Ind.) From 2000-2010 the Cornerstone Women's Track & Field team finished
first or second every year at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
Championships. Last season they slipped to third, but rebounded in 2012,
winning six events to take second behind Indiana Tech's sprint powerhouse.
Anita Souza got things going by crushing the field in the 60 meter hurdles. Her
winning time of 8.68 was .24 ahead of Shayla France of Indiana Tech and a new
meet record. Brittany Green also made the finals, taking 8th in
In the 5,000
meters, CallyAnne Wyma
turned in a personal best 19:08.92 to break up a 1-4
Aquinas sweep. Next up, the mile proved to be a pivotal event. "Our milers were
entered in three or four events, so the plan was to let Carly Plank of Aquinas
and Lyndsay Payne of Siena Heights battle it out for first and control the race
behind them," said coach Rod Wortley
. "We needed to take the next four scoring
spots." Julia Contreras
, Jill Louisignau
, Julie Oosterhouse
and Audry Yonge
patiently together through seven laps in perfect position. With 100 meters
remaining, Veronica Jersey of Indiana Tech began her kick and split the CU
women as they ran four across off the last turn. The five sprinted shoulder to
shoulder down the homestretch hitting the finish less than 3/10ths of a second
apart. The Golden Eagles held, though placing 3,4,5,6.
set the tone for what we were trying to do," said co-captain, Julia Contreras.
"We were challenged and responded together. We were confident going into that
race and we were more confident coming out of it."
Over at the
long jump Green, Souza and Lindsay Lipa placed 1,2,4. Green broke the meet
record and school record for the win. Her mark of 19' .5" topped Cathi Powell's
18' 2.25 mark from 2006 and also earned her co-Performance of the Meet honors
as she and Phoenix Duncan of Siena Heights (5' 8" in the high jump) posted the
second best marks in the NAIA in their events. Souza's leap of 18' 2.25" also
bettered the old CU freshman record set by Lipa earlier this season and gave
her a third individual event NAIA automatic qualifying mark. Lindsay's 17' 9"
jump gave the Golden Eagles a combined 22 points in the event.
back to the track for the 60 meter dash where she shattered the school record,
running 7.89 in the prelims. The old mark of 8.07 was set in 2008 by Samantha
Smith. Anita took eighth in the final with a 7.96 clocking as Indiana Tech
scored 27 points taking five of the six scoring spots.
countered in the 400 meters. Tech had the five fastest seed times and a 1-5
sweep would mean another 30 points. Coming out of the second heat, senior
Lauren Pierce and freshman Larissa Hampton worked together perfectly with
Hampton first (59.23) and Pierce second (59.50). Both women ran personal bests
and NAIA provisional qualifying times. Their times also placed third and fifth
overall, giving CU another 8 points and holding the Warriors to 23. "In terms
of the whole meet, those points didn't make or break things for us or for
Tech," said Wortley, "but our women are here to get as many points as possible.
Taking two scoring spots out the second heat says everything about our
determination to compete with anyone regardless of the circumstances or seed
Russell contributed eight points taking fourth in the 20 pound weight throw
(46' 11") and fifth in the shot put (39' 6").
Oosterhouse held form winning the 600 meters easily in 1:37.62. She also had
the fastest time in the 800 meters, but since the two events ran back to back,
Wortley entered her in the 1,000 meters and moved Julia Contreras to the 800.
"Julia had the fastest 1k time in the WHAC this season and you always want to
give an athlete the opportunity win, but we needed someone who could challenge
for the most points in the 800," Wortley said. "When we talk about servant
leadership as one of the core values of Champions of Character and CU T&F,
these kinds of situations demonstrate what that means. Julia had no
reservations about switching to the 800 because it was what the team needed."
The junior from Fowler ran the race to perfection. When no one pushed the pace,
she waited patiently in the pack, keeping teammate Liz Baller with her. With 150 meters remaining Contreras drifted
wide on the backstretch and moved steadily toward the front. Her well-timed
kick allowed her to pull away in the final twenty meters for an easy win in
2:28.08. Baller waged a four way battle for third grabbing fifth in 2:29.88
with only .45 separating third from sixth.
minutes after the 600m came the 1,000 meters. CU's strategy was the same as the
mile: Let Payne from Siena have the lead and have Louisignau, Oosterhouse and
Yonge run together. Freshman, Sydney Tremaine's job was to get sixth. Without
Contreras, Yonge held the best seed time, but Payne was the defending champion,
with a better lifetime best in the event.
In the early laps, the Cornerstone women ran patiently off the pace,
with Oosterhouse looking tired from the 600. By the final lap, Audry and Julie moved ahead
of Davenport's Kelsee Vanderbaan, into second and third, Jill was comfortably
in fifth, saving her energy for the 3,000 meters and Sydney had taken over
sixth. Payne held what appeared to be
enough of a lead, when Yonge decided she could close the gap and launched a
ferocious kick, Payne responded as Audry closed off the last turn. The pair
battled all the way to the line with no clear winner. Moments later the photo
revealed just how close it was, 3:15.41 to 3:15.42 with Yonge earning her first
WHAC event title.
With the 19
points from the 1k, the Golden Eagles pulled within a dozen of Indiana Tech
with just the 200 meters, 3,000 meters, 4 x 400 and triple jump remaining. As
with the other sprints, the Warriors held six of the seven best seed times in
the 200 meters and the top time in the relay as well as four best marks in the
triple jump. Cornerstone would send a tired Brazilian into the 200 and a pack
of weary distance runners against most of the Aquinas 2011 conference champion
cross country team in the 3k.
managed 25.71 for fifth in the 200 meters while Tech added 29 more points. Lindsay
Lipa turned in a freshman record 35' 1.75" triple jump for fourth. The old mark
of 35' 1.5" was set ten years ago by Margaret Pelz. The Warrior continued to
pull away going 1-2-3-5 for 26 points.
Cornerstone enters all its distance women in the 3,000 meters. Often, several
will scratch before the event, especially if the outcome of the meet is
settled. This year, all thirteen went to the starting line in a show of
solidarity. Louisignau and freshman Kaylee Carew, who had only run the 4 x 800
meter relay to start the meet were the freshest and would race as close to the
front as possible. The rest would pick up whatever points they could. Aquinas
sent a trio of women to the lead while Jill and Kaylee stayed within striking
distance. Louisignau moved into third in the final laps, holding off the
Saints' Alina Dhaseleer 10:59.09 to 10:59.93.
Oosterhouse (11:10.34) led a 5-6-7 CU group overtaking Carew (11:14.42)
for fifth with Yonge seventh in 11:14.47.
Hampton and Pierce led Indiana Tech, the second ranked team in the NAIA, until
the final 15 meters in the 4 x 400 meter relay. Their time of 3:57.42 was the
third best in Cornerstone history.
defended their 2011 team title scoring 183 points. Cornerstone improved 47
points from last year taking second with 135, ahead of Siena Heights (102),
Aquinas (89) and Davenport (48).
"This was a
tremendous team effort," said Wortley. "The women scored in all but three
events and fought until every race or field event was over. We came into this
meet with no realistic chance to win, but you wouldn't know it by the way we
competed. Our upperclassmen showed tremendous leadership and this freshman
class performed like veterans. I'm extremely proud of each of them."