BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The first day of the 2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships is in the books on Friday, and Grand Valley State rests in first place for both the men an the women at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The Grand Valley State women stand in first with 26 points, eight more than second-place Hillsdale (16), 10 more than third-place Central Missouri (10), and 16 points ahead of four teams tied for fourth. For the men, the Lakers hold a narrow 24-21 lead over Lewis in second, a six-point lead over Southern Indiana in third, an eight-point lead over TAMU_Kingsville, and a nine-point lead over GLIAC rival Findlay.
On the women's side, Amy Cymerman captured the national title and All-America recognition with a first-place finish in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 16:34.13, becoming the first Laker woman to claim victory in an individual running event at the indoor championships since 2012, when Rachel Patterson set a Division II record in the very same event in Mankato, Minn. Joining Cymerman in earning All-America honors in the 5,000 is Kendra Foley, who placed fifth with a time of 16:56.38.
Cymerman also earned All-America honors as a member of the GVSU distance medley relay team. Along with Hannah Osborn, Breanna Luba and Natalie Nelson, the four ran a time of 11:39.25 to place sixth among the 13-team field in the event.
Over in the field events, Jamie Roberts and Jennifer Schornak were both named All-Americans with third and seventh place finishes in the pole vault, respectively. Roberts cleared a mark of 4.00 meters to take third, while Schornak took seventh with a mark of 3.75. Laura Schroeder was also named an All-American after placing eighth in the weight throw, hitting a mark of 18.12 meters.
Finishing outside the top eight but still picking up points for Grand Valley State were Whitney Bice in 11th in the pole vault (3.60 meters), Alexis Duncan in 13th in the long jump (5.65 meters), and Jessica Janecke in 16th in the 5,000 meter run (17:27.77).
Luba also competed in the 60 meter hurdle prelims, but failed to qualify for the final after finishing 13th with a time of 8.69.
Both of Grand Valley State's preliminary qualifiers came from the men's squad. Ethan Barnes qualified for tomorrow's 800 meter final with a fourth-place time of 1:51.47, while Sean Wells placed second overall in the 60 meter hurdles prelim with a time of 7.85.
The other Laker competing in Friday's running events to earn All-America honors was Bryce Bradley, and the redshirt-sophomore finished the 5,000 meter with a time of 14:20.05 to place fifth out of 16 runners in the event.
The distance medley relay team also ran on Friday, and the four-man team of Barnes, TJ Burnett, Joel Rietsma and Wuoi Mach all received All-America status after running the race in a time of 9:53.47, placing them fifth out of 12 teams.
In the field events, Grand Valley State had four athletes place in the top eight of their respective events, with three coming from the weight throw. Darien Thornton placed second with a throw of 21.38 meters, while Jay Lechner placed seventh (19.72 meters) and Bake Donson finished eighth (19.47 meters). Trent Chappell also earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 2.12 meters.
Mach also competed in the Mile preliminary, but failed to qualify for tomorrow's final after placing 14th with a time of 4:20.23.