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Calvin Track & Field Athletes Compete at Last-Chance Meets

Saturday, May 12, 2012

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The Calvin men’s and women’s track and field teams continued to push for qualifying spots for the upcoming NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships as a group of Calvin athletes competes at last-chance meet hosted by Grand Valley State while another group competed at a last-chance meet hosted by North Central College.

At a last chance meet hosted by Grand Valley State Friday night, senior Nick Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) had a huge performance in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, winning the race with a season-best time of 9:00.05. The time by Kramer will put him inside the top 10 on the national qualifying list and should assure him of a spot in the event if he chooses to compete in that race at the national meet. Kramer ran with the lead pack through the first 5 and-a-half laps but then broke loose over the final two laps to win the race with plenty of breathing room.

Also competing at Grand Valley State for Calvin were sophomores Julie Busscher (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) and Stephanie Bennett (Rockford, IL/Christian Life Center) with both sprinters clocking times of 25.75. Later in the evening, Busscher and Bennett combined with sophomore Olivia Butler (Grant/Grant HS) and freshman Breanna Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) to record a season-best time of 3:56.59 with Bennett clocking a career-best split of 56.9.

In the men’s javelin, senior Justin Kremers (West chicago, IL/Wheaton Academy) placed second with a season-best throw of 185-8. In the men’s shot put, junior Aaron Meckes (Bay City/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) was fifth with a throw of 50-4 3/4. Meckes was also 11th in the discus (151-0) while freshman Ben de Waal Malefyt had a season-best throw of 154-6 that was good for ninth place. Also of note, freshman Erik Holstege (Keswick, VA/Monticello HS) competed in his first-ever decathlon and posted a solid two-day total of 5,422 points.

Over in Naperville, Illinois, Calvin’s distance runners put up some impressive times at the Dr. Keeler Invitational hosted by North Central College. On Thursday night, senior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) took second place in the 5,000 meters with a career-best time of 14:24.93. The time is good for 10th on the national qualifying list. Sophomore Sam Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake County Lutheran HS) also had a career-best time of 14:40.28 in the event. Also breaking 15 minutes were sophomore Kevin Peterson (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) in 14:57.75 and junior David VandeBunte (Byron Center/Byron Center HS) in 14:58.13.  In the men’s 10,000 meters, junior Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/Mascenenic Regional HS) had a career-best time of 30:41.12 that was good for sixth place.

On Friday night, senior Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) had a season-best time of 4:31.48 in the women’s 1,500 meters that was good for sixth place.

In the women’s steeplechase Friday night at North Central, junior Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) took third with a time of 10:52.86.

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