UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University men's and women's track and field programs will be sending 12 student-athletes to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships to be held May 23-25 in Pueblo, Colo. on the campus of Colorado State - Pueblo.
On the women's side, 2013 GLIAC 'Freshman Runner of the Year' Taylor Stepanski (Alpena, Mich. / Alpena HS) leads the Lady Cardinals at No. 10 in the 800 meter with a time of 2:10.27, less than a half second shy of the program record.
The 4x400 meter relay team of Ola Hendler (Lansing, Mich. / Grand Ledge HS), Diamond Taylor (Southfield, Mich.), Taylor Stepanski (Alpena, Mich.) and Shavonne Roberson (Ypsilanti, Mich.) also took advantage of the Hillsdale Classic by taking first place and breaking the SVSU school record with a time of 3:45.58. The old mark was set 24 years ago in 1989 and sends the group to the Thunderbowl.
Sophomore Emily Short (Tawas, Mich. / Tawas Area HS), the current SVSU record holder in the 5000 meter run, brings her scorching pace of 16:49.11 into the distance race at nationals. Short's great performance at the Mt. SAC Relays in California puts her 12th in the performance list at Pueblo.
Senior steeplechaser Lauren Hill (Flat Rock, Mich.) will commence her SVSU career at the Thunderbowl in late May after her record-breaking performance on the West Coast. Hill's mark of 10:50.69 from the Mt. SAC Relays positions her in 14th overall.
Sophomore Emerald Joiner (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) enters nationals with the 19th best throw in the shot put after a clutch mark of 14.14 meters at last Friday's (May 10) Second to Last Chance Meet. Senior middle distance runner Ashley Meyer (Shepherd, Mich.) also qualified in the 20th position for the Pueblo meet in the 1500 meter thanks to her 4:32.93 performance back on March 30th at the GVSU-SVSU Outdoor Dual.
Tyler Grob (Pinckney, Mich.) headlines the SVSU men's lineup after he earned an NCAA Division II Automatic Qualifying mark for nationals with a total score of 7,024 points. Grob's total broke both the GLIAC and SVSU records and finished fifth best in the country. The senior is the current school record holder in both the indoor heptathlon and the outdoor decathlon.
Sophomore Travis Toye (Davison, Mich.) joins Grob in Colorado as he will compete in the 800 meter run. Toye's time of 1:50.55 from last week's Hillsdale Classic comes in at 14th on the performance list for nationals.
Junior Frank Sanders (Detroit, Mich. / Sterling Heights HS) moved up the national list with a height of 2.09 meters in the high jump at the 2013 GLIAC Outdoor Championships to enter the Thunderbowl at 15th in the standings. Senior David Ray (Lansing, Mich. / Eastern HS) also qualified for nationals in the 110 meter hurdles. Ray's time of 14.30 seconds currently ranks him 20th going in to the meet.