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ALLENDALE, Mich. – The 2014-15 Indoor Track & Field season began for the Cornerstone Golden Eagles at the Grand Valley State University Early Bird meet. Their efforts resulted in four national qualifying marks and a school record as Julie Oosterhouse (SR/Byron Center, Mich.), coming off a fantastic cross country season, got it started with a new school record in the 5k.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On Friday, the women's track and field team will head across town to Grand Valley State to compete in the Laker Early Bird and they set out for the 2014-15 campaign with high hopes. Head coach Paul Koutz and the team are fresh off a fourth place finish at the NAIA National Championships last March and return a majority of that roster. Make sure and follow the team during meets on their twitter account @CornerstoneTF.
(Gulf Shores, Ala.) Juniors, Julie Oosterhouse and CallyAnne Wyma each took fifth in their events adding eight more points and giving Cornerstone a top-five finish at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Wyma and teammates Erin Laplander, Leah Shepherd and Sydney Tremaine began the day at 6 a.m. with the marathon. Conditions were miserable with the temperature climbing from the upper 60's to the mid 70's and the humidity 100% at the start. Wyma spent the first thirteen miles lurking just outside the top ten trying to conserve energy and stay cool. "We filled zip-lock bags with water and froze them before the race," Wyma said. "Teammates met us at the aid stations and gave them to us. They only lasted about ten minutes, but it really helped to put something cold next to my skin." At nineteen miles, Wyma moved into eighth then picked up three more places passing fading runners in the final miles. She finished fifth in 3:15:27.30, fifteen places better than last year's race. Tremaine took 20th in her marathon debut running 3:28:58.90. Laplander completed her collegiate career in 3:37:40 for 27th, eight places higher than year. Shepherd had to stop after 25 kilometers.
For the 800 meter final, Julie Oosterhouse started in lane one, as the eighth seed. Unlike Friday's semi-final, the pace for the first lap was tactical with the field hearing the bell at 64 seconds. Oosterhouse positioned herself well for the homestretch and reached the finish in fifth. Her time of 2:10.54 broke the school record she tied in the semi-finals making her an 800 meter All-American for the third straight season.
Conference rivals, Indiana Tech earned the team title by a single point scoring 102 to Oklahoma Baptist's 101. University of British Columbia took third with 95, Hastings was fourth at 41.5 and Cornerstone completed the top five with 40 points.
(Gulf Shores, Ala.) The day started with a dramatic win for Brittany Green to claim 10 points for the Golden Eagles (separate story posted earlier).
In the first heat of the 800 meters open race, Julie Oosterhouse tied her school record taking third in 2:11.54. Needing to finish first or second or be one of the two next fastest times out of the three heats, Oosterhouse advanced to Saturday's final based on time.
By late afternoon the temperature rose to the mid 80's as the heat shimmered off the track when the 5,000 meter race walk got underway. Missouri Baptist's four entries and Cornerstone's five made up most of the field. Senior Monica Lawrence followed Missouri Baptist's Mereth Zalba and Molly Josephs to the front while Brianna Griffiths, Kayla Ovokaitys, Melissa Manlan and Bailey Brogan filled the following pack. On the fifth lap, Manlan stepped off the track and crumbled to the infield due to the heat. Two other women also failed to finish due to the conditions. The CU women worked well together as the field strung out. With four laps to go Zalba and Josephs pulled away and CU held the next four spots. Lawrence began to fade and was overtaken by Griffiths, Brogan passed Ovokaitys who regrouped and caught up to Lawrence. With the rest of the field fading, coach Nate Van Holten let the women know that places were unimportant and avoiding form violations mattered most.
Griffiths improved her best finish at nationals to third in 27:23.79. Lawrence concluded her collegiate career surging past Ovokaitys to take fourth in 27:52.12 to Kayla's 27:52.96. Brogan who was seeded fifteenth after just squeaking under the qualifying standard on last-chance weekend, finished sixth in 28:08.40. All four women earned All-America honors. Their eighteen points put the Golden Eagles in second place with 32 points heading into Saturday.
The Golden Eagles (32 points) are just one point behind British Columbia (33 points) after the 2nd Day of the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
(Gulf Shores, Ala.) - Junior Brittany Green started off the Heptathlon very well yesterday recording PR's in three of her four events. She finished 2nd in the 100 Meter Hurdles with a time of 14.86 to pick up 860 points. She finished 2nd again in the High Jump clearing 1.71 Meter to pick up an additional 867 points. She won the Shot Put with a throw of 12.87 meters to add 719 points to her total. She finished off the day with the 200 Meter Dash where she ran a 25:48 to pick up 843 points to finish the day in 1st place with a total of 3289 points.
Entering the second day of the heptathlon with the lead, Green had the best mark in the long jump, going 18-7.75 on her third attempt. Erin DeVries of Doane and Karen Hutson of Northwestern, IA were over eight inches back giving Green some cushion going into her weakest event, the javelin.
DeVries sent the 600 gram spear 130-5 on her first throw, over eleven feet beyond Hutson's new best of 127-11. Green fouled her first attempt then managed 104-7 on her third throw as DeVries cut 203 points off Green's lead and Hutson got 136 points closer.
All three entered the 800 meters with a shot at the national title. For Green to win she needed to finish within eleven seconds of DeVries or no more than eight seconds behind Hutson. The Northwestern junior shot straight to the front while Green tried to manage the gap behind her. DeVries ran in the pack between the two. At 400 meters Hutson led Green by just nearly four seconds. With 200 meters to go the lead was five seconds and widening. Coming off the last turn, Brittany moved out into lane three and charged for the finish. Hutson finished first in 2:22.41, DeVries fifth in 2:27.81 and Green earned another PR in seventh, running 2:28.39.
As the other thirteen women moved onto the infield, Hutson and Green remained sprawled on the track completely spent. Neither one noticed as the final point totals flashed onto the scoreboard: Green 5367, Hutson 5363. An eruption of cheering from the CU coaches, fans and teammates communicated the result to Brittany. Her score demolished the school record of 4931 set in 2005 by Cathi Velzen.