GVSU's Wheat and AU's Cooper Named GLIAC Women's Indoor Track and Field "Athletes of the Year", Respectively

GVSU's Wheat and AU's Cooper Named GLIAC Women's Indoor Track and Field "Athletes of the Year", Respectively

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University Center, Mich. -- Grand Valley State's Candice Wheat (Pontiac, Mich.) and Ashland's Tara Cooper (Circleville, Ohio) have been named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Women's Indoor Track and Field "Athletes of the Year", respectively. Findlay's Raven Clay (Detroit, Mich.) was tabbed with "Freshman of the Year" honors and "Coach of the Year" accolades go to Jerry Baltes of Grand Valley State.

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           Final Championship Standings

Place School Points
1 Grand Valley State 205.0
2 Ashland 134.0
3 Hillsdale 77.0
4 Ferris State 51.0
5 Northern Michigan 47.5
6 Findlay 42.0
7 Tiffin 36.0
8 Saginaw Valley State 28.0
9 Lake Superior State 21.5
10 Northwood 21.0


Candice Wheat - GVSU Track Athlete of the Year
Candice Wheat ~ Grand Valley State University
Junior ~ Ponitac, Mich.
Junior Candice Wheat played a key role in Grand Valley State's 10th straight GLIAC Women's Indoor Championship as she had a hand in three first-place finishes.Wheat won the GLIAC Championship in the 60-meter dash (7.67), followed by a first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (8.37). Her time in the 60-meter hurdles was a Ryder Center record. Wheat also ran the anchor leg in the Lakers' first-place finishing 4x400 meter relay (3:55.42).Wheat will participate in the 60-meter hurdles and the 4x400 meter relay at the NCAA Championships in Houston, Texas March 13 - 14.


Tara Cooper - AU Field Athlete of the Year
Tara Cooper ~ Ashland University
Sophomore ~ Circleville, Ohio
In her sophomore season, Cooper finished first in the weight throw (65-6.25), which set a Ryder Arena record. She also placed fourth in the shot put. She has the longest throw in Division II in the nation in the weight throw and the sixth longest in the shot put of 2.09 meters.




Raven Clay - UF Freshman of the Year
Raven Clay ~ University of Findlay
Freshman ~ Detroit, Mich.

Freshman Raven Clay led the Oilers during her inaugural campaign by taking second in the 60 meter hurdles at the GLIAC Championship with a NCAA automatic qualifying time of 8.38. She also led their 4x400 meter relay team to a second place finish at 3:56.28 and took third in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.71.



Jerry Baltes - GVSU Coach of the Year
Jerry Baltes ~ Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State’s head track & field coach Jerry Baltes has been named the 2009 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year. Baltes guided GVSU to its 10th straight GLIAC Women’s Indoor title, while being named the GLIAC Women’s Coach of the Year for the ninth time in the last 10 years. The Lakers’ 205 points was the second-highest point total ever at the GLIAC Indoor Championships.

Upcoming Events
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2008-09 Women's Track Athletes of the Week
1/6   Raven Clay - UF
1/14 Raven Clay - UF
1/21 Raven Clay - UF
1/27 Alissa Klaehn - AU
2/4   Andrea Bader - TU
2/11 Katherine McCarthy - GVSU
2/18 Candice Wheat - GVSU 
2/25 Monica Kinney - GVSU

2008-09 Women's Field Athletes of the Week
1/6   Tara Cooper - AU
1/14 Dianna Noonan - GVSU
1/21 Dianna Noonan - GVSU
1/27 Dianna Noonan - GVSU
2/4   Kristen Ameling - TU
2/11 Tara Cooper - AU 
2/18 Jessica Rutherford - GVSU
2/25 Kellie Kieren - GVSU