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Indoor track gets team ready for outdoors

By Mike Byker

Jen Kempers

Jen Kempers

The Dordt College track teams recently concluded the indoor portion of their 2006 season at the Great Plains Athletic Conference meet. The women’s team earned its best ever finish, fourth place, at the conference meet with a point total of 39.5. The Defender men placed eighth in the 13-team race with a total of 22 points.

Over the course of the season, many records were broken, and nine athletes met at least the provisional standard to qualify for the NAIA national indoor meet.

Jen Kempers (sophomore; Sioux Center, Iowa) set records in the 800 and 1000 in times of 2:15.18 and 3:02.87. The times also qualified her for the national meet, and she also met the minimum standard in the high jump.

Abbie Soodsma (junior; Hudsonville, Michigan) set a new standard in the 400 with a time of 1:00.27, which was good enough to meet the NAIA’s qualification. Christina Beimers (freshman; Langley, British Columbia) broke the 55-meter dash record with a :07.65 performance at the Great Plains Athletic Conference meet.

Joy Horstman (freshman; Sioux Center, Iowa), Chelsea Gerdes (junior; Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Lori Rowenhorst (junior; Orange City, Iowa) and Tami Wierenga (freshman; Lombard, Illinois) were a part of a 4 x 800 meter relay team that paced out a third-place finish at the Great Plains Athletic Conference meet, which met the qualifying standard for the NAIA meet. Gerdes also met the NAIA’s standard in the 3,000 meters.

Laurel Ochsner (freshman; Saronville, Nebraska) had a strong season in the 60-meter hurdles and met the NAIA’s standard in the event.

Dan De Jong (sophomore; Lansing, Illinois) matched a school record in the high jump by clearing 6’6” and set a record in the triple jump by going 45’5.25”. Both performances were good enough to qualify for the NAIA meet. Brandon VanderWel (sophomore; Colorado Springs, Colorado) set a Dordt College record in the pole vault by clearing 13’0”, and Brett Kroeze (sophomore; Hull, Iowa) had a good enough time in the 600 meters to make the NAIA national meet.