Calvin Men Place 14th/Women Finish 18th at NCAA III Track & Field Championships
Saturday, May 28, 2011
DELAWARE, OH - The Calvin men’s and women’s track and field teams produced four All-America finishes on the final day of competition at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Ohio Wesleyan University.
One of the top finishes was turned in by senior Nick Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) who took fourth in the 5,000 meters (14:44.75) less than 24 hours after having finished third in the steeplechase the night before. It marks the second straight year that Kramer has pulled off the difficult steeplechase/5K All-America double. A year ago, Kramer was fourth in the steeplechase and eighth in the 5,000 meters. Kramer is one of four individuals in Calvin men’s track and field history to earn All-America recognition in both the steeplechase and the 5,000 meters in the same meet and he is the only individual to do so on more than one occasion.
Kramer’s finish allowed Calvin to finish in 14th place in the final men’s team standings with 16 points. North Central captured the men’s team title with 58 points.
In Saturday’s race, Kramer went for the win as he moved from fourth place into first place with just over 200 meters left.
Top seed Mike Spain of North Central was able to move past Kramer and the rest of the field through the final turn however with Thomas Breitbach of UW-Eau Claire taking second (14:42.87) and Seth Einterz of Wabash taking third (14:43.21).
In the men’s 1,500 meters, sophomore Greg Whittle (Galseburg, IL/Galesburg HS) claimed his second All-America certificate of the year, placing fourth with a time of 3:55.67. Whittle also claimed All-America recognition with a second place finish in the mile run at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships two months ago. Calvin teammate Alex Wrobel (Arden Hills, MN/Moundsview HS) placed 11th in the race, clocking in with a time of 3:58.67.
Whittle ran a well-executed race, sitting in the back of the pack of 12 runners through the first two laps and then moving into the top eight with two laps remaining. Heading into the final 200 meters, Whittle was in a fight for a top-eight (All-America spot) but found a second gear over the final 100 meters to pass several competitors for his fourth place finish. Whittle is the sixth individual in Calvin men’s track and field history to earn All-America honors in the 1,500 meters. Top-seeded Nick Guarino of Fredonia State took first place in the race with a time of 3:53.43.
On the women’s side, senior Rachel Boerner (Bergenfield, NJ/Hillcrest Lutheran Academy) closed out her illustrious Calvin track and field career with a fifth place and season-best time of 1:00.74. The finish was the eighth All-America certificate of Boerner’s Calvin career. She is tied for second place on the Calvin women’s track and field list for most All-America finishes. It also marked her third straight All-America finish in the 400 meter hurdles after having finished second in 2009 and first in 2010. The Calvin women’s track and field program has now produced 14 All-Americans in the 400 meter hurdles. Calvin has also now recorded a 400 meter hurdles All-American in women’s track and field for eight consecutive years.
Laura Barito of Stevens Institute of Technology captured the 400 meter hurdles national title with a time of 59.49. Barito was a first-time competitor in the 400 meter hurdles this spring, having not competed in the event unti late March after completing an All-American swim career at Stevens.
In the field events, senior Sarah Reasoner (Cambridge, MN/Isanti HS) closed out her Calvin career with a seventh place finish (143-7) in the discus, marking her second All-America berth of the weekend, her second consecutive in the discus and the sixth of her Calvin throwing career. Reasoner placed sixth in the shot put last night and completes her career with four All-America shot put performances (two indoors and two outdoors) and two in the discus (outdoors).
In the women’s 5,000 meters, junior Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) took 21st in a time of 18:38.06.
In the women’s high jump, sophomore Carissa Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) made a strong run at an All-America finish but came up just short as her final attempt at 5-5 3/4 was just off the mark as her heel clipped the bar at the last instant. A clearance at the height would have given Verkaik a top-eight (All-America finish) as she cleared successfully on her first attempt at 5-1 3/4 and on her second attempt at 5-3 3/4. Verkaik was making her first trip to the NCAA III Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The Calvin women’s team finished in 18th place with 11 points. Wisconsin-Oshkosh took the team title with 80 points.
2011 CALVIN MEN’S AND WOMEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD ALL-AMERICANS
MEN’S - Nick Kramer - 3rd place steeplechase & 4th place 5,000 meters
MEN’S - Greg Whittle - 4th place, 1500 meters
WOMEN’S - Sarah Reasoner - 6th place, shot put & 7th place, discus
WOMEN’S - Rachel Boerner - 5th place, 400 meter hurdles
WOMEN’S - Gretchen Braymer - 7th place, steeplechase