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(Allendale, Mich.) The annual Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State University serves as the final tune up for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championships. The Golden Eagles showed they are ready to take on the WHAC after setting over a dozen personal bests, posting four national qualifying marks and breaking two school records.
Cody Risch, the top ranked race walker in the NAIA proved he still knows now to run. The junior from Mason, MI got things going Friday by running a PR of 15:38.60 in the 5,000 meters, putting him tenth on the CU all-time list. Forty minutes Cody was nudged out of the top ten by Jared Courtright and Louis Falland. Courtright bettered the NAIA provisional standard running 15:12.22, while Falland finished in 15:28.38.
In the invitational section of the 400 meters, Ryan Versen broke the school record placing ninth. His time of 48.90 bettered the old mark of 48.95 set in 2010 by Jake Erickson and was an NAIA provisional qualifying time.
Things got even better on Saturday. In the long jump, Brandon Hart recorded a new best of 19' 8.75" putting him in an unusual three-way tie for 14th place with teammates Logan Norton and Cameron Hill.
Freshmen sprinters, Jeshurun Washington and Nicholas Hayes lowered their PR's with Washington runner 23.33 for 37th in the 200 meters and Hayes clocking 52.53 for 61st in the 400 meters.
The five top teams in the WHAC were in attendance and Bryant Langdon had the best day of any conference thrower in the 35 pound weight throw. His 55' 9" effort placed fifth overall. CU alum and 2010 NAIA National Champion, Joel Leong, won the event with a new best of 64' 10.5". Freshman Jon Norris extended his best to 43' 5.25".
Heading into the final running event, Cornerstone's 4 x 400 meter relay was running out of chances to get their annual NAIA national qualifying mark. Versen, Yeo, and Adam Duerksen did no individual events on Saturday and Eric Schroeder had only run the 60 meter dash. Seeded fourth in the fastest heat, Schroeder put CU third with a sub 50 opening leg. Duerksen closed the gap to second then handed off to Versen who grabbed the lead with a 47.9 split. Yeo kept the Golden Eagles out front as the meet announcer commented to the crowd, "Heading for the win is Cornerstone, one of the top programs in their national division." Yeo crossed the finish stopping the clock at a new school record 3:17.15. The old record of 3:18.38 was run in 2004 by Jeremy Underwood, Felix Donkor, David Veldt and Mark Fisher. The time puts them fifth on the NAIA list.
Freshman, Logan Norton added an exclamation point to the meet as the pole vault competition continued after the relay. After tying the school of 14' 5.25" record on his second attempt, he broke the mark set by Chad Butler in 2010 on his first attempt. With most his teammates watching, Norton nearly cleared the NAIA provision height of 15' 5" on his second attempt. He finished in a six-way tie for third.