Spring Sports Recap: Track Teams Dominate
The women's track and field team captured its ninth consecutive MIAA title and 13th conference crown in school-history this spring as the Knights under the leadership of head coach Gregg Afman went 7-0 in MIAA dual meets and then posted a first place total of 233 points at the MIAA Championships. Calvin's point total of 233 points marked the third consecutive year that it had surpassed 200 points at the league meet. Calvin is the only school in the MIAA history to record more than 200 points at the MIAA champoinships. Afman is now has nine MIAA titles to his credit, more than any other women's track and field coach in MIAA history.
At the league meet, Calvin took first place in 12 of the 18 events. Senior Jennifer Rottschafer (Grand Rapids) repeated as MIAA champion in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles and ran legs on Calvin's first place 400 and 1,600 meter relay teams. Senior Andrea Clark (McBain, Mich.) captured the 10,000 meter title for a third consecutive year with an MIAA-record time of 37:46.46. Sophomore Teresa Timmer (West Olive, Mich.) was a double-winner at the league meet, taking first place in the 100 and 200 meter dashes while also running the anchor leg on Calvin's 400 meter relay. Sophomore Lisa Timmer (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was another double-winner for the maroon and gold, taking first in the 3,000 and 1,500 meter run. Other league champions from Calvin included junior Amy Mizzone (Wayne, N.J.) in the 5,000 meters; freshman Megan Pierce (Fort Wayne, Ind.) in the 400 meters and freshman Sara Veltkamp (Grand Rapids) in the 800 meters. Veltkamp and junior Kristi VanWoerkom (Grand Rapids) joined Pierce and Rottschafer on the 1,600 meter relay team while sophomore Jennifer Call (Avon Lake, Ohio) joined Pierce, Rottschafer and Timmer on the 400 meter relay.
Calvin then sent 10 athletes to the NCAA III Track and Field Championships at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., where it finished 11th with 16 points, earning five All-American performances. Rottschafer earned All-America honors for a third consecutive year in the 400 hurdles, while Pierce was an All-American in the 400. Lisa Timmer repeated as an All-American in the 3,000 meters while Clark was an All-American in the 10,000 meters. Calvin's 1,600 meter relay team of VanWoerkom, Rottschafer, Veltkamp and Pierce then earned All-America accolades as well.
The men's track and field team under first-year head coach Jong-Il Kim captured its fifth consecutive MIAA title and its 11th in the last 12 years by going undefeated in the MIAA dual meet season with a 6-0 record and then taking first place the conference championships with 237 points. At the conference meet, Calvin took first place in 12 of the 18 events.
Junior Steve Michmerhuizen was a double-winner in the shot put and discus. For his efforts, Michmerhuizen was named the MIAA's co-MVP, becoming just the second thrower in Calvin history to earn MIAA MVP honors in track and field.
Junior Jay Lumkes (Elkhorn, Wis.) and freshman Phil Sikkenga (Wheaton, Ill.) were also double-winners for the Knights as Lumkes won the high jump and the 400 meters while Sikkenga took home the gold medal in the 110 high hurdles and the 200 meter dash. Sikkenga also added a second place finish in the 100 meters and long jump and ran a leg on Calvin's first place 400 meter relay team. Lumkes ran the anchor leg on both the 400 and 1,600 meter relay teams as the 1,600 meter relay also too first place. Other Calvin winners included freshman Mark DeWeerd (Hudsonville, Mich.) in the pole vault, sophomore Curt Mulder (Grand Rapids) in the 400 meter hurdles, junior Kent Frens (Fremont, Mich.) in the 10,000 meters and senior Geoff VanDragt (Grand Rapids) in the 5,000 meters. Mulder also ran legs on Calvin's 400 and 1,600 meter relay teams as did freshman Eric Hansen (Big Rapids, Mich.). Sophomore Dan Triezenberg (Grand Rapids) was also a member of Calvin's 1,600 meter relay squad. Nmed toe the All MIAA track and field team from Clavin were Michmerhuizen, Lumkes, Sikkenga, DeWeerd VanDragt, Mulder, Frens and junio Lee Doherty (Tucson, Ariz.).
Calvin then sent nine athletes to the NCAA III Track and Field Championships at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., where the Knights finished 24th with 10 points, earning four All-America berths.
VanDragt came up with a pair of All-America performances at the national meet. Michmerhuizen also earned double All-American honors.
The women's tennis team under the direction of first-year head coach Kim Gall finished fourth in the final MIAA standings. In the MIAA dual meet standings, Calvin finished tied for second place with a 6-2 record. The Knights then placed fourth at the conference championships with 79 points. Overall, Calvin posted a 15-4 record.
At the conference championships, Calvin freshman Rachel Knoester (Holland, Mich.) finished second at No. 5 singles while junior Tracy Shook (Morton, Ill.) took third at No. 3 singles. Junior Heidi Thatcher (Kalamazoo, Mich.) took fourth at No. 4 singles while freshman Kristy Killips (Ludington, Mich.) also took fourth at No. 6 singles. In doubles action, Shook and Thatcher finished second at No. 2 doubles while senior Allison DeWys (Holland, Mich.) and sophomore Mandy Sytsma (Grand Rapids) combined to finish fourth at No. 1 doubles. Knoester also teamed up with junior Denise Licatesi (Byron Center, Mich.) to place fourth at No. 4 doubles.
DeWys was then honored with the Sue Little Sportsmanship Award, becoming the seventh player in Calvin history to receive the award.
The men's tennis team under the leadership of head coach Don Vroon finished tied for second in the final MIAA standings as the Knights took second in the dual meet season with a 5-1 record and third at the conference championships with 63.3 points. It marked the ninth consecutive year that Calvin has finished second in the MIAA standings. Overall, Calvin posted a 10-8 record.
At the MIAA Championships, senior Josh Haveman (Holland, Mich.) and freshman Ben Knoester (Grand Rapids) teamed up to finish second at No. 3 doubles while seniors Dave Meester (San Jose, Calif.) and Tim Volkema (Holland, Mich.) took third at No. 1 doubles and senior Pat Williams (Hastings, Mich.) and junior Jeff Penzotti (Kalamazoo, Mich.) placed third at No. 2 doubles. In singles action, Haveman took second at No. 4 singles while Meester took third at No. 1 singles; Volkema third at No. 2 singles; Williams third at No. 3 singles; Penzotti fifth at No. 5 singles and Knoester third at No. 6 singles.
Meester received the Stowe Memorial Award, becoming the seventh player in Calvin history to receive the prestigious honor.
Calvin sported a youthful look as 14 freshman dotted the 24-man roster. Senior Dan Mesyar (Ludington, Mich.) helped lead the way for the Knights this spring Mesyar finished sixth in the MIAA batting race with a .392 average while finishing second in RBI's (23), tied for third in doubles (9), fourth in total bases (46) and runs scored (20). A two-way starter in the outfield and at pitcher, Mesyar led Calvin in innings pitched (64) while also compiling a 2-3 pitching record with a 3.93 ERA in conference play. Overall, Mesyar batted .364 with a team-leading 32 RBI's and 28 runs scored. Senior Brent Boersma (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and sophomore Justin Cole (Grand Rapids) were both voted to the All-MIAA second team. Boersma finished among the MIAA leaders in hitting with a .337 average and was seventh in doubles (7) and 10th in total bases (37). Calvin's starting centerfielder, Boersma went errorless in 21 conference games, handling 51 chances without an error while being credited with two outfield assists. A third baseman, Cole batted .333 this spring in conference play and finished second in the MIAA in runs scored with 21.
The women's softball team under the guidance of head coach Amber Warners earned its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA III Tournament as the Knights reached the 20-win plateau for a fourth consecutive year. Calvin finished the season with a 20-19 overall record and a league mark of 12-4. The Knights then took second at the MIAA Tournament to finish second in the final MIAA standings.
At the NCAA III Central Regional, Calvin opened play with an 8-0 first round victory over Southern Maine as senior pitcher Shauna Koolhaas (Escondido, Calif.) tossed the sixth no-hitter of her career, facing just one batter over the minimum. The Knights were then defeated by league rival Alma 3-0 and eventual regional champion Muskingum 2-1 in 10 innings.
In league play, Koolhaas compiled an 11-3 record with a 1.96 ERA along with 54 strikeouts in 93 innings pitched as she led the league in victories and strikeouts. She also completed her four-year career as the all-time MIAA leader in victories (37), decisions (47), strikeouts (278), and innings pitched (301).
Volkers stepped into a starter's role in the outfield as a freshman and batted .417 in conference games to finish tied for sixth in the league batting race. She also set a new MIAA record for doubles in a season as she finished with a league-leading eight doubles. In addition, she finished second in RBI's (13) and fifth in total bases (28). She was also named MIAA Position Player of the Week once. VanKoevering finished second in the MIAA batting race with .442 average while leading the league in RBI's (15) and finishing tied for third in doubles (6) and total bases (29).