MIDLAND, MICH. – Sophomore three-time All-American Chris Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Madison Trotwood) captured two individual titles and ran on two provisional qualifying relays to earn Running Athlete of the Year honors Friday (May 6) during the final day of the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Northwood University.
As a team, the Lake Erie College men had three individual champions and placed fifth of 11 teams with 74 points in their first conference meet appearance. The Storm women placed 10th with 20 points, including the 4x100-meter relay championship.
After qualifying first in each event Thursday, Burrows blasted past the field in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. His winning time in the 100 of 10.36 seconds not only automatically qualified him for the NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships, but was also a GLIAC Championships record, beating the 30-year-old mark of 10.44 by Tony Coleman of Wayne State University in 1981.
He followed that up with a victory in the 200 in 21.01 seconds, his second-fastest time of the year. After winning the 100 by nearly .20 seconds, the next closest runner to Burrows in the 200 was .65 seconds behind.
The other individual champion for the men was sophomore Quinton Harley (Rochester, N.Y./Edison Tech) in the 400-meter hurdles. His time of 51.77 seconds just missed automatic NCAA qualifying by .03 and was a second ahead of the runner-up, classmate and 2010 All-American Ethan Snyder (Salesville, Ohio/Buckeye Trail). Fellow sophomore Isaac Snyder (Salesville, Ohio/Buckeye Trail) was fifth in 53.30 seconds, giving the Storm an impressive 22 points in that event.
Harley and Ethan Snyder also earned points and all-conference honors in the 110-meter high hurdles, placing fourth (15.25 seconds) and sixth (15.35), respectively.
That quartet teamed up to run an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:11.86 in the 4x400-meter relay finishing third in a tight race with the University of Findlay (3:11.14) and Ashland University (3:11.67).
The 4x100-meter relay team of Burrows, Harley, junior Joe Lockard (Columbus, Ohio/Circleville) and sophomore Cameron Whitner (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) took second place in a school-record and NCAA provisional time of 41.13 saeconds, just behind Tiffin Univeristy at 41.04.
On the women's side, the 4x100 relay team of sophomores Kaitlyn Holland (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North), Whitney Johnson (Oakwood Village, Ohio/Bedford), Colleen Bednar (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) and Andrea Boyd (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) upset top-seed Grand Valley State University and was the only squad to run an NCAA provisional qualifying time. The Storm crossed the finish line in 47.25 seconds, beating the Lakers' 47.47.
Additionally, freshman Shanita Fluker (Flint, Ohio/Flint Southwest) placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles in a school-record time of 1:05.78. She had qualified eighth in Thursday's preliminary rounds. The other individual scoring points for Lake Erie was freshman Isaac Reid (East Stroudsburg, Pa./East Stroudsburg) in the men's triple jump with a leap of 44' 4 ¼", a school record.
"We had some good marks, Chris, Quinton and the women's 4x100 especially," said head coach Bryan Harmon. "But we left some points out there and there's room for us to get faster in some races. We're not far away though."
Next week, several members of the team will look to improve their position for the NCAA meet at the Clemson University Tiger Qualifier May 13-14 in Clemson, S.C.