Ashland University junior Drew Windle came up big at Grand Valley State's "Big Meet," on Friday (Feb. 14).
Windle knows what it's like to run on the big stage and not just in Allendale, Mich., home of the Lakers. Wherever he runs the stage and the setting becomes large. That's because Windle is one of the top runners in the country and he attracts attention - and quality athletes - wherever he goes.
On Friday, the opening day of the Big Meet, Windle won the 800 in 1:46.52. That was a meet mark and a facility record. This should also be one of the top five times in the country across all divisions. Finally, it is an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division II national meet.
Windle was also part of the 4X4 relay that finished second on Friday. That group clocked in at 3:10.72. That broke meet and facility records and hits the automatic standard for nationals. The only quartet to finish in front of the Eagles was Indiana Tech (3:09.93). Windle was joined in this effort by Elijha Owens, Waquiem Comar and Jacob Cook.
Zac Ball placed first in a star-studded field in the weight throw. His winning mark - 67-5.25 - is a provisional qualification. In the shot put, Donald Duke was second (62-7.75). That effort was an automatic qualifier.
Jennifer Bjelac finished first in the long jump (18-10.75). She has a provisional mark for nationals.
Former AU standout and current assistant coach Steph Tinney was first in the 800 (2:09.86).
The Big Meet will continue on Saturday (Feb. 15).