Nicole Michmerhuizen Grabs Second Straight All-America Berth - Places Fourth in 3K at NCAAs
Saturday, March 15, 2014
LINCOLN, NE - Calvin College senior Nicole Michmerhuizen claimed her second All-America berth in as many days at the NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships, placing fourth in the 3,000 meters Saturday afternoon with a time of 9:45.22.
Saturday’s race marked the first year the NCAA has held the 3,000 meters indoors at its national meet.
A native of Holland and a graduate of Holland Christian High School, Michmerhuizen made good on her first national opportunity in the 3K as well. She entered the race seeded seventh but made an early push to grab the lead and push the pace.
Her strategy paid off as she took first place after the opening two laps and held a 40-meter lead until the final five laps.
“Nicole was in a field of speed demons so the strategy was to get her out as fast as she could and tire out the legs of some of her competitors,” said Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer. “By doing that, she took away the ‘kick’ of some of the strong finishers in the field and it set her up to finish as high as she did.”
Pre-race favorite Christy Cazzola of Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the race in a time of 9:38.72 but needed a furious sprint over the final lap-and-a-half to win the race.
Cara DeAngelis of Ohio Wesleyan took second (9:39.17) and Tricia Serres of Luther placed third (9:39.49). DeAngelis and Serres passed Michmerhuizen with roughly five laps to go but according to Diemer, she was not rattled.
“We told Nicole not to worry about getting passed later in the race,” said Diemer. “We knew that she might get passed if she went out hard but by going out strong, she eliminated several of the other runners who might have passed her later on. She really made the field work hard and ran a courageous race.”
Michmerhuizen’s race came one day after she placed second in the 5,000 meters. Her back-to-back All-America efforts helped Calvin finish with 13 points in the team standings and tie for 17th place.
“To run the way she did in two grueling races on back-to-back days was truly remarkable,” said Diemer. “Right now Nicole is in the best shape of her life both physically and mentally. She has trained to be one of the top distance runners in Division III and she has proven that she is just that.”
The NCAA III Indoor Track and Field Championships were hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan on the campus of the University of Nebraska. The site of competition was the Bob Devaney Events Center. According to Diemer, the facility was first-class.
“It was an outstanding weekend of track and field and the facility here at Nebraska is state-of-the-art,” said Diemer. “The hydraulic track inside this facility is like none other that I have been on and I know the athletes really appreciated the chance to compete inside such a top-notch arena. It was a special weekend not only for Nicole, but for everyone who had the chance to compete here.”
Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the women’s team national title with 67 points while Wisconsin-Lacrosse won the men’s team title with 63.5 points.
Michmerhuizen was one of three MIAA athletes to collect All-America accolades at the meet as Trine’s Trisha King took fifth in the women’s 800 meters while Trine’s Tyler Bourdo took fifth in the men’s 400 meters.