Calvin Distance Runners Cruise at North Central Dr. Keeler Invite
Saturday, May 11, 2013
A group of Calvin distance runners made their case for trips to the NCAA III Championships clear this weekend. Although NCAA Division III track and field no longer uses an automatic qualifying time/mark system, senior Greg Whittle along with juniors Sam Kerk and Nicole Michmerhuizen virtually sealed spots to the upcoming national meet with strong weekend performances at last-chance meets.
On Thursday night at the Dr. Keeler Invitational hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) took second in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:55.03. Her time is the sixth-best in Division III this spring and should cement her a spot to the national meet in the event. Michmerhuizen already owns the nation’s best time in the 10,000 meters (34:09.96).
On the men’s side, Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS) and Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) had huge performances Friday night at the Dr. Keeler Invitational in the 1,500 meters with Whittle taking second with a time of 3:49.92 while Kerk was third in 3:50.21. The time by Whittle is the sixth-best time in Division III this spring and is the second-fastest in Calvin men’s track and field history. Kerk joins David Sydow and John Lumkes as the only three individuals in Calvin men’s track and field history to run sub-3:50.00 times in the event.
In the men’s 5,000 meters Thursday at the Dr. Keeler Invitational, seniors Dan Kerr and Matt VanderRoest also had times that put them on the national list and will give them consideration for national qualification. VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) clocked a time of 14:30.85 while Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) had a time of 14:34.96. The time by VanderRoest places him 15th on the national list while Kerr’s time is currently good for 22nd place. Kerr and VanderRoest are both on the 10,000 meter national list with Kerr ranked third and VanderRoest fifth.
Another notable performance turned in Friday night in the women’s 1,500 meters came from senior Kaylea Brase (Lino Lake, MN/Centennial HS) as she recorded a career-best time of 4:37.73 that broke her previous best by nearly four seconds.
In addition, sophomore Stephen Haagsma (Grandville/Calvin Christian HS) recorded a career-best time of 9:13.73 in the steeplechase Friday night at the Dr. Keeler Invitational that places him 21st on the national list. Haagsma has now run three consecutive personal-best times in the race.
Over at a last-chance meet hosted by Grand Valley State Friday, junior Rebekah Folkema (Renfrew, ON/Renfrew Collegiate Institute) had a season-best time of 2:16.60 in the 800 meters.