Calvin Sports News
|Spring sports highlights|
|Men's Track and Field | Men's Tennis | Women's Tennis | Softball | Baseball|
The women's track and field team, under the leadership of head coach Ralph Honderd, captured an unprecedented 12th consecutive MIAA title, finishing 6-0 in MIAA dual meet competition and then recording a first place total of 350 points at the MIAA Championships. With its 6-0 dual meet record, Calvin extended its MIAA dual meet win streak to 56.
Calvin's total of 350 points at the league meet marked the second-highest point total in MIAA history, surpassed only by the 351 point total recorded by Calvin in 2000. Calvin took first place in 16 of a possible 21 events at the league meet and shattered seven MIAA records. Senior Lindsay Mulder (Wyoming, Mich.) was a part of five championship and three record performances, taking first place in the long jump (18-8 ˝); 100 meters (12.29) and 200 meters (24.83) while also running legs on Calvin's first place 4 x 100 (48.60) and 4 x 400 (3:50.68) relay squads. Mulder's times in the 100 and 200 meters were both MIAA record times with her 100 time also shattering the previous Calvin record of 12.31 established by Kelli Lautenbach in 1989. Mulder was then named the MIAA's Most Valuable Field Event Performer.
Senior Megan Pierce (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Runner for the third straight year. Pierce was later named Great Lakes Regional Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field Coaches' Association. At the Hillsdale Relays April 28, Pierce was named the Most Outstanding Women's Performer. At the MIAA Championships May 5, Pierce captured the MIAA 400 meter title for the fourth straight year, becoming the first female athlete in MIAA history to win the event four straight years. Pierce also anchored Calvin's 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relay teams at the MIAA championships. Joining Pierce and Mulder on the 4 x 100 meter relay team were junior Rachel Veltkamp (Grand Rapids) and freshman Dana Haan (Lynden, Wash.) while senior Sara Veltkamp (Grand Rapids) and junior Mindy Worst (Grand Rapids) were members of the 4 x 400 meter relay squad that ran to an MIAA record time of 3:50.68.
Rachel Veltkamp established a new meet record in the pole vault with a mark of 11-6. Sophomore Annie VanderLaan (Grand Rapids) shattered a league and Calvin record in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.96 in the prelims. VanderLaan went on to win the 100 meter hurdles (15.11) for the second straight year while also winning the 400 hurdles (1:05.11) and taking second in the high jump (5-2). Junior Lindsay Carrier (Grand Rapids) also set a new MIAA record at the league meet as she clocked in with a first place time of 37:09.45 in the 10,000 meters.
Other league champions from Calvin included senior Andrea Rip (Bothell, Wash.) in the javelin (127-4); senior Mae Baber (Brandon, Wis.) in the triple jump (34-7); freshman Jamie Febo (Sparta, Mich.) in the discus (131-0); freshman Jessie Lair (West Bloomfield, Mich.) in the 5,000 meters (18:46.44); freshman Leah Cornell (Pennfield, N.Y.) in the 1,500 meters (4:57.35) and junior Laura Medema (Grand Rapids) in the 3,000 meters (10:43.12).
Calvin then placed 14 individuals on the All-MIAA team as Baber, Carrier, Cornell, Febo, Haan, Lair, Medema, Mulder, Pierce, Rip, VanderLaan, Rachel Veltkamp, Sara Veltkamp and Worst were all named to the All-MIAA team with Pierce and Sara Veltkamp earning spots on the All-MIAA team for the fourth straight year.
At the NCAA III Championships hosted by Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., Calvin posted its best national finish as it earned national runner-up honors with a total of 49 points. The Knights came up with a pair of national championships along with seven additional All-America performances. Mulder was the biggest point producer for the Knights as she earned All-America accolades in four events including the pair of national championship performances. Mulder opened the national competition in electrifying fashion as she captured the national title in the long jump with a national record jump of 20-1. Mulder's record jump eclipsed the previous national record set by Calvin's own Angie Feinauer in 1993 when Feinauer won the national title with a record leap of 19-11 ˝. Mulder later ran the third leg of Calvin's 4 x 400 meter relay team that captured the national championship for the third straight year, clocking in with a school-record time of 3:43.24. Calvin's 4 x 400 meter relay time was the third-fastest in Division III women's track and field history. Mulder also ran a leg on Calvin's 4 x 100 meter relay team that finished fifth (47.76) and finished seventh in the 400 meters (56.68), completing her collegiate career as an eight-time All-American.
Mulder was one of three Calvin All-Americans in the 400 meters as Pierce took second (54.42) while Sara Veltkamp was sixth (56.64). Pierce, Veltkamp and Mulder were joined by Worst on the 4 x 400 meter relay team while Rachel Veltkamp and Haan combined with Mulder and Pierce on the 4 x 100 meter relay team. Pierce closed out her career as an eight-time All-American while Sara Veltkamp completed her career as a five-time All-American. At the Hillsdale Relays the previous month, Pierce established a school-record time of 54.15 in winning the 400 meters. Her time ended up as the fastest time in Division III women's track and field this spring.
Rachel Veltkamp earned individual All-America honors in the pole vault with a third-place mark of 12-0 to become the first Calvin women's pole vault All-American. At the Len Paddock Invitational hosted by the University of Michigan two weeks earlier, Veltkamp established a school record in the pole vault with a mark of 12-6 which eventually ranked as the best vault in Division III women's track and field this spring.
Seeded 13th heading into the national meet, VanderLaan earned All-America honors in the heptathlon with a school record total of 4,462 points to become the third All-America heptathlete in Calvin history. In the javelin, Rip earned an All-American citation with a seventh place throw of 133-9. In earning All-America honors, Rip became the third women's javelin All-American at Calvin and the first female All-America in the throwing events at Calvin since 1994.
Carrier and Lair also competed at the national meet with Carrier placing 12th in the 10,000 meters (36:52.13) and 20th in the 5,000 meters (18:10.62) while Lair was 14th in the 10,000 meters (36:59.32).
In addition, Rachel and Sara Veltkamp earned academic awards as both individuals were named to the Verizon Academic All-District IV second team in track and field.
In total, the Calvin women's track and field team shattered 10 school records during the season. Other Calvin records broken during the year included Mae Baber in the triple jump (36-9 ˝) and Pierce in the 200 meters (24.72).
Under the direction of coach Jong-Il Kim, the men's track and field team captured its eighth consecutive MIAA title including its 14th in the last 15 years as the Knights went 5-0 in the MIAA dual meet season and then recorded a first-place score of 252 points at the MIAA Championships. With its 5-0 dual meet record, Calvin extended its dual meet win streak to 33.
At the MIAA Championships, Calvin took first place in 10 of 21 events with senior Phil Sikkenga (Wheaton, Ill.) leading the charge as he took first place in the 100 meters (10.97), 110 high hurdles (14.75) and 200 meters (21.58). In the prelims of the 110 high hurdles, Sikkenga established a new MIAA record with a time of 14.46. The victories in the 110 high hurdles and 200 meters marked the fourth consecutive crowns in both events for Sikkenga as he became the first athlete in MIAA history to win two separate events four straight years at the league meet. He also became the first four-time MIAA champion in both the 110 high hurdles and 200 meters. Sikkenga's triumph in the 100 meters marked his third consecutive title in the event. For his efforts, Sikkenga was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Runner for the third straight year while also landing a spot on the All-MIAA team for the fourth consecutive season.
Sikkenga was one of two members of the Calvin men's track and field team to capture a league title for the fourth straight year this spring as senior Mark DeWeerd (Hudsonville, Mich.) achieved the feat in the pole vault, winning the event with a height of 15-6 at the conference meet. DeWeerd also finished second in the 200 meters (22.20) at the league meet and landed a spot on the All-MIAA team for the fourth straight year.
Calvin's distance group also provided a powerful punch at the MIAA Championships. Combined, Calvin individuals in the 1,500, 3,000 meter steeplechase, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters produced a total of 104 points at the conference meet.
In the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Calvin swept the top four spots with junior David Ritsema (Denver, Colo.) leading the way with an MIAA record time of 9:26.01. The 1,500 meters proved to be one of the most exciting events as senior Paul Petersen (Crawfordsville, Ind.), gained, lost and then regained the lead in the final lap as he took first place with a time of 3:58.32, nipping a competitor by two-hundredths of a second. In the 5,000 meters, Calvin went 1-3-4 with junior Dan Hoekstra (Kalamazoo, Mich.) winning in 14:57.47. The Knights also claimed four of the top five spots in the 10,000 meters with freshman David Haagsma (Grand Rapids) winning with a time of 31:32.18. In addition, Calvin went 1-2-4 in the high jump with senior Derek Kleinheksel (Hamilton, Mich.) winning the event for the third straight year with a height of 6-6.
Also named to the All-MIAA team from Calvin were Kleinheksel, Petersen, Ritsema, Hoekstra, junior Justin Momany-Pfruender (Midland, Mich.), sophomore Cameron Baron (Lake Stevens, Wash.), and Haagsma.
At the NCAA III Championships hosted by Millikin University, Calvin recorded its third-best national finish placing fifth with 31.5 points. The Knights were powered by Sikkenga who took third in the 400 meters with a school record time of 47.46 and then anchored Calvin's 4 x 400 meter relay team to a second place finish in a time of 3:10.62. Sikkenga was joined on the relay by senior Eric Hansen (Big Rapids, Mich.), sophomore Steve Abbring (Highland, Ind.) and junior Keith VanGoor (Midland Park, N.J.). It marked the third consecutive All-America finish by a Calvin 4 x 400 men's relay team and the second straight national runner-up berth for the Calvin quartet.
In the high jump, Calvin produced a pair of All-America performances as Kleinheksel reaped All-America honors for the third straight year as he took third with a jump of 6-9. Baron also went 6-9 and finished fourth, having taken one more attempt to clear the bar. Calvin also received a pair of All-America performances in the 5,000 meters as Momany-Pfruender took seventh (15:03.22) and Hoekstra took eighth (15:04.01). Hoekstra was a double All-American at the national meet as he also took eighth in the 10,000 meters with a time of 31:20.32.
DeWeerd was Calvin's first All-American at the national meet as he took sixth in the pole vault (15-7) on the opening day of competition to earn All-America honors for the second time in his career.
Also competing for Calvin at the national meet were Petersen and Ritsema. Petersen took 10th in the 10,000 meters and 13th in the 5,000 meters while Ritsema finished 14th in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Petersen, Sikkenga and DeWeerd also received academic honors at the conclusion of the season as Petersen was named to the Verizon Academic All-America third team while Sikkenga and DeWeerd were named to the second team.
The men's tennis team under the direction of head coach Milan Norgauer posted a 3-13 overall record including a 1-5 conference mark. The Knights rebounded at the MIAA Championships to record a fourth-place score of 31 points. Calvin sported a youthful look this spring as the Knights played without five of their top six players from a year ago. Senior Ben Knoester (Grand Rapids) led the Knights at the No. 1 singles spot and was later named to the All-MIAA second team.
At the MIAA Championships, senior Rob Stine (Hindsale, Ill.) had the best Calvin singles finish as he took third at No. 5 singles, defeating an opponent from Alma 6-3, 6-4 in the third-place match. Sophomores Pat Napurski (Maple Grove, Minn.) and Nate Kraai (Grand Rapids) also reached the third-place match at No. 2 and No. 3 singles respectively while senior Andrew Brand (Pella, Iowa) reached the third-place match at No. 6 singles.
In second flight doubles, the Calvin tandem of senior Scott Jongekrijg (Grand Rapids) and Napurski took third, winning the third place match over Alma's tandem 1-6, 7-6, 6-3. Brand and Kraai also reached the third place match at No. 3 doubles.
Calvin's dual match victories during the year came against Cornerstone, Spring Arbor and Adrian.
The women's tennis team under the leadership of first-year head coach Jerry Bergsma went 11-5 overall and 4-3 in the MIAA in dual match competition. The Knights then took fourth at the MIAA Championships with 63.5 points to finish fourth in the final league standings. Of Calvin's five defeats, three were by 5-4 scores.
Senior Kait Disselkoen (Nairobi, Kenya) earned a spot on the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year as she took third at flight one singles, defeating Annie Knish of St. Mary's 1-6, 7-5, 6-0 in the third-place match. Disselkoen finished the year with a 14-5 singles record.
Sophomore Sally Skodinski (South Bend, Ind.) was named to the All-MIAA second team after taking fifth place at flight two singles. Sophomore Jessica Bosma (Lansing, Mich.) earned conference runner-up honors at flight three singles, falling to Jeannie Knish of St. Mary's 6-2, 6-2 in the championship match. Skodinski finished the year with a 14-5 singles second.
Senior Anne Koldenhoven (Burr Ridge, Ill.) took third for Calvin at flight four singles, defeating Lynsey Kluever of Albion 6-2, 6-3 in the third place match. Sophomore Allison VerMeer (Pella, Iowa) was fifth at flight five singles while junior Trisha Plaisier (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was third at flight six singles, defeating Maya Zayat of Albion 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the third -place match.
In doubles, Disselkoen and Skodinski took fourth at flight one doubles as did the flight three Calvin doubles team of VerMeer and freshman Melissa DeWall (Holland, Mich.). At flight two doubles, Calvin's duo of Bosma and Koldenhoven finished as conference runner-ups, falling to Hope's tandem 6-2, 6-3 in the championship finals.
The softball team coached by Amber Warners finished sixth in the MIAA standings with a 4-10 conference record while finishing 14-22 overall. Calvin opened the year by winning six of nine games on its spring trip to Fort Myers, Fla. The Knights then dropped seven straight upon returning to Michigan to fall to 6-10. Calvin rebounded to captured five of its next eight games to stand 11-13 overall and 2-4 in the MIAA. A season-ending injury to freshman pitching ace Keri Cole (Fountain, Mich.) curtailed Calvin's comeback hopes as the Knights dropped their next seven games including six in the conference. Calvin broke its seven-game slide with a 2-0 win over Division II Saginaw Valley State and proceeded to win three of its final five games.
Senior Erin Dyksterhouse (Kalamazoo, Mich.) earned a spot on the All-MIAA first team as she finished 11th in the MIAA batting race with a .385 conference batting average. Senior Rhonda Volkers (Zeeland, Mich.) and junior Susannah Knust (Grandville, Mich.) were voted to the All-MIAA second team while sophomore Becky Austen received coaches' honorable mention recognition from the MIAA. Knust was also named to the Verizon Academic All-District IV second team for the second straight year while Volkers was named to the Great Lakes All-Region second team.
The all-region selection was the third in Volkers' career as she was selected to the third team in 1998 and to the second team in 1999. Over the course of her Calvin softball career, Volkers compiled a .334 batting average, collecting 132 hits in 395 trips to the plate. She was also credited with 30 extra-base hits as she recorded 24 doubles, three triples and three home runs. In conference games, Volkers finished with 62 career hits, placing her in a tie for fourth place on the all-time MIAA hits list.
The baseball team coached by Jeff Pettinga reached the 20-win plateau for the second straight year and finished second in the MIAA as the Knights recorded a 21-16 overall record and a 12-6 league mark.
After a 4-5 spring trip to Florida, Calvin proceeded to win 13 of its next 17 games including conference series sweeps of Olivet and Adrian. Calvin's bid to repeat as MIAA champions came up short in the final two weeks of the season as the Knights dropped two of three games in conference series against Alma and Hope.
Senior Aaron Wiers (Chicago, Ill.) was voted the MIAA's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, becoming the first Calvin baseball player to win the award twice and just the fourth player in MIAA history to receive the award in back-to-back years. A first baseman and pitcher, Wiers compiled a 6-2 pitching record along with a 2.39 ERA, striking out 50 batters in 49 innings of work. In conference play, Wiers led the MIAA in victories with a perfect 5-0 record. He also led the league in strikeouts and finished second in ERA as he struck out 38 batters and produced a 2.25 conference ERA. At first base, Wiers was flawless this spring, compiling a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000 as he did not commit an error in 250 total chances.
At the plate, Wiers batted .343 with a team-leading 28 RBI's, 23 runs scored, 22 walks and six home runs. Over the course of the spring, Wiers came up with a sizzling .611 slugging percentage as he collected 15 extra-base hits. In conference play, Wiers finished fourth in the MIAA batting race with a .423 average. He also finished second in home runs (5), total bases (42) and runs scored (19) and third in RBI's (18). He also finished ranked high on the list of several MIAA career statistical categories. At the plate, Wiers moved into a tie for first place in career doubles (30) and into second place in career home runs (10) and total bases (147). On the mound he compiled 112 strikeouts in conference games to move into third place on the all-time MIAA strikeout list while finishing third in career pitching decisions (20) and victories (14).
Wiers was also named to the All-MIAA first team for the third straight year. In addition, Calvin landed eight players on the All-MIAA second team as seniors Ryan Wolthuis (Kentwood, Mich.), Dirk Eppinga (Walnut Creek, Calif.), Jason TeBos (Grandville, Mich.) and Ross Hunderman (Drenthe, Mich.) along with juniors Mike Ott (Grand Rapids), Ben Dykhouse (Grand Rapids), Mark Jansen (Denver, Colo.), and Matt DeHoek (Grand Rapids) were so honored. An outfielder, Hunderman finished third on the all-time MIAA list for career at-bats with 248 trips to the plate. A pitcher, Ott moved into sixth place on the MIAA list for career earned run average with an ERA of 2.47. During the year, Ott was named MIAA Pitcher of the Week for the third time in his career while Wiers earned MIAA Player of the Week accolades for the second time in his career.
Also receiving coaches honorable mention recognition from the MIAA were senior shortstop Zac Jackson (Kinsman, Ohio) and junior relief pitcher Matt Schmitz (Ionia, Mich.). Schmitz was later named to the Verizon Academic All-District IV first team, becoming the first Calvin baseball player to receive the honor.