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National Runner-up Finish by Boerner Headlines Quartet of All-America Berths for Track & Field Teams

Saturday, May 23, 2009

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NCAA III Track and Field Championships Site

MARIETTA, OH—A national runner-up berth by Calvin sophomore Rachel Boerner in the 400 meter hurdles highlighted a quartet of All-America performances for the Calvin men’s and women’s track and field teams on Saturday at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Marietta College.

A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Boerner took second in the 400 meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 1:00.54, a half-second behind national champion Sumer Rohrs of Frostburg State who finished as the national runner-up a year ago to Calvin’s Sarah Wittingen. A graduate of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, Boerner is the fifth individual in Calvin women’s track and field history to earn All-America accolades in the event, joining Holly Breuker (1994, 1995, 1996), Jennifer Rottschafer (1996, 1997 & 1998), Laura Hamilton (2004 & 2005) and Wittingen (2006, 2007 & 2008) to have done so. She is also the third individual from Calvin to finish in the top-two in the event as Breuker was a national champion in 1996 and Wittingen a runner-up in 2007 and a national champoin in 2008.

This spring marked the first year that Boerner has competed in the event. It is also the second All-America berth of the year for her as she was part of Calvin’s third place 4x400 meter relay team at the 2009 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships.

“Rachel has made excellent progress in the hurdles this year,” said Calvin head track coach Jong-il Kim. “She works very hard and takes instruction to heart. She has a very good hurdles coach in volunteer assistant Tony Campbell. Coach Campbell has done a great job coaching her and I know he is very proud of the way she competed today.”

Boerner was one of three All-Americans for the Calvin women’s track and field team on Saturday as senior Lauren Bergstrom (Rochester, MN) took fourth in the 800 meters (2:10.18) while sophomore Sarah Reasoner (Cambridge, MN) was eighth in the shot put (43-2 1/4).

“I thought Lauren Bergstrom ran very hard today and competed well,” said Kim. “She has had an outstanding track and field career at Calvin.”

Bergstrom’s All-America berth was her third of the year as she was also fourth in the mile run and a member of Calvin’s sixth place distance medley relay team at the 2009 NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships. A year ago, Bergstrom was an All-American in the 800 and 1500 meters at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, placing eighth in the 800 and seventh in the 1500. She has also been a member of two All-America 4x400 meter relay teams in outdoor track and field.

Reasoner meanwhile became the fourth individual in Calvin women’s track and field history to earn All-America plaudits in the shot put, joining Katie Corner (2004), Lisa Nanninga (2004 & 2005) and Megann VanderVliet (2004, 2005 & 2007) to have done so.

Reasoner also competed in the discus on Friday but did not advance to the finals.

“Sarah’s performance today was one of her best efforts of the season and I am proud of the way she competed,” said Calvin throwing coach Norm Zylstra. “She has had a great year and to end it with an All-America plaque is a terrific way to end the season. This was also her first experience at the national meet and she learned a lot which will help her in the coming years.”

Also competing for the Calvin women on Saturday was senior Julie Bratt (Lynden, WA) in the triple jump. Bratt’s best jump of the day was 36-10 1/2 but was not good enough to advance her into the afternoon finals.

Combined, Calvin finished with 18 points, tying for 13th place in the final team standings. Hope also garnered 18 points on the strength of a national championship performance by senior Nora Kuiper in the 100 meters and a runner-up finish by Kuiper in the 200 meters. Wartburg won the women’s team national championship with 52 points, edging Wisconsin-Oshkosh by two points - doing so on the final event of the meet - the 4x400 meter relay.

Calvin’s final All-America performance on Saturday came in the men’s 5,000 meter run as senior Jed Christiansen (Greenville, PA) took eighth with a time of 14:51.73, just two days after finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters. Christiansen is the sixth individual in Calvin men’s track and field history to pull off the arduous All-America (top-eight) double of the 10K and 5K in the same year. Previous Calvin runners to have accomplished the feat include Thad Karnehm (1991 & 1992), Dan Hoekstra (2001 & 2002), Joel Klooster (2002), David Haagsma (2004), Kris Koster (2005) and Tim Finnegan (2006).

“What can you say that hasn’t been said before about Jed Christiansen,” said Calvin co-distance coach Al Hoekstra. “He’s without a doubt one of the greatest distance runners to have ever worn a Calvin uniform and that says a lot. He showed a lot of heart and determination to hang in for a top-eight finish today in hot muggy conditions. On top of that he did so after working extremely hard in the 10,000 meters in high temperatures Thursday night.”

Calvin co-distance coach Brian Diemer agreed. “Jed Christiansen has the heart of a lion,” said Diemer. “He’s the type of runner who will always give it everything he has and this afternoon he left nothing out there on the track. He’s had a tremendous career and this was an awesome way for him to finish out his outdoor track and field career.”

Saturday’s finish by Christiansen allowed the Calvin men’s track and field team to finish in 36th place with nine points. All nine points came from its distance runners as senior Nate DeHaan was sixth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase the night before.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the overall team men’s championship with 46 points.

1994 Kathy Haddox 4th place
2006 Camille Medema 3rd place
2008 Lauren Bergstrom 8th place
2009 Lauren Bergstrom -4th place


1994 Holly Breuker 5th place
1995 Holly Breuker 4th place
1996 Holly Breuker 1st place
1996 Jennifer Rottschafer 6th place
1997 Jennifer Rottschafer 3rd place
1998 Jennifer Rottschafer 3rd place
2004 Laura Hamilton 3rd place
2005 Laura Hamilton 8th place
2006 Sarah Wittingen 6th place
2007 Sarah Wittingen 2nd place
2008 Sarah Wittingen 1st place
2009 Rachel Boerner 2nd place

2004 Katie Corner 6th place
2004 - Lisa Nanninga 7th place
2005 Megann VanderVliet 3rd place
2005 Lisa Naninga 6th place
2006 Megann VanderVliet 7th place
2007 Megann VanderVliet 5th place
2009 Sarah Reasoner 8th place


1988 John Lumkes 2nd place
1991 Thad Karnehm 3rd place
1992 Thad Karnehm 3rd place
1993 Derk Walkotten 6th place
1994 Ray Van Arragon 5th place
1998 Geoff Van Dragt 7th place
1999 Dan Hoekstra 8th place
2000 Joel Klooster - 4th place
2001 Justin Pfruender - 7th place
2001 Dan Hoekstra - 8th place
2002 Joel Klooster-  2nd place
2002 Hendrik Kok 3rd place
2002 Justin Pfruender - 6th place
2002- Dan Hoekstra 7th place
2003 Hendrik Kok 5th place
2004 David Haagsma 7th place
2005 Kris Koster 4th place
2006 Tim Finnegan 8th place
2009 Jed Christiansen 8th place

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1 comment on "National Runner-up Finish by Boerner Headlines Quartet of All-America Berths for Track & Field Teams"
  • Congratulations to Rachel,Lauren, Jed, and Sarah!

    I am so proud of you all and the tradition that you represent.  Even as you have excelled today, you have led by example and helped prepare those who will follow you at Calvin to likewise excel!

    Posted by Dave Medema on 05/24 at 12:01 AM