Men, Women Place Third at WHAC Championships

posted Feb 22, 2015, 7:56 PM by Nicholas Whise

02/21/2015 – The men's and women's track & field teams both placed third at the WHAC Indoor Championships contested at the Alksnis Athletic & Recreation Building. Indiana Tech won the league championships on the men's side with 235 points, while the Warriors also captured the women's portion with a 202.5 point total.

The Saints captured conference championships in three events. Earning First Team All-Conference accolades for Aquinas were: Caleb Teachout (600 meter - 1:22.24), Jacob Towne (5000 meter - 15:31.92) and Clay Weidenhamer (Shot Put - 16.07 meters).

Earning Second Team All-WHAC (Placing second in their respective events): Aaron Hodges (Pole Vault - 4.75 meters - Automatic Qualfier - #2 All-Time), Sydney Anderson, Mary Bogardus, Crysta Paganelli & Adri Sigafoose (4x800 meter relay - 9:23.67 - #4 All-Time - Ranks 4th in the NAIA), Tom Willet, Luke Hawley, Jesus Alvarado, Gabe Lundgren (4x800 meter relay - 8:01.74), Catie Rietsema (3000 meters & 5000 meters - 10:45/18:34), Jeff Cherry (5000 meters - 15:36.15), Tori DeSira (60 meter hurldes - 8.66 - ties the school record - Ranks #3 in the NAIA), Adri Sigafoose (600 meters - 1:36.12 - #2 All-Time, 1000 meters - 3:04.36), Kaitlyn Henniger, Courtney Klawieter, Marissa Ingersoll & Adri Sigafoose (4x400 meter relay - 3:57.38 - #5 All-Time), Ray Bordeaux, Tyler Johnson, Dionte Williams, Caleb Teacout (4x400 meter relay - 3:23.12).

Earning Honorable Mention All-WHAC (Placing third in their respective events): Kathy Middaugh (5000 meters - 18:35.42), Adam Cichon (Mile - 4:21.98), Dionte Williams (600 meters - 1:22.78 - Provisional Qualifier - #5 All-Time), and Jacob Towne (3000 meters - 9:04.23).

Other meet highlights included: Rachel Spreng (Pole Vault - 11-9 - #2 All-Time - Automatic Qualifier), Michael Shearon - High Jump - 6-7 - Provisional Qualifier), Taylor Pitts (Triple Jump - 35-2 - #4 All-Time), Erika Heston (60 meter hurldes - 8.82 - #4 All-Time - Ranked 9th in the NAIA), Marissa Ingersoll (60 meters - 7.80 - #5 All-Time - Provisional Qualifier), Marissa Ingersoll (200 meters - 25.64 - Provisional Qualifier), and Micaila Rice (200 meters - 25.74 - Provisional Qualifier).

Earning "Newcomer of the Year" for the WHAC was Adri Sigafoose. The freshman from McBain collected four second place finishes to score 20 points for the Saints.

The Saints Champion of Character representatives were Ray Bordeaux and Marissa Ingersoll.

Earning All-WHAC Academic: Grant Cook, Chris Ford, Ryan Parminter, Brad Perschbacher, Michael Shearon, Jacob Towne, Clay Weidenhamer, Nick Whise Jessica Dippel, Emily Hazelbach, Kaitlyn Henniger, Erika Heston, Marissa Ingersoll, Courtney Klawaiter, Dana Kolnitys, Crysta Paganelli, Taylor Pryde & Megan Skinner.

Men's Final Rankings

1. Indiana Tech 235
2. Siena Heights 114
3. Aquinas 106
4. Davenport 64
5. Cornerstone 27
6. Concordia 9

Women's Final Rankings

1. Indiana Tech 202.5
2. Cornerstone 142.5
3. Aquinas 94
4. Siena Heights 87
5. Davenport 24
6. Concordia 8

Weidenhamer, Relays Highlight "Big" Weekend

posted Feb 18, 2015, 8:19 PM by Nicholas Whise

02/16/2015 – Clay Weidenhamer rewrote the shot put record, while four Aquinas relays hit or improved their national qualifying marks. The Saints competed at the GVSU "Big Meet" and the Calvin College Relays this past weekend.

Clay's toss of 52-10 at Calvin College on Saturday eclipsed the previous record held by T.J. Shimek (52-0.5 - 2004). Weidenhamer's throw hit the automatic qualifier for Nationals and ranks him 8th on the NAIA leaderboard.

The 4x400 meter relays had successful runs on Friday night at GVSU. The women's team (Kaitlyn Henniger, Tori DeSira, Cortney Klawaiter and Adri Sigafoose) ran the third fastest time in school history (3:55.75) and is ranked 7th nationally. Not to be out done, the men hit the automatic qualifier and recorded the 4th fastest time ever at AQ (3:17.78). The quartet of Ray Bordeaux, Tyler Johnson, Dionte Williams and Caleb Teachout are also 7th on the NAIA national list. DeSira also lowered her 60 meter hurdle time to 8.72 at the GVSU "Big Meet". Tori is now .07 from breaking the school record.

Highlights from Saturday included the women's 4x800 meter relay hitting the "A" standard at Calvin College. Sydney Anderson, Mary Bogardus, Crysta Paganelli and Sigafoose ran a 9:30.89 to punch their tickets to Nationals. Their time has them seeded 8th in the nation. Marissa Ingersoll won the 200 meter and hit the provisional mark in the one lap event. Marissa's time of 25.72 has her seeded 22nd in the country. Also on Saturday the men's Distance Medley Relay hit the automatic qualifier at GVSU. The foursome of Tom Willet, Joe Slomski, Luke Hawley and Adam Cichon recorded a time of 10:19.63.

The Saints will host the WHAC Championships on Saturday at the Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building. The field events will start at 11 a.m., while the running events will begin at 1 p.m.

Men First, Women Second at Furniture City Meet

posted Feb 8, 2015, 12:38 PM by Nicholas Whise

02/06/2015 – The indoor track & field teams played host to the other area colleges in the first annual Furniture City Challenge. The brand new Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building was the backdrop for a very competitive meet between Calvin, Cornerstone, Davenport and Aquinas. Overall the men took home the team title, while the women finished in second place.

The meet highlights included the performances of the women's hurdlers. The trio of Tori DeSira, Erika Heston and Rachel Spreng all had "big days" for the Saints. All three improved their seasons bests in route to a 1,3,4 finish in the event. DeSira's time of 8.76 (Cook Track record) moves her into third place on the Saints All-Time list and also ranks her second nationally. DeSira also won the 200 meters in Cook Track record fashion (26.17). Not to be outdone was Erika Heston her improved her hurdle time to 8.86, which currently ranks her 4th All-Time and 7th nationally. Heston also claimed top honors in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.91. Spreng, a freshman from Lansing, hit the provisional qualifying mark with a personal best of 9.23 in the hurdles. Rachel also won the pole vault with height of 11-5 to tie her personal best.

The women's middle distance crew also performed at a high level as the Saints flexed their muscles in the 600, 800 and 1000 meter events. Sydney Anderson and Mary Bogardus placed 3rd and 4th respectively with personal bests times of 1:39.39 and 1:39.98, while Crysta Paganelli won the 800 meters in 2:20.61. Adri Sigafoose broke the Cook Track record in the 1000 meters with a time of 3:01.8. The freshman from McBain hit the automatic qualifier, checked in at #4 on the All-Time list and is ranked 10th nationally in the event. Sigafoose and Anderson teamed up with Kaitlyn Henniger and Courtney Klawieter to break the track record in the 4x400 meter relay. The quartet crossed the line in 3:59.53, a time which ranks them 7th in the national list.

The men's team showed strong performances all over the board to bring home the team championship. Caleb Teachout won the 600 meters in a time of 1:22.09 to establish a new track record. Caleb's time hit the "B" qualifier and he is currently seeded 12th nationally. Ray Bordeaux claimed the gold in the 200 meters by completing the lap in 22.58. Bordeaux's broke his own track record in the process. Also claiming wins were Ryan Makinen (60m - 6.96) and Tyler Johnson (400m - 51.6). Jason Tran, a freshman from Zeeland, ran the 5th fastest time in school history in the 60 meters hurdles (8.58) and he also won the long jump (20-4.5). Dionte Williams teamed up with Bordeaux, Johnson and Teachout to break the track record in the 4x4 with a time of 3.23.66

The field events were led by the efforts of Curtis Bell and Clay Weidenhamer. Bell claimed first in the pole vault with jump of 15-1, while Weidenhamer took home top honors in the shot with a toss of 50-1.75. Clay improved his provisional mark and is now 14th in the NAIA.

Final Scores:

1. Aquinas 185
2. Calvin 142
3. Davenport 126
4. Cornerstone 96

1. Cornerstone 192
2. Aquinas 167.5
3. Calvin 123
4. Davenport 63

Indoor T&F Teams Receive National Ranking

posted Feb 8, 2015, 12:33 PM by Nicholas Whise

02/04/2015 – The men's and women's indoor track & field teams both find themselves in the top 15 of this weeks USTFCCCA national rankings. The women checked in at the #11 spot this week, while the men are currently ranked 14th.

The Saints made a serious move in the current rankings due in large part to their fine performances at the SVSU Jet's Pizza Invitational.

Spear heading the attack for the women was Adri Sigafoose, Tori DeSira and Catie Rietsema. Currently Sigafoose is ranked fourth in the 800 meters, DeSira is fifth in the 60 meter hurdles and Rietsema checks in at #7 in the 5000 meters.

On the men's side the performances of Adam Cichon, the 4x400 meter relay and Jacob Towne have led to the high national ranking. Cichon has recorded the fifth fastest mile in the country, while the 4x4 relay has recorded the sixth fastest time nationally. Jacob Towne is ranked 7th in the latest 5000 meter performance list.

The Saints will be back in action on Friday night at the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building. Aquinas is hosting the first ever Furniture City Challenge against Calvin, Cornerstone and Davenport. Action begins at 5 p.m.

Sigafoose Named WHAC Track Athlete of the Week

posted Feb 8, 2015, 12:31 PM by Nicholas Whise

02/02/2015 – Adri Sigafoose, a freshman from McBain, was selected WHAC Female Track Athlete of the Week for her efforts at this past weekends meet.

Sigafoose, who prepped at Northern Michigan Christian, had a breakthrough day for the Saints at the SVSU Jets Pizza Invitational. Adri placed second out of 38 in the 800 meters with a school record time of 2:13.4, eclipsing Natalie Kent's mark by nearly three seconds (2:16.19) and qualifying her for the NAIA National Championships. She then anchored the winning 1600 meter relay team with a split of 58.3 to help the team hit an automatic mark at 3:58.89.

Adri and the rest of the Saints will be back in action on Friday night at the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building. Aquinas is hosting the first ever Furniture City Challenge against Calvin, Cornerstone and Davenport. Action begins at 5 p.m.

School Records Fall at SVSU

posted Feb 8, 2015, 12:31 PM by Nicholas Whise

01/31/2015 – The men's & women's track and field teams set personal bests, qualified for Nationals and broke school records at Saginaw on Saturday.

The meet was highlighted by the school record performances of Catie Rietsema and Adri Sigafoose. Rietsema placed 2nd in the 5000 meters to break Stacey Hoffman's record from the 2006 season. Rietsema, a senior from Rockford, recorded a time of 17:53.14 to establish the record and to qualify for the NAIA Championships in March. Sigafoose, a freshman from McBain, took home the silver medal in the 800 meter to break the previous mark set by Natalie Kent in 2007. Sigafoose's time of 2:13.40, automatically qualifies her for nationals and currently ranks her second in the country.

Also starring for the Saints were Tori DeSira and Adam Cichon. Both improved their previous marks in their specialty events and are both ranked fourth nationally in their respective events. DeSira, who checks in at #3 on the All-Time List, raced to an 8.86 in the 60 meter hurdles to place second overall. Cichon, who moved up to #5 on the Mile All-Time List, placed second as well with a time of 4:17.02. Both individuals are automatically qualified for the NAIA National Championships.

Other automatic qualifiers included Carly Woolcott (5000 meters - 18:14.38), Erin Drouillard (Pole Vault - 11-8) and the women's 4x400 meter relay. The quartet of Kaitlyn Henniger, Coutney Klawieter, Sydney Anderson and Sigafoose recorded a 3:58.89 to punch their tickets to the NAIA National Championships. Woolcott is now seeded #3 on the All-Time List, while Drouillard moved up to the #2 spot. The women's 4x400 meter relay was the fifth fastest time run in school history.

Other meet highlights included:

Jacob Towne - 5000 meters - 15:08.86 - "B" Qualifier
Jeff Cherry - 5000 meters - 15:09.65 - "B" Qualifier
Clare Naughton - 5000 meters - 18:28.16 - "B" Qualifier
Caleb Teachout - 400 meters - 49.26 - "B" Qualifier - #2 All-Time
Curtis Bell - Pole Vault - 15-5.5 - "B" Qualifier" - #2 All-Time
Clay Weidenhamer - Shot Put - 49-9.25 - "B" Qualifier"
Men's 4x400 Meter - (Slomski, Johnson, Williams, Teachout) - 3:19.89 - "B" Qualifier"
Marissa Ingersoll - 200 meters - 25.62 - #5 All-Time

The Saints will return home for the Furniture City Challenge on Friday. The new Alksnis Sports & Recreation Building will host Calvin, Davenport and Cornerstone starting at 5 p.m.

Saints Collect 21 First's at Quad Meet #2

posted Jan 26, 2015, 8:16 PM by Nicholas Whise   [ updated Jan 26, 2015, 8:16 PM ]

01/24/2015 – The track & field teams had a another successful competition in front of their fans at the Alksnis Athletic & Recreation Building. Both the men and the women placed first in the four team meet.

The meet was highlighted by the efforts of Tori DeSira in the 60 meter hurdles. The sophomore from Dewitt improved her "A" qualifying time to 8.90 and now ranks fourth nationally in her specialty event. DeSira also moved up to #3 on the Aquinas All-Time list with her performance in the 60 meter hurdles. Tori also won the 200 meters in a time of 26.45.

Also playing starring roles for the women's team was Adri Sigafoose and Rachel Spreng. Sigafoose won the 800 meters and hit the national automatic qualifying time (2:18.65) in the process. Adri's time is currently the seventh fastest in the country. Spreng will join Sigafoose at the NAIA Championships thanks in part to her vault of 11-5. Rachel won the vault and is now tied for the second highest vault in school history. Spreng checks in at #12 on the NAIA National List.

Highlights from the men's side included the performances of Michael Shearon and Aaron Hodges. Shearon hit the provisional mark in the high jump by clearing 6-7, while Hodges vault of 15-1 tied him for second on Aquinas' Al-Time List.

Outstanding Performances:

Tori DeSira - 60M Hurdles - 1st place (8.90) - "A" Qualifier - #3 All Time - Cook Record
Tori DeSira - 200 meters - 1st place (26.45)
Andy Houser - 60M Hurdles - 1st place (8.66)
Courtney Truss - 60 meter - 1st place (7.93)
Meghan Dassance - 400 meters - 1st place (1:03.37)
Caleb Teachout - 400 meters - 1st place (50.44) - Cook Record
Sydney Anderson - 600 meters - 1st place (1:41.25)
Dionte Williams - 600 meters - 1st place (1:42.32)
Adri Sigafoose - 800 meters - 1st place (2:18.65) - "A Qualifier" - Cook Record
Luke Hawley - 800 meters - 1st place (2:00.27)
Adam Cichon - 1000 meters - 1st place - Cook Record
Catie Rietsema - 3000 meters - 1st place (10:39.36)
Jacob Towne - 3000 meters - 1st place (8:56.96) - Cook Record
Women's 4x400M Relay (Henniger, Klawieter, Anderson, Sigafoose) - 1st place (4:05.44)
Men's 4x400M Relay (Slomski, Johnson, Williams, Teachout) - 1st place (3:24.64) - Cook Record
Michael Shearon - High Jump - 1st place (6-7)
Rachel Spreng - Pole Vault - 1st place (11-5) - "A" Qualifier - #2 All Time
Aaron Hodges - Pole Vault - 1st place (15-1) - #2 All-Time
Taylor Pitts - Long Jump - 1st place (17-6.25)
Taylor Pitts - Triple Jump - 1st place (33-0.25)
Amber Jefferson - Shot Put - 1st place (38-0)

Final Standings

Aquinas 194
Spring Arbor 116
Hope 63
Ferris State 56

Aquinas 184
Spring Arbor 109
Ferris State 100
Hope 26

The Saints will now travel to Saginaw Valley State on Saturday to compete in the Jets Pizza Invitational. The event starts at 11 a.m.

Men First, Women Second at Quad Meet #1

posted Jan 26, 2015, 8:11 PM by Nicholas Whise

01/17/2015 – The track & field teams had a successful showing in front of a packed house at the Alksnis Athletic & Recreation Building. The men placed first out of four schools, while the women finished in second place. Close to 400 people surrounded Cook Track cheering loudly for their home team.

The meet was highlighted by the automatic qualifying times of Erika Heston and Tori DeSira in the women's 60 meter hurdles. Heston, who posted a 8.96, is currently ranked sixth in the country, while DeSira's 9.03 lands her at ninth on the national performance list. Also securing a spot at the Indoor National Championships was Erin Drouillard. The freshman vaulter from Mecosta cleared 11-5 to place fifth in the competition. Erin's vault makes her the second highest vaulter in Aquinas history and currently ranks her 12th in the nation.

Also playing starring roles were Adam Cichon and Adri Sigafoose in the middle distance events. Cichon, who prepped at East Kentwood, won the Mile in a time of 4:21.11 to hit the provisional qualifying mark. Sigafoose, a freshman from McBain, ran a personal best of 1:37.96 to hit the "B" standard. Cichon ranks second nationally in the Mile, while Sigafoose checks in at #5 on the women's NAIA Indoor list in the 600 meters.

Outstanding Performances:

Erika Heston - 60M Hurdles - 1st - "A" Qualifier - Cook Record
Tori DeSira - 60M Hurdles - "A" Qualifier
Andy Houser - 60M Hurdles - #5 All-Time
Adam Cichon - Mile - 1st - "B" Qualifier - Cook Record
Adri Sigafoose - 600M - 1st - "B" Qualifier - #3 All-Time - Cook Record
Caleb Teachout - 600M - 1st
Marissa Ingersoll - 200M - 1st - Cook Record
Ray Bordeaux - 200M - 1st - Cook Record
Erin Drouillard - PV - "A" Qualifier - #2 All-Time
Curtis Bell - PV - #2 All-Time
Men's 4x400M Relay (Slomski, Johnson, Williams, Teachout) - 1st - Cook Record

Final Standings

Aquinas 147.5
Siena Heights 142
Davenport 123
Bethel 115.5

Siena Heights 181
Aquinas 137
Bethel 118
Davenport 57

The Saints will now host the Aquinas Quad-Meet #2 on Friday night starting at 5 p.m. Schools scheduled to attend include Ferris State, Hope and Spring Arbor.

Saints Successfully Open Cook Track

posted Jan 11, 2015, 6:01 PM by Nicholas Whise

01/11/2015 – The track & field teams racked up 18 first place finishes in a dual meet versus Calvin College in the Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building. The men defeated the Knights 79-26, while the women were victorious as well, 69-39.

Highlighting the meet were the provisional qualifying marks turned in by Tori DeSira and Erika Heston. The duo both hit the "B" standard in their specialty event by posting times of 9.07 and 9.18 respectively.

Also starring for the Saints was freshman, Curtis Bell. The Coleman native vaulted 15-1 to land himself at #2 on the Saints All-Time List.

Saints with blue ribbon finishes:

Jacob Towne - 3000 meters (9:05.24)
Tori DeSira - 60 meter hurdles (9.07)
Kaitlyn Henniger - 300 meters (43.4)
Eric Reed - 300 meters (37.10)
Adam Cichon - 1000 meters (2:34.93)
Marissa Ingersoll - 60 meters (7.98) & 150 meters (19.54)
Ryan Makinen - 60 meters (7.14)
Adri Sigafoose - 600 meters (1:38.92)
Ray Bordeaux - 150 meters (17.08)
Chris Ford - High Jump (1.81 meters)
Rachel Spreng - Pole Vault (3.20 meters)
Curtis Bell - Pole Vault (4.60 meters)
Taylor Pitts - Long Jump (5.14 meters)
Tanin Eckhoff - Long Jump (6.13 meters)
Clay Weidenhamer - Shot Put (14.17 meters) & Weight Throw (13.14)
Melissa Nelson - Weight Throw (12.30 meters)

The Saints will return to action on Friday when they host the Aquinas Quad-Meet #1 at the Alksnis Athletic & Recreation Building. Aquinas will square off with Siena Heights, Davenport and Bethel at 5 p.m.

Aquinas College Dedicates New 70,000-Square-Foot Indoor Athletic Building

posted Nov 3, 2014, 12:10 PM by Nicholas Whise   [ updated Nov 3, 2014, 12:12 PM ]

Watch the video of the ceremony here: Alksnis Athletic & Recreation Building Grand Opening

Signals completion of Aquinas’ largest capital project to date

October 31, 2014 - (Grand Rapids, Mich.) - On October 30, 2014, Aquinas College dedicated and officially opened the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building on its campus. The new 70,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility houses a 200-meter NCAA-certified track, and a turf infield with portable court for use by intramural and varsity teams, including baseball, softball and lacrosse. The Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building completes Aquinas’ state-of-the-art $13 million athletic complex and signals the completion of Aquinas’ largest capital project to date. The complex also includes the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center which opened in November, 2010.

“We are thrilled about the completion and opening of the new Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building,” said Juan Olivarez, Aquinas president. “As the only college in our athletic conference (the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference) with the versatility of the track, turf and portable floor, the expanded athletic complex will allow Aquinas to provide more opportunities to our students as well as high school students from the region.”

The new facility will allow Aquinas to host events it previously did not have facilities for, such as high school indoor track and field meets. It will serve as a practice facility for Aquinas’ track, baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, golf, basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, dance and intramural teams, and as a competition venue for Aquinas’ track and field team. Additionally, academic classes will be held in the facility.

Aquinas College and the Aquinas College Foundation raised more than $5.7 million for the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building, with donations and gifts coming from more than 300 individuals and families. Greg Alksnis ‘71 and his family were the lead donors for the complex, with a gift of $1.5 million.

“It is thanks to the patronage of alumni like the Alksnis’ and the support of the entire Aquinas family that we were able to build this unique and flexible facility,” said Greg Meyer, vice president and executive director of the Aquinas College Foundation. “These gifts are a real testament to the strength of Aquinas’ ongoing initiatives to increase its visibility and continually grow and adapt to the needs of our student body.”

Alksnis, co-owner of Magic Steel Corporation and an Aquinas Trustee Emeritus, was a scholarship athlete at Aquinas. He was a star on the Aquinas golf team and continued to distinguish himself on the links as an amateur throughout his life. An Aquinas College 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Greg is one of only three golfers to win the “Grand Slam” of the four local major titles.

Alksnis’ wife, Sally, is an athlete in her own right. She has competed in numerous sports, been a runner and body builder, taught archery and shooting, and currently participates in the equestrian sport of dressage.

“As an alumni of Aquinas, I chose to support this particular project because Aquinas made a huge difference in my life – helping me develop as an athlete and also preparing me for the working world,” said Greg Alksnis. “Physical fitness is important to me and my family, and this project has allowed us to demonstrate the importance of athletics while also supporting Aquinas.”

Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building features:
• 200 meter, NCAA-certified track with all of the amenities for track and field events
• Wooden floor court for basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and dance
• Practice areas for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, golf and intramurals
• Extensive curtaining system will allow for multiple uses simultaneously

Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center opened in November 2010 and includes:
• Reoriented basketball court (with telescopic bleacher seating for 2,000)
• Fitness Center
• AQ Hall of Fame
• Three classrooms
• Main floor NATA-certified Athletic training facility
• Coaching offices (12)
• Large Conference room
• Hospitality Room (Saints Room)
• New main floor locker rooms
• New main floor laundry room
• Additional storage areas

Meyer was joined at the dedication by Aquinas staff members Terry Bocian, athletic director; Paula Meehan, vice president for enrollment and strategic planning; and the building’s name sake and lead donor Greg Alksnis; and Bishop David J. Walkowiak. The dedication also featured a ceremonial passing of the baton around the indoor track between past, present and future runners, and a blessing by Walkowiak. 

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