TIFFIN, Ohio - The Saginaw Valley State University men's and women's track & field teams wrapped up the 2016 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday (Feb. 28), hosted at Tiffin University's Heminger Center. After day two of events, the women's team jumped four spots to fifth place with 66 points and the men finished at sixth with 57 points.
Anna Fochesato claimed a pair of GLIAC titles and NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the high jump and the triple jump. In the high jump, she crossed the bar at a final height of 1.71 meters for the top spot. Fochesato recorded a personal-best in the triple jump at 12.04 meters, breaking the program indoor record she set at last year's GLIAC Indoor Championships by five inches.
In the high jump, teammate Sidney Bischer also achieved a NCAA provisional mark and took fifth with a height of 1.66 meters. Makeda Lee-DeBardelaben took sixth in the triple jump at a personal best distance of 11.07 meters.
Taylor Stepanski successfully defended her crown for the Lady Cardinals in the 800 meter run, recording a time of 2:12.33. Teammate DeAnna Stickler-Gatson followed in third place with a time of 2:15.25. Both times were NCAA provisional qualifiers. Lina Davis finished 10th, recording a time of 2:17.80.
In the high jump, Robert Atwater took home the championship and posted a new program record with a personal best of 2.20 meters. The 7'2.5" total best the indoor record he tied earlier this season by two inches. His performance tied the GLIAC record and automatically qualified him for the NCAA championships. After his top performances, he was named the GLIAC Indoor "Freshman of the Year" in field events.
Brady Watson posted an eighth place finish with a final height of 1.95 meters, tying a season-best for him in the event.
Robert Tarpley followed up his first place finish in Saturday's long jump event with a third place showing in the triple jump at 15.08 meters. The distance was a personal-best and NCAA qualifying mark.
Brittany Johnson and Alicia Tomlin took ninth and 10th in the women's one mile, respectively. Johnson posted a time of 5:09.69 followed by Tomlin at 5:11.67.
In the men's 60 meter hurdles finals, D'Omar Boyden finished second with a time of 8.32.
Ce'Aira Richardson marked a personal-best and took third in the 400 meter dash at 57.18. Teammate Ola Hendler also recorded a PR and posted a seventh place finish at a time of 57.99.
In the men's 400 meter dash, Shawn Stewart finished sixth with a time of 50.06.
Emily Short notched a ninth place finish in the 3,000 meter run at a time of 10:14.63. In the men's race, Eddie Komph placed sixth after posting a time of 8:34.35. Tom Goforth finished ninth at 8:35.41 and Joey Southgate at tenth with 8:44.29.
The 4x400 meter relay team of Ce'Aira Richardson, Kimberly Balls, Ola Hendler and Taylor Stepanski took sixth place with a time of 3:55.03.
Emerald Joiner took another top finish for the Cardinals at third and provisionally qualified for the NCAA championships in the shot put at a final distance of 14.42 meters. The distance was her best of the season in the shot put.
The SVSU student-athletes who have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships will wait for he official invitations to be announced to see if they will participate in the meet. Both Stepanski (800 meter, 6th) and Atwater (High Jump, 2nd) have automatically qualified and are guaranteed to compete in the meet. The championships are set to begin March 11 and are being hosted by Pittsburg State (Kan.).
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