BIG RAPIDS - The SVSU track & field teams wrapped-up competition at the 2016 GLIAC Outdoor Championships with some fine performances to end the meet. DeAnna Stickler-Gatson brought home a GLIAC championship in the 800 meters while teammates Taylor Stepanski (1,500 meters) and Anna Fochesato (Triple Jump) broke school outdoor records as well. Freshman Robert Atwater also brought home some hardware, being named the 2016 GLIAC Outdoor Freshman Field Athlete of the Year.
The Cardinal men finished fifth overall in the championship with 55 points while the women finished in the sixth slot with a total of 53.5 points.
Stickler-Gatson's title in the 800 meter run came with her time of 2:11.31, which was a personal best for her and an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Paige Stepanski finished third in the event with her provisional time of 2:11.96, earning her all-conference honors as well.
Taylor Stepanski's record-breaking mark in the 1,500 meters clocked-in at 4:23.22, besting the previous mark of 4:26.27. That time was good enough for an automatic qualifying mark, currently with the no. 3 time in the nation. Teammate Alicia Tomlin competed in and scored in the 1,500 as well, crossing the finish line with a personal best time of 4:42.91 in eighth place.
Fochesato had a distance of 11.99 meters in the triple jump, earning a third place finish and breaking the school outdoor record by 0.5 inches. She now holds both the indoor and outdoor records in that respective event. Anna finished in fifth place in the high jump as well, scoring while crossing the bar at a height of 1.64 meters.
Ce'Aira Richardson improved upon her 400 meters time that qualified her for today's finals and posted a personal best time of 56.08 to finish in fourth place overall.
Emerald Joiner had a provisional mark in the shot put with a distance of 13.70 meters to finish in seventh while finishing with a personal best showing in the discus throw of 44.76 meters.
Lina Davis took 10th in the 400 hurdles, posting a personal best time of 1:04.27 while Allison Dorr was eighth in the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:26.36.
The 4 x 400 meter relay team of Ola Hendler, Richardson, Paige Stepanski and Stickler-Gatson registered points by finishing in sixth with a time of 3:54.02.
Robert Tarpley had a runner-up showing in the triple jump, clearing a distance of 14.78 meters for a personal best and all-league plaudits. Teammate Brady Watson also registered a personal best in the event with a distance of 13.48 meters and finished 10th.
Desmond Baugh finished in sixth place for the finals of the 110 meter hurdles, coming in at a time of 15.52 seconds.
Ryan Kelly finished 10th in the shot put with a personal best mark of 15.24 meters while Eddie Komph finished seventh and scored with a mark of 15:04.17 in the 5,000 meters.
The men's relay teams each scored points for the Cardinals. The 4 x 400 meter relay team of Josh Simmons, Blake Oakes, Shawn Stewart and Andrew Mudd finished fifth with a time of 3:16.68 while the 4 x 100 meter relay squad finished eighth.
Brandon Love had a personal best time of 22.75 in his 200 meters race.
The individuals will have a chance to improve upon NCAA qualifying times in the next two weeks in hopes of advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
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