicki (12:00.05), Erler (12:04.27) and Yonge (12:06.62).
The meet concluded with Cornerstone chasing Central Michigan through the 4 x 400 meter relay. Kayla Wilson, Ordway, Boyer and Kelly Peterson took second in another provisional qualifying time of 4:05.73.
Following the holidays, the Golden Eagles return to action on January 8 at Grand Valley State University.