Grand Valley St. sets sights high
Lakers have already won indoor track and cross-country titles
Success is a way of life at Grand Valley State. The Lakers have already won NCAA Division II cross country and indoor track championships this season. Adding an outdoor crown would be the exclamation point on a phenomenal season.
GVSU will certainly have a chance to capture that championship this week at the Al Brenda Track at Warrior Stadium in Turlock, Calif. The top-ranked team in the nation begins its quest Thursday. The meet wraps up on Saturday.
The Lakers have never won an outdoor title but will have 22 athletes competing at nationals. The list includes Katherine McCarthy, Monica Kinney and Eileen Creutz, who have the top three seeds in the 1500-meter run. McCarthy leads the way with a time of 4:26.11. Kinney has a time of 4:26.89 and Creutz checks in with a time of 4:27.02.
Liz Murphy will be the top seed in the hammer throw and enters nationals with a throw of 200-feet-10-inches.
Several other athletes are seeded second in events, including Kinney in the 5,000 (15:46.25). Rebecca Winchester is one of six athletes from GVSU competing in the 3000 steeplechase. She is seeded second with a time of 10:32.23.
Lauren Buresh is the second seed in the shot put (50-31/2) and Sam Lockhart is second in the discus with a throw of 171-11.
Other Teams to Watch
Lincoln: Judith Riley will lead the second-ranked Blue Tigers into nationals. Riley is the top seed in the 100 (11.37) and is the South Central Region track athlete of the year. She will also compete in the 200, where she is seeded seventh with a time of 23.71 and will be a part of the 400 relay team that is seeded first with a time of 44.36.
Nyoka Cole is the top seed in the 200 with a time of 23.41 while Keniesha Jones and Michelle Cumberbatch are first and second, respectively in the 400 hurdles. Jones has a time of 58.53 while Cumberbatch checks in with a time of 59.05.
Adams State: The Grizzlies are led by Cassie Mitchell, who will be the top seed in the 3,000 steeplechase. She enters the meet with a top time of 10:24.29.
Indira Spence is seeded second in the 100 (11.46) and 200 (23.48) and should help Adams State contend for the title. Spence is also second in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.08.
Central Missouri: The Jennies have four competitors in the heptathlon and that should help their effort to contend for the national championship.
Lindsay Lettow has the top mark of the year in the event with a score of 5,610. Erin Alewine is also among the top 10 competitors in the heptathlon with a point total of 4,897. A year ago at nationals, Lettow scored a school-record 3,924 points and finished fourth en route to earning All-American honors.
UC San Diego: Nine athletes will be competing for the Tritons in California this week. Stephanie LeFever will pave the way as she will be competing in three events. LeFever will take aim at titles in the heptathlon, long jump and triple jump.
She is seeded second in the helptathlon with a point total of 5,282 and her mark of 20-1 in the long jump is a school record. Lefever is seeded third in that event.
Kelly Fogarty will be in three events as well. She is competing in the 100 (11.52) and 200 (23.56). Danielle Thu will be looking for her second NCAA title in the hammer throw. She won the event in 2009 and is the second seed this year with a throw of 197-1.
• Samantha Edwards of Virginia State is the top seed in the 400 with a time of 53.18.
• Neely Spence of Shippensburg will take the top time into the 5,000. She checks in with a time of 15:33.83.
• Sarah Porter of Western Washington is the top runner in the 10,000. She comes into the meet with a time of 33:48.12.