Aaron Meckes & Nick Kramer Are All-Americans at NCAA III Indoor Track & Field Championships
Saturday, March 10, 2012
GRINNELL, IA - In his first trip to the NCAA III Track and Field Championships, Aaron Meckes walked away an All-American. On Saturday afternoon, the junior thrower out of Bay City took eighth in the shot put with a career-best throw of 54-4 1/2 at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships at Grinnell College. In the men’s 5,000 meters, senior Nick Kramer was an All-American, placing eighth with a time of 14:26.84 Junior Matt VanderRoest was 11th with a time of 14:47.99. The All-America finish is the sixth of Kramer’s track and field career including his second indoors.
Prior to this weekend, Meckes had never qualified for either for the NCAA III Championships at either the indoor or outdoor level. He is the third Meckes brother to claim All-America honors in track and field at Calvin College as older brothers Nate and Josh Meckes were All-Americans in outdoor track and field with Nate doing shot on multiple occasions in the shot put and dicus while Josh did so as a long jumper. Combined, the Meckes brothers have now produced seven All-America track and field certificates at Calvin College.
The All-America shot put performance by Aaron Meckes this afternoon was part of a lengthy comeback from an off-season injury that curtailed his training in the throws for several months.
In January however, he cracked the 51-foot barrier in the shot put and then produced a throw of 54-0 at the Michigan/Indiana Invitational at Calvin on February 25 that allowed him to qualify for the indoor national meet.
On Saturday, Meckes popped a throw of 53-5 on his second throw of the prelims. The throw was good enough to advance him to the finals, giving him three more attempts. Down to his final attempt in the finals, Meckes sat in ninth place, one spot out of the final All-America slot. He then made his last attempt his best attempt as he unleashed a career-best throw of 54-4 1/2 to move into eighth place.
“I am just thrilled for Aaron,” said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. “To see him perform this well on a big stage is remarkable, particularly after battling through an off-season of injuries. We are all very proud of him.”
Calvin throwing coach Katie (Corner) Dean explained that Meckes progressed this winter on a wise and steady basis. “Aaron did a great job of listening to his body,” said Dean. “He didn’t push his recovery (from injury) too fast but he also knew how much to go for it. This afternoon he was very calm. He did not get intimidated by the national meet atmosphere. He did what he knew he was capable of. His performance today is another big momentum boost for him and he is poised for a very strong outdoor season.”
As a team, Calvin finished 48th with a team score of two points.
North Central captured the team title with 48 points with Wisconsin-Eau Claire second with 37 points.