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Men's Team Finishes 3rd; Three GLIAC Titles Claimed As Track & Field Concludes GLIAC Championships

Mason Phillips, Michael Roberts and Debra Wallace
Mason Phillips, Michael Roberts and Debra Wallace

MEET: 2019 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships

LOCATION: SVSU Fieldhouse, Saginaw Valley State University - University Center, Mich.

The Northwood University track and field teams saw a stupendous second day at the 2019 GLIAC Championships. The men's team placed third with 90 points for their highest team finish since the 2002 team placed third with 63 points. The women finished eighth in the team standings with 21 points.



Two Northwood track and field athletes received GLIAC awards, as voted on by the league's head coaches. Sophomore Mason Phillips was named the Men's Track Athlete of the Meet and the High Point Athlete of the Meet after winning two GLIAC titles, a second-place finish in the long jump, and a third-place finish with the 4x400 relay to earn 29.5 points for the Timberwolves.

Freshman Debra Wallace was voted on as the Women's Freshman Track Athlete of the Meet. Wallace's first indoor GLIAC meet concluded with a fourth-place finish in the 200 meters and running a leg of the 4x400 relay that placed seventh.

This is the second Freshman Track Athlete of the Meet honor under Head Coach Michael Roberts. Phillips was the Men's Freshman Track Athlete of the Meet at last year's GLIAC Indoor Championships.



Phillips left the GLIAC Championships with two individual event titles of his own.

His first gold of the day came in the 60 meters, clocking a NCAA provisional time of 6.80 seconds as he pulled away late from the field to seal the victory. Later in the 200 meters, Phillips bolted out of the blocks for an early lead and did not look back. He crossed the line in an NCAA provisional time of 21.41 seconds for his second victory of the day.

This is his second All-GLIAC performance in each of those events. At last year's championships, he claimed a pair of third place finishes in the 60 meters (6.84 seconds) and 200 meters (21.51 seconds). He leaves his second GLIAC Indoor Championships with four trips to the podiums - two championships in the 60 and 200 dashes, a second-place finish in the long jump, and a third-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay.

Phillips will now look towards the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships March 8-9. He is in a three-way tie for third place in the 60 meter dash and is the sixth-fastest athlete at 200 meters on the national qualifying list.



Senior Rami Gharsalli returned to the top of the podium in his signature event – the 60 meter hurdles.  He claimed the title in 7.91 seconds, which is a seasonal best and an improved NCAA provisional time. His time currently has him sitting in fourth on the performance list and will be competing at NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Gharsalli now has two 60 meter hurdle titles to his name. His first championship came in 2017 when he completed the race in 7.93 seconds.

As it has been the story of the year for Gharsalli, he continues to improve upon his time every meet and rounding into form at the right time. His previous seasonal best was 7.96 seconds set at the SVSU Tune-Up last weekend.



Senior Jetaeia Lewis earned her first All-GLIAC performance in her championship debut in the 60 meter dash. Her time of 7.67 in the event finals was good for a third-place finish and a spot on the podium. Lewis ends her indoor GLIAC career as a three-time placewinner after claiming a sixth place finish in the 200 meters and a seventh place finish as part of the 4x400 relay.



It took a NCAA provisional qualifying mark to finish in the top three in the men's 800 meters, and Paige took on the challenge. His indoor GLIAC debut saw him earn All-GLIAC honors by virtue of a third-place finish in a PR time of 1:52.99. Paige moves into fifth all-time in Northwood history.



The 4x400 meter relay team of Andrew Davis, Josiah Morse, Netunji Paige and Phillips teamed up for a third-place finish in the men's 4x400 relay, posting a solid time of 3:17.63. The quartet was in fourth going into the final handoff, and a tremendous anchor leg by Phillips allowed him to pass the SVSU team heading into the homestretch and secure the podium finish.



Freshman Andrew Davis had quite an outing in his first indoor championship meet. He was a heavy contributor for the team with two conference scoring performances, earning a fourth-place finish in the men's 60 dash (6.99 seconds) and sixth in the 200 dash (22.04).

Freshman Josiah Morse placed seventh in the 400 meter finals in 51.20 seconds for his first GLIAC scoring performance.

On the women's side, Wallace and Lewis finished in fourth and sixth place with times of 25.01 and 25.21 seconds.

The womens' 4x400 relay team of Lewis, freshman Kaehla Manly, sophomore Amanda Aquinaga and Wallace claimed a seventh-place finish in 4:00.43. This was the first indoor GLIAC scoring performance by Manly and the second for Aquinaga after finishing eighth in the 4x400 relay a year ago.



Junior Trestin Mancillas-Finnerty is now the school record holder in the mile run. His time of 4:14.12, a personal best, was good for a fourth-place finish. His fourth-place finish in the mile made it four total indoor GLIAC placewinning performances. He placed eighth in the mile and a member of the relays that placed fourth in the DMR and sixth in the 4x400 relay a year ago.

Freshman Parker Hayes finished right behind Mancillas-Finnerty in the mile to help the Timberwolves finish 4-5 in the event and pick up nine team points. He turned in a fifth-place time of 4:14.83 in his indoor GLIAC debut and now owns the third-best time in program history. 

Freshman Stephen Barker posted his first indoor GLIAC placewinning performance upon an eighth-place finish in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.21. In the 3000 meters, Northwood was well represented by Brian Patrick and Dylan Rocha, who each picked up a fifth and eighth place finish with times of 8:31.28 and 8:35.77 respectively.



Freshman Jerralmiar Jones earned a pair of seventh place finishes. His first of the day came in the high jump with a clearance of 1.89m (6 feet-2.25 inches). He later came back in the triple jump to finish with a distance of 12.79m (41 feet-11.5 inches). That distance moves him into seventh all-time in program history in his first competition of the season.

In the shot put, sophomore Hunter Berecz placed ninth in finals with a day's best throw of 14.74m (48 feet-3.5 inches) coming on his fifth attempt of the competition.

The women's high jump featured senior Heaven Powell, who earned a fourth-place finish with her best clearance of the day being 1.60m (5 feet-3 inches). She will conclude her GLIAC Indoor Championship career as a three-time conference scorer - she placed sixth in the high jump in 2017 and was a part of the 4x400 relay that placed eighth a year ago.

Powell's best high jump clearance of 1.71m (5 feet-7.25 inches) is in a tie for 11th place on the national qualifying list and will be look to compete in her first NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in March.

Sophomore duo Jessica Kursinsky and Jessica Marvin both advanced to the shot put finals. The two finished 8-9 with distances of 12.50m (41 feet-0.25 inches) and 12.17m (39 feet-11.25 inches). This is Kursinsky's first indoor conference scoring performance.


UP NEXT: Those athletes who have met the NCAA qualifying standards for the national meet will await the official accepted entries list to be released Tuesday (February 26). Those accepted will gear up for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas March 8-9.