Women’s Track & Field Team Extends MIAA Title Streak - Calvin Men’s Streak Comes to An End
Friday, May 04, 2012
MIAA TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
By Mark DeHaan
The Knights opened day two with a ten point advantage over Alma in the overall standings and looked to distance themselves from the rest of the MIAA over the second and final day of the MIAA Championships.
Calvin got off to a strong start as a 1-2-3 finish in the 3000 meter steeplechase extended their lead. Junior Alyssa Penning won the event with a time of 11:03.02 while sister and freshman Kimby Penning took second in 11:36.57. Sophomore Alyssa Oram took third in a time of 11:41.34.
In the next women’s event, the 4x100, the Calvin team of senior Lindsey VanderBrug, sophomore Julie Busscher, sophomore Stephanie Bennet, and freshman Jordyn Platt took second with a time of 50.24.
In the 1500 meter run, senior Jodi Hoekstra took first place with a time of 4:37.00, beating out Hope’s Sheri McCormack by less than a second. Senior Kaitlin Diemer came in next for the Knights with a time of 4:47.19, good for third, while junior Kaylea Brase ran a 4:48.03 and freshman Kate Ardinger ran a 4:48.84 to take fifth and sixth.
In the 100 meter hurdles, VanderBrug and freshman Breanna Verkaik picked up points for the Knights, as VanderBrug’s time of 15.49 was good for second and Verkaik’s time of 16.78 good for fifth.
Sophomore Olivia Butler picked up a third place finish in the 400 meter dash with a time of 59.80.
In the 100 meter dash, Calvin earned a 2-3 finish as Busscher took second in 12.48 while Bennet claimed third in 12.63.
In the 800 meter run, the Knights grabbed a 1-2 finish as Diemer took first in 2:17.79 and Brase placed second in 2:18.51, just one-hundredth of a second ahead of the third place finished from Albion.
The 400 meter hurdles saw Calvin grab three out of the top four spots. Sophomore Hilary Banning took second in 1:07.89 while Verkaik grabbed second in 1:08.29 and freshman Kelley Tuninga took third in 1:09.57.
Banning also took first in the triple jump and second in the long jump yesterday.
“It was really exciting today to see all of the good performances by everybody else around me,” said Banning. “It spurs you on – if you see someone else do really well it motivates you and encourages you to do your best.”
Another 2-3 finish from Busscher and Bennett, this time in the 200 meter dash, saw the Knights continued to pull away. Busscher ran a 25.51 while Bennett clocked in at 25.68.
The 5000 meter run saw Hoekstra take her second top finish of the afternoon as she ran an 18:09.40. Sophomore Nicole Michmerhuizen, winner of the 10000 meter last night, was right behind Hoekstra with a time of 18:09.81.
Calvin then placed an exclamation point on the afternoon with a victory in the final event of the day, the 4x400 meter relay. The Knight team of Bennett, Verkaik, Butler, and Platt took first in 4:00.80, holding off Hope on the last lap.
With their depth, Calvin claimed the MIAA Field Day title with a total team score of 273 points. But, the Knights will share the title with Hope who won the MIAA Jamboree last month.
“Overall, the day was great. Everyone really went out there and gave it their best,” said Hoekstra. “We were kind of upset with how the jamboree went so we really wanted to come back and give it all we had. I love being part of the Calvin tradition – its something we’re all extremely proud of.”
The league title is Calvin’s 23rd straight which marks the longest active championship streak in MIAA women’s athletics history.
“We had an outstanding two days of competition,” said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. “We had excellent performances all across the board. Our women were determined to win this meet and they delivered in a big way.”
Calvin’s streak of claiming at least a share of 18 straight MIAA titles came to an end on Friday as the Knights finished second in the final MIAA Field Day standings with 170 points, 36 points behind Hope which claimed its first outright MIAA title since 1986. Last month, Hope took first place at the MIAA Jamboree to give the Flying Dutchmen both ends of the final league title. Calvin had also won every MIAA Field Day since 1987. Prior to this week, the last team to win a Field Day other than Calvin was Hope in 1986.
Heading into the day, Calvin held a 31-point lead and continued to lead through the morning prelims but Hope began to gain ground in the running events and pulled away during a key late meet stretch with performances in the 800 meters, 400 meter hurdles and 200 meters to put the meet out of reach for Calvin. During the afternoon, Hope combined to take first place in six running events.
Calvin had several sterling performances on Friday led by junior Aaron Meckes who picked up his second league title in as many days with a first place throw of 152-2 in the discus. Sophomore Ben deWall Malefyt also had a big effort, taking third place with a career-best throw of 149-6. Sophomore Matt Christians also picked up a morning field day title on Friday, winning the high jump with a mark of 6-6.
In the afternoon, junior Matt Vander Roest picked up a league title in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, winning with a time of 9:31.81. Calvin’s lone win after that point was in the 5,000 meters as senior Nick Kramer won with a time of 14:56.67 while sophomore Sam Kerk was second (15:32.56). Kerk also claimed second in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:59.00.
“I have to tip my cap to Hope,” said Calvin head track coach Bret Otte. “They were the better team and had a great afternoon. We gave it everything we had and we had several excellent performances. It just wasn’t enough. ”