Calvin Track & Field Teams Wrap Up MIAA Titles - 11th and 12th Conference Crowns of Year for Knights
Friday, May 03, 2013
HOLLAND - The Calvin men’s and women’s track and field teams were in no sharing mood on Friday at the MIAA Field Day. Both teams took first place on Friday and in doing so, captured outright MIAA titles - both achieving the feat together for the first time since 2010. The MIAA titles are the 11th and 12th of the 2012-13 academic year for Calvin College - a new MIAA record.
On the women’s side, Calvin produced a first place total of 273.5 points with Hope second with 189 points. The league title is the 24th consecutive crown for the Knights which marks the longest active championship streak in MIAA women’s athletics history.
On the men’s side, Calvin recorded a first place total of 232.5 points which Hope second with 179.5 points. The league title is the 37th in Calvin men’s track and field history - more than any other MIAA member school.
On the women’s side, Calvin took first place in six events led by junior Julie Busscher (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) who was a double-winner, taking first place in both the 100 meters (12.63) and 200 meters (25.67). Junior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) also had a memorable afternoon, winning the 5,000 meters in an MIAA record time of 17:08.23, breaking the previous MIAA record of 17:19.90 set by Marcia VanderSall in 1993.
Junior Lauren Madden (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) captured the javelin crown for the Knights, winning with a toss of 119-9. Senior Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) repeated as league champion in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, winning with a time of 11:02.18. She led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish as junior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan/Home Schooled) was second and sophomore Paige McGahan (Brighton/Brighton HS) third.
Calvin also captured the 4x400 meter relay title as Busscher, sophomore Breanna Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS), junior Rebekah Folkema (Renfrew, ON/Renfrew Collegiate Institute) and junior Olivia Butler (Grant/Grant HS) won with a time of 4:01.08.
Another big highlight came in the 400 meter hurdles as Breanna Verkaik took second with a career-best time of 1:04.83 while sophomore Kelley Tuinenga (Grand Rapids/South Christian HS) was third with a career-best time of 1:05.53. Junior Hilary Banning (Whitinsville, MA/Whitinsville Christian HS) was fourth (1:07.61). The times by Verkaik and Tuinenga will both be up on the national list.
“We had some great first place performances but our depth across the board was so key,” said Calvin head track and field coach Brett Otte. “This team is young, talented and very enthusiastic.”
On the men’s side, Calvin took first place in six events. Freshman Jon Cok (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) opened the day with a win in the high jump (6-4). Senior Aaron Meckes (Bay City/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) repeated as champion in the discus, winning with a toss of 158-1.
Senior Greg Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS) won the 1,500 meters for the second time in three years, winning with a time of 3:55.50 while teammate Sam Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) was a close second in a time of 3:55.60.
Sophomore Calvin Kuyers (Lansing/Lansing Christian HS) won the 400 meter hurdles in a career-best time of 54.31 while teammate Joel Ooms (DeMotte, IN/Illiana Christian HS) was third (56.02). In the 110 high hurdles, sophomore Erik Holstege (Kewsick, VA/Monticello HS) took first place in a time of 15.51 while Kuyers was second (15.71) and Ooms fourth (16.24).
In the 5,000 meters senior Matt VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish with VanderRoest first (14:56.05), senior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) second(14:56.05) and senior Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, MH/Mascenic Regional HS) third (14:56.07).
“I am very pleased with our men’s team,” said Otte. “They bought into the team atmosphere and really spurred each other on. Our depth was key. And we filled in the gaps this year in spots like the hurdles and jumps which were places where we scored very few points last year at the conference meet. It was just a great two days for Calvin track and field.”