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Metro Detroit

May 14, 2014

Running for the ‘Horizon’

University of Detroit Mercy and OU track and field teams finish competition at league championship meet

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The University of Detroit Mercy women’s track and field team is pictured after finishing as the runner-up at the Horizon League Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The University of Detroit Mercy men’s and women’s track and field teams each had great finishes at the Horizon League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which took place May 2-4 in Youngstown, Ohio. The women’s squad finished as the runner-up, and the men’s team took third.

“We had a tremendous meet,” said Guy Murray, Detroit’s Director of Track and Field and Cross Country. “On the form charts, it wasn’t supposed to go that way. We had a lot of question marks that were turned into exclamation points over the weekend. Overall, it was a very successful weekend.”

The Titans’ women’s team finished with 116 points and, thanks in large part to scoring 87 points on the final day of competition, were able to finish in the runner-up spot, despite being in fourth place after the second day of the meet.

Here’s a look at the top finishers from Mercy and Oakland University. Athletes with local ties are noted.

Mercy tears up the track
Detroit’s 4x400-meter relay team of Brandee Hart (Berkley High School), Alani Letang, Shannon Marchant and Jasmine Green finished in first place with a time of 3 minutes, 53.85 seconds.

Louisa Coppola (Warren Woods Tower) finished in first place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:32.01, and second in the 5,000 (17:36.97).

Marchant finished as the runner-up in the 800 (2:17.22), and Allison Garner had a third-place finish in the 100 (12.19 seconds) to help add points for the Titans.

Aside from Whitney Roger’s jump of 40 feet, 1 1/2 inches being good enough to allow her to finish in second place, it also makes her just the second Titan to jump more than 40 feet in the triple jump.

Detroit’s men’s squad also improved two spots on the final day of the championship. After being in fifth place after the second day of competition with 22 points, the Titans came away from the meet with a third-place finish and 105 points.

Detroit had two runners occupy the top two spots in the 100, as freshman Brandon Wilks (Southfield-Lathrup) finished in first place with a time of 10.70; teammate Charles Anthony (Farmington) took second (10.72). Anthony also had a first-place finish in the 200 with a time of 21.70.

Wilks and Anthony also helped pick up some more points for Detroit, as along with Steven Ivanics and Khalil Parris, they were part of a 4x100 relay team that finished in second place. The team’s run  of 41.80 ranks second in program history.

Detroit’s 4x400 relay team of Parris, Colton Wirgau, Joey Harmon and Joe Raffin also finished in the runner-up spot with a time of 3:17.57.

Ilia Panev took third in the 400 hurdles (54.58). Joshua Carolin and Martin Nelkie each had fifth-place finishes for the Titans — Carolin in the 800 and Nelkie in the 5,000.

Wilks was selected as the Horizon League Men’s Track Freshman of the Year.

Grizzlies on track
Oakland University also competed at the championship. The men’s team finishing in sixth place and the women’s team in seventh.

Chris Scott (Utica High) won the 800 in a time of 1:54.12. David Koponen (fourth place, 800), Aaron Davis (seventh, 100 and 200) and Geoffrey Williston (eighth, 800) also had top-eight finishes for the men’s team. Williston attended Auburn Hills Andover.

The women’s team also had an event champion, as Serena San Cartier came out on top in the 100 hurdles in a time of 14.54. San Cartier’s time of 1:01.64 in the 400 hurdles was second-best in program history and good for a fourth-place finish at the meet.

Sydney Sterling (Farmington) broke the school record in the 400 preliminaries, and then broke her own record the following day with a time of 58.45, which gave her a sixth-place finish at the meet.

Shannon Getchen’s hammer throw of 164-2 also broke a school record. She finished in fifth place at the championship.

Morgan Bridgewater finished third in the 1,500, Courtney Stauffer was fourth in the 800, and Candice Mack was sixth in the 200 for Oakland. Mack attended Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Youngstown State University came away as the men’s and women’s team champions.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.