Lakers continue to lead behind Lockhart's third individual title
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- It was another successful day at the 2013 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships for Grand Valley State, as both the men and women's teams put up some much-needed points, highlighted by a second national title in as many days for senior Sam Lockhart.
The women are in first place with 31 points, while the men are in second with 14.5 points after two days of competition.
On the women's side, the Lakers are seven points ahead of Ashland (24), while Alaska-Anchorage is third (18), Mary is fourth (14), and Grand Canyon, Sioux Falls and Findlay are all tied for fifth with 12 points.
In finals competition, Lockhart again ruled the day for the Lakers. Twenty-four hours after defending her weight throw national championship, Lockhart dominated the field in the shot put competition, winning the event by nearly five feet with a school-record toss of 16.86 meters (55'3.75"). Out of the five throws Lockhart successfully made, four of them were good enough to win the championship. Her mark of 16.86m is a new Birmingham CrossPlex Complex record.
Lockhart ends her indoor career with three individual national championships (2013 shot put, 2013 weight throw, 2012 weight throw) and six USTFCCCA All-America honors in six events. Lockhart never finished lower than fourth in any event she competed in at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Another highly successful Laker in junior Kristen Hixson was looking to defend her individual pole vault national title from last year's indoor championships, but fell painstakingly short, placing second with a school-record height of 4.25 meters (13'11.25"). The finish of the top three in the pole vault at nationals was the same as it was at the GLIAC Indoor Championships, with Ashland's Katie Nageotte in first, Hixson in second and Hillsdale's Kayla Caldwell in third.
All three of the competitors cleared 4.25 meters as their best marks, but Nageotte cleared the height on her first attempt, while Hixson and Caldwell each took two attempts. Hixson finished ahead of Caldwell due to clearing 4.15 meters in only one attempt as opposed to two for Caldwell. All three student-athletes, after clearing 4.25 meters, moved to 4.35 meters but failed to clear the height, resorting to misses at 4.25 as the tiebreaker, crowning Nageotte as the champion in an incredible competition.
It is Hixson's third consecutive indoor All-American honor and her fifth overall between indoor and outdoor.
In the 5,000 meter run final, the Lakers had four student-athletes running in the women's event, but sophomore Jessica Janecke was the only scorer, finishing eighth with a time of 16:48.64. Junior Courtney Brewis finished 12th (17:02.38), while freshman Allyson Winchester was 14th (17:16.53) and junior Molly Slavens finished 18th (18:08.98).
The last final of the day took place in the women's distance medley relay, where the team of junior Madie Rodts, junior Andrea Kober, freshman Natalie Nelson and sophomore Hannah Osborn crossed the line in seventh with a time of 11:45.02.
In the women's 60 meter hurdles, junior Kalena Franklin finished sixth with a time of 8.37 seconds to advance to Saturday's final competition and guarantee an All-American placement.
Senior Monica Kinney advanced to Saturday's final in the mile run, placing ninth with a time of 4:53.60 and is the last finalist to make the field. Also running in prelims for the mile was freshman Alison Work, who was 11th with a time of 4:54.19, and freshman Katelyn Cliff, who finished 14th in a time of 4:57.85.
The final female Laker to advance to Saturday's final was junior Lisa Galasso in the 800 meter run. Galasso was actually ninth in the final results with a time of 2:11.16, but finished in the top two of her heat to earn a nod to the finals and guarantee points for the Lakers.