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Wilford and Lathrop Lead Laker Track and Field at SVSU Holiday Open

Roger Wilford and Rebecca Lathrop at the SVSU Holiday Open

SAGINAW, Mich. – Roger Wilford recorded an NCAA Division II Provisional Qualifier in the Heptathlon and Rebecca Lathrop won the 800-meter run as Lake Superior State men's and women's track & field started their indoor seasons at the SVSU Holiday Open at the Saginaw Valley State University Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday. 

"It was a good first meet to start our indoor season and it sets us up well going forward into winter break and the rest of the season," track and field head coach Rob Gallinger said. "There were good performances all-around. Our student-athletes continue to show improvement and several of them are progressing well towards qualifying for indoor nationals."  

Wilford, a junior, tallied a personal best 4,761 points in the heptathlon to finish fourth out of 10 competitors and earn an NCAA Division II Provisional qualifier. As part of the heptathlon, he finished first in the pole vault (4.70 meters, 819 points), third in the high jump (1.93 meters, 740 points), third in the 1000-meter run (2:51.99, 745), fourth in the 60-meter hurdles (9.13, 717 points), fifth in the shot put (9.89 meters, 479 points), sixth in the 60-meter dash (7.44, 732 points) and ninth in the long jump (5.73 meters, 529 points). Wilford has the top heptathlon result in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season and is currently 27th in NCAA Division II. His high jump height ranks sixth in the GLIAC.

Lathrop, a junior, finished first out of 17 in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:22.60 — the third-fastest mark in the GLIAC this season.   

Other top Laker finishers on the men's side of the meet were senior Parker Wyngaard, freshman Luke Passino, senior Travis Sutton and freshman Andrew Giddens

Wyngaard ran a personal best time of 4:31.06 to finish second out of 23 competitors in the mile run. His previous best was 4:35.01, which he ran at the GVSU Big Meet on Feb. 11, 2017. His mile time is the second fastest in the GLIAC this season.

Passino was one of two runners to run under two minutes in the 800-meter run as he crossed the line in 1:59.12 to finish second out of 11 runners in his first individual indoor collegiate event. 

Sutton garnered a fifth-place finish out of 11 competitors in the 600-meter run with a personal best time of 1:25.28.

Competing in his first collegiate indoor meet, Giddens ran a time of 8.88 to finish eighth in the 60-meter hurdles final.   

In addition, the men's 4x400-meter relay team of Giddens, Sutton, Passino and Wyngaard finished fifth out of 10 teams with a time of 3:28.74. Their time is the sixth fastest in the GLIAC this season. 

On the women's side, sophomore Ashley Mullings, and senior Lydia Heimonen joined Lathrop as the top performers.

Mullings placed second out 13 competitors (who completed a jump) in the long jump with a distance of 5.39 meters. 

Heimonen finished third in the 800-meter run in 2:24.40, which is the fourth-best time in the GLIAC this season.

In addition, the women's 4x400-meter relay team of Heimonen, Lathrop, freshman Leah Bell and freshman Riley Collins finished eighth with a time of 4:24.80

The Lakers return to action at the Doug Hansen Open, hosted by Saginaw Valley State, at the SVSU Fieldhouse on Jan. 18 in Saginaw, Mich.  

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