- Mens Sports
- Womens Sports
- Athletics Links
- News Archive
(Grand Rapids, Mich.) The Annual Q Elite Half Marathon doesn't have much to offer. It's a no frills, bare bones, nothing fancy, no awards or T-shirts, out and back, accurate, flat and fast course. Nearly everyone who enters in only looking for one thing: to run under the NAIA national qualifying times of 1:12:00 (automatic) and 1:14:00 (provisional) for men and 1:30:00 (automatic) and 1:32:00 (provisional) for women.
Held the first Saturday in December, the race offers athletes coming off the cross country season the opportunity to capitalize on their long distance fitness before taking a break going into the indoor Track & Field season. While the course is ideal, the conditions were not. At race time the temperature stood at eighteen degrees with the wind chill in single digits.
Cornerstone entered five women, three whom qualified last year. As if the brutal conditions weren't enough, the 2014 standards, released two weeks ago were one minute faster. CU's top finisher here last year 2013 graduate, Julia Contreras, trained specifically for the event to pace her former teammates. Her efforts paid off as she led CallyAnne Wyma (1:29:33) to a nine second PR and Sydney Tremaine (1:29:35) to an automatic qualifying debut. Erin Laplander (1:30:40) improved her best time by 1:39 and Leah Shepherd (1:30:51) took 1:40 off her previous best, bother well under the NAIA provisional standard. Kayla Ovokaitys finished her first attempt at the half marathon distance in 1:37:53.
Becca Lamb of Indiana Tech broke the course record. Her time of 1:25:57 bettered the mark of 1:28:01 by Trisha Nelson of Bethel set in 2012.
(Allendale, Mich.) The 2013-14 Indoor Track & Field season got underway at the Grand Valley State Early Bird meet. Cornerstone women started and ended the evening with national qualifying performances as well as six top three finishes.
Julie Oosterhouse made the most of her fitness from the cross country season running the 5,000 meters, looking to take a shot at the CU school record set in 2000. The junior from Byron Center demolished the Erin Clason's old record of 18:17.03 finishing thirteenth in 17:52.55, well under the NAIA automatic qualifying standard.
Freshman Tess Odegard took third in the high jump clearing 5' 3.25" while Brittany Green finished fourth in a new best of 5' 1.25". Green and Haley Russell placed seventh (40' 3.5") and eighth (40' 1.25") in the shot put, giving CU two women over 40' feet in the same meet for the first time. Russell also came within an inch of her best in the 20 pound weight throw, taking fifth with a toss of 49' 9.25".
Lindsay Lipa had an incredible meet, bettering the NAIA automatic standard in the triple jump, taking second with a mark of 36' 5.5". The junior from Canton added a provisional qualifying leap in the long jump, going 17' 9" for second place.
To end the day, Lipa led off the 4 x 400 meter relay. Her effort, combined with Kaitlyn Bronkema, Lyndee Sayers and Larissa Hampton resulted in a fourth place finish and their time of 3:59.81 was another NAIA automatic qualifying performance.
"Ideally, you want to pick up where you left off after last season," said CU Women's Head Coach, Paul Koutz. "I'd have to say we did that today. These women have worked very hard all semester and if this is the starting point, things look pretty good."
(Kansas City, Kan.) After a Conference Championship and top-seventeen team finishes at the NAIA Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the 2012-2013 school year yielded one more award. All three sports qualified for NAIA Scholar Team honors.
Needing a minimum 3.0 grade point average for both fall and spring semesters from all eligible team members, the Women's Outdoor Track & Field team completed the year at 3.24. The Indoor T&F team earned a combined average of 3.20 and the Women's Cross Country team came in at 3.02.
The teams were led by thirteen women who made the Dean's List with GPA's above 3.50.
"We had an outstanding year in terms of competition and athletic accomplishment," said CU Director of Cross Country and Track & Field, Rod Wortley. "To get this kind of recognition shows that our women work very hard in class as well. We talk about excellence as an expectation in the Athletics Department and it's good to see that carry over into academics."
(Des Moines, Iowa) Foul weather returned on the final day of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA. Shortly before the scheduled 7 a.m. start of the men's 20k race walk, meet officials evacuated the stadium as a thunderstorm system approached. For the next three hours, the athletes waited in the Knapp arena. On three occasions, officials announced that lightening was still in the area and the race was still on hold indefinitely.
Three hours later, athletes were allowed to return to the track and given 30 minutes to warm up. The junior women's 10k race walk, scheduled to follow the 20k would now be contested simultaneously so as not to put the rest of the days' events behind schedule. That put CU freshman, Kayla Ovokaitys along with sophomore, Nate Vanderwall and senior Cody Risch altogether in the combined races.
Risch started the 50 lap event walking just under two minutes per lap with Vanderwall ten seconds back after an opening mile of 7:36.
Ovokaitys walked near the back of the Jr. Women's field of ten and worked her way up to eighth but getting two form violations. Kayla slowed a bit in the final laps to minimize the risk of receiving a third mark which would result in disqualification, and didn't respond when passed by Melissa Tylock with 800 meters to go. A careful 25th lap brought her to the finish in 1:00:23.17 for ninth place.
Risch reached halfway passing 10k in 48:38 with one mark on the violation board. Vanderwall survived a digestive disagreement with an energy gel, barley slowing to vomit over the inside rail. He passed 10k in 50:30 and a mark on the board as well.
Risch picked up momentum in the second half, as several in the field faded, passing former NAIA champion Michael Mannozzi. With two miles to go he trailed Alejandro Chavez of Missouri Baptist by nearly 200 meters, but he also had two marks. Needing to avoid a repeat of the NAIA Indoor 3,000 meter championship where Risch beat Chavez in the last lap but was disqualified, Cody worked to find the balance between aggressively pursuing Chavez and avoiding his third mark. With 500 meters to go, Risch pulled even, then moved ahead. Chavez made a half-hearted attempt to go along, but within a few steps his head dropped and he conceded.
Risch held form to the finish, taking fourth in 1:49:39.51, a personal best by seven minutes and the highest finish by a CU athlete at a US Open Championship. Tim Seamam of New York Athletic Club won in 1:30:13.06
Vanderwall also collected a second mark and walked much of the second half trying to avoid his third. He finished eighth in 1:49:39.51.
Both Risch and Vanderwall qualified for prize money but as collegiate athletes were ineligible to accept it.
(Des Moines, Iowa) With a 6:30 a.m. start time, the 20 kilometer race walk was the earliest event at the 2013 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA. Cornerstone junior, Monica Lawrence joined 2012 CU graduate, Janelle Brown on the starting line. For Brown, the event marked a return to Drake where she competed in the 20k walk in 2010. Lawrence who raced at the USATF Jr. Championships at the 10k distance two years ago was making her 20k debut.
With temperatures in the low 70's and the humidity near 80%, the first hour of the 50 lap event took place before the Sun rose above the top of the stadium. Lawrence, who finished fourth at the NAIA Outdoor Championships one month ago in the 5,000 meter race walk, slowed as the temperature rose. While visibly struggling in the final fifteen laps, Monica carried on, reaching the finish in tenth in 2:13:12.01. Brown was ninth in 2:05:36.70.