By Harrison LaLone, Sports Information Student Assistant
Grand Rapids, Mich. - Alma College track and field returned to competition at the Calvin College Tune-Up Invitational on Saturday, April 29. The men's and women's teams both finished fifth out of 13 teams.
Junior Hannah Garn (Charlotte, Mich. / Charlotte) won the women's 3000-meter run with a new personal-best time of 10:40.99, out-pacing the field by nearly 40 seconds and shaving nearly ten seconds off her previous-best run set at the Ferris State Bulldog Open on April 8.
Freshman Luke Reed (Benzonia, Mich / Benzie Central) won the men's 3000-meter run with his own new personal-best time of 9:27.49, improving on his previous by more than five seconds. Reed was followed closely by teammate and fellow freshman Jack Montgomery (Mikado, Mich / Oscoda Area) who finished two seconds behind for second place. Senior Charlie Clark (Beal City, Mich. / Beal City) finished third in the event.
Junior Chelse Van Spronsen (Jenison, Mich. / Jenison) placed second in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:01.94 while sophomore Erin Goggins (Hastings, Mich. / Hastings) placed second in the pole vault with a jump of 3.30 meters. Both of these performances were also personal-bests in their respective events.
Freshman Payton Hirschenberger (Freeland, Mich. / Saginaw Nouvel) placed third in both the long jump and triple jump, setting a new personal-best for each event. His jumps were 6.20 meters and 12.16 meters respectively.
The men's 4x100 meter relay team of freshmen John Mitrzyk (Standish, Mich. / Standish-Sterling), Kendric Powell (Macon, GA / Macon Central), and Jacob Wildenhaus (Jackson, Mich. / Lumen Christi), and sophomore John Vusich (Perrinton, Mich. / Fulton) finished fourth with a time of 44.55 seconds.
Both the men's and women's 4x400 meter relay teams had solid performances as well. The women's team of junior Shannon Kievit (Lewiston, Mich. / Johannesburg-Lewiston), freshman Ruslana Gill (New Boston, Mich / Huron), and sophomores Mallory Munderloh (St. Louis, Mich. / St. Louis) and Blaire Showers (Ithaca, Mich. / Ithaca) finished second with a time of 4:32.63. The men's team of Hirschenberger, sophomores Justin Jones (Rockford, Mich. / Cedar Springs) and Essa Kellah (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Godwin Heights), and junior Jeffrey Schlicker (Standish, Mich. / Standish-Sterling Central) finished fifth with a time of 3:47.98.
On Thursday, April 27, senior Kaitlyn Arnold (Jackson, Mich. / Jackson Northwest) and sophomore Kyle Kraus (Middleville, Mich. / Thornapple-Kellogg) competed at the 51st Annual Hillsdale College "GINA" Relays. Arnold finished tenth in the 5000-meter run, second among Division-III runners, posting a season-best time of 17:27.63. Kraus competed in his first decathlon: a grouping of four running events, three jumping, and three throwing. Kraus had not previously competed in five of the ten events in his college career to date, but managed a seventh-place finish in the event.
Alma College track and field will now prepare for next week's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Field Day hosted by Calvin College. The two-day meet will begin on Thursday, May 4.