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Calvin Sending 12 to NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Sunday, May 22, 2011

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Championships Site

The Calvin men’s and women’s track and field teams will send a combined 12 athletes to the upcoming NCAA III Track and Field Championships including 6 from its women’s team and six from its men’s team.

The following is a look at the 12 individuals that will represent the Calvin track and field program at the NCAA III Track and Field Championships this Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 26-28) at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

MEN’S TEAM

NICK KRAMER—(Dyer, IN/Illliana Christian HS)—A junior, Kramer will be making his second trip to the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A year ago, he was an NCAA III All-American in both the 3,000 meter steeplechase and 5,000 meters, placing fourth in the steeplechase and eighth in the 5,0000. Kramer will again compete in the 3,000 meter steeplechase where he is seeded seventh (9:06.04)  and in the 5,000 meters where he is seeded second (14:17.70) . Earlier this month, Kramer captured the MIAA title in the steeplechase and 5,000 meters and was named to the All-MIAA team for the second straight year. This past March, he claimed an All-America berth at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships, placing fourth. This past fall, Kramer was an NCAA III All-American in cross country, placing 16th individually. He is also a two-time Division III Great Lakes Regional Athlete of the Year in cross country.

BEN VAN WYK—(Sussex, NJ/High Point HS)—A senior, Van Wyk will also compete in the steeplechase where he is seeded eighth (9:07.19). Van Wyk is making his second straight appearance at the (outdoor) national meet as he qualified in the steeplechase a year ago and placed 11th at the NCAA III Championships. At the MIAA Championships earlier this month, Van Wyk was the league runner-up in the steeplechase. He also earned first team All-MIAA and Great Lakes All-Region honors this fall on the Calvin men’s cross country team and placed 77th at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships.

DAN KERR—(Petoskey/Petoskey HS)—A junior Kerr will be making his first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Kerr will compete in the 10,000 meters where he is seeded 13th (30:29.43). At the MIAA Championships earlier this month, Kerr captured a league title in the 10,000 meters. He also ran in the top seven of Calvin’s cross country team this fall, earning All-MIAA and Great Lakes All-Region honors. He placed 72nd at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships this past November/

RHETT MORICI—(St. Charles, IL/St. Charles North HS)—A junior, Morici will be making his first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He will compete in the 10,000 meters where he is seeded 15th (30:37.69). At the MIAA Championships this spring, Morici finished third in the 5,000 meters behind a pair of teammates. This fall, he was a member of the All-MIAA second team in men’s cross country and a member of the Great Lakes All-Region team. He was also a part of Calvin’s top seven at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships.

ALEX WROBEL—(Arden Hills, MN/Mounds View HS)—A senior, Wrobel will be making his first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He will compete in the 1,500 meters where he is seeded ninth (3:50.73). At the MIAA Championships this spring, Wrobel took third in the 1,500 meters and eighth in the 800 meters. He is a three-time All-MIAA selection in track and field and a two-time first team All-MIAA selection in men’s cross country. He was also a Great Lakes All-Region choice in men’s cross country last November and ran in Calvin’s top seven at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships.

GREG WHITTLE—(Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS)—A sophomore, Whittle will be making his first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He will compete in the 1,500 meters where he is seeded seventh (3:50.60). This past March at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships, Whittle earned national runner-up honors in the mile run for the first All-America berth of his collegiate career. At the MIAA Track and Field Championships earlier this month, he captured a league title in the 1,500 meters to earn a spot on the All-MIAA team. He also took fifth in the 5,000 meters. This past fall on the Calvin men’s cross country team, Whittle earned a spot on the All-MIAA second team.

WOMEN’S TEAM

CARISSA VERKAIK—(Holland, MI/Holland Christian HS)—A sophomore, Verkaik will be making her first-ever trip to the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She will compete in the high jump where she is seeded 13th (5-5 3/4). At the MIAA Championships earlier this month, Verkaik captured the league title in the high jump and earned a spot on the All-MIAA team. A two-sport athlete at Calvin, Verkaik is also a two-time MIAA MVP and first team All-MIAA selection in women’s basketball.

JODI HOEKSTRA—(Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS)—A junior, Hoekstra will be making her first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She will compete in the 5,000 meters where she is seeded ninth (17:07.96). At the MIAA Championships earlier this month, Hoekstra was the league champion in both the 5K and steeplechase and landed a spot on the All-MIAA team for a second straight year. This fall, she was the MIAA’s MVP in women’s cross country and earned a spot on the All-MIAA first team and Great Lakes All-Region team. At the NCAA III Cross Country Championships in November, she just missed (top-35) All-America accolades, placing 43rd individually.

ALYSSA PENNING—(Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS)—A sophomore, Penning will be making her first appearance at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She will compete in the steeplechase where she is seeded 10th (10:43.97). Penning qualified for the national meet in dramatic fashion, clocking her qualifying time at a last-chance meet last Friday night at North Central College. The race was her first of the spring as she spent the spring semester studying in Spain. This fall, Penning had a superb cross country season, earning a spot on the All-MIAA first team and Great Lakes All-Region teams. She also just missed an All-America berth at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships, placing 45th individually.

RACHEL BOERNER—(Bergenfield, NJ/Hillcrest Lutheran Academy)—A senior, Boerner will compete in the 400 meter hurdles where she is seeded seventh (1:01.67) and in the 400 meters where she is seeded 10th (56.33). Boerner is a four-time national champion, claiming the 2010 outdoor national titles in the 400 meter dash and 400 meter hurdles while also claiming indoor national titles in the 400 meters in 2010 and 2011.  Boerner is making her fourth straight trip to the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships as she ran on Calvin’s All-America 4x400 meter relay team which finished fifth in 2008 and then placed second in the 400 meter hurdles in 2009. She also ran on Calvin’s 4x400 meter relay team at the 2009 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships which placed third in 2009 and then captured the national title in the 400 meters at the 2010 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships. She repeated her national title in the 400 meters indoors this past March at the 2011 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships. In winning national titles in the 400 meter dash and 400 meter hurdles at the 2010 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Boerner became the first individual in NCAA III women’s track and field history to pull off the double-title in the same year. Earlier this spring, Boerner captured the MIAA title in the 400 meters for the second straight year and landed a spot on the All-MIAA team for a third straight season.

SARAH REASONER—(Cambridge, MN/Isanti HS)—A senior, Reasoner will be making her third straight trip to the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She will compete in the shot put where she is seeded second (14.64 meters)  and in the discus where she is seeded 10th (46.28 meters).  Reasoner is a three-time All-American in the shot put as she placed eighth in the event at the 2009 outdoor national meet and then placed second in event at the 2010 and 2011 indoor national meets. She also claimed an All-America berth in the discus at the 2010 NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, placing third.  At the MIAA Championships this spring, Reasoner was the league champion in both the discus and shot put, establishing a new MIAA record in the shot put along the way. She also earned a spot on the All-MIAA team for a third straight year.

GRETCHEN BRAYMER—(Erie, PA/Collegiate Academy)—A senior, Braymer will be making her third consecutive trip to the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She will compete in the 3,000 meter steeplechase for the third straight year. This spring she is seeded sixth (10:39.75). A year ago, she placed 15th at the NCAA III Championships. In 2009, she placed 16th in the steeplechase at the national meet. Braymer was the MIAA champion in the 5,000 meters and the league runner-up in the steeplechase earlier this month as she landed a spot on the All-MIAA track and field team for a second straight year. This fall, Braymer was a first team All-MIAA and Great Lakes All-Region honoree on the Calvin women’s cross country team. She later finished 61st individually at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships.

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