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Defenders see post-season action

By Mike Byker

The Dordt College spring sports season was marred by poor weather, but that didnít prevent the Defenders from qualifying three teams for the NAIA Region III level of post-season play and getting several individuals through to the NAIA national meet in track and field.

Track and Field

The Defenders qualified the womenís 4 x 800 meter relay team of Joy Horstman (sophomore, Sioux Center, Iowa), Tami Wieringa (sophomore, Lombard, Illinois), Sierra Zomer (freshman, Corsica, South Dakota), and Jen Kempers (junior, Sioux Center, Iowa) at the Sioux City Relays.

Kempers also qualified in the 3000 meter steeplechase, where she is the defending NAIA national champion. Kempers won the GPAC title in the steeplechase this spring. Abbie Soodsma (senior, Hudsonville, Michigan) reached the automatic qualification standard at the GPAC championships in the 400-meter hurdles after narrowly missing on her last two tries.

Dan De Jong (senior, Lansing, Illinois) was a repeat qualifier in the triple jump, where he earned all-American status last year. A first time qualifier, Kara Karlsgodt (junior, Atwater, Minnesota) competed in the discus at the national meet hosted by Fresno Pacific in Fresno, California, on May 24-26 (after press time).

Sophomore Jared Rempel,
Coach Mark Christians

Sophomore Jared Rempel, Coach Mark Christians

Golf

The golf team qualified for the NAIA Region III meet for the second year in a row after placing fourth at the GPAC championships. Jared Rempel (sophomore, Chilliwack, British Columbia) was the teamís low-shooter for the season with a 75.3 strokes per round average and earned all-GPAC honors after registering seven top-ten finishes in the split season. He also finished tenth at the Region III meet.

Jason Kroese (junior, Sioux Center, Iowa) earned all-GPAC honorable mention for a season in which he shot an average of 78.1 per round. The Defendersí season came to an end with a sixth place finish at the regional meet played at Oxbow, North Dakota.

Tennis

Both the menís and womenís tennis teams qualified for the GPAC/NAIA Region III tournament. The top four teams qualified for the event with Dordt taking on the top-seed, Nebraska Wesleyan, in both the womenís and menís draw.

The Dordt College womenís team finished the year at 8-7, ending the year in the semifinal round of the tournament. Alanna Dake (junior, Excelsior, Minnesota) claimed all-GPAC honors with an 8-6 record at #1 singles. Betsy Borr (junior, Holland, Michigan) was an all-GPAC performer, after earning an 11-2 record at #2 singles. Steph Helmus (sophomore, Caledonia, Michigan) was 8-1 at #3 singles and also earned all-GPAC accolades.

Dake and Borr also teamed up in doubles for a 10-5 record and were honored by the conference at #1 doubles.

The men compiled a 10-8 record with Jake Compaan (junior, Holland, Michigan) leading the team with a 12-4 mark at #2 singles. Compaan was named all-GPAC by the coaches at the conclusion of the season. Tim Walstra (sophomore, Muskegon, Michigan) was the only other Defender to claim an all-GPAC spot, playing most of the year at #3 singles and racking up a 10-5 mark. The Dordt men also had their season end in the semifinal round of the tournament.

Ben Boekeloo (freshman, Kalamazoo, Michigan), Ryan VanDeraa (senior, Crete, Illinois) and Scott Kraayenbrink (sophomore, Cedar Rapids, Iowa) all earned honorable mention honors by the conference with records of 9-7, 9-6 and 8-4 respectively. Boekeloo, Walstra, Compaan and VanDeraa also earned honorable mention all-GPAC honors for their doubles play.

Baseball

The Defender baseball team finished the season at 7-27 and capped the year with a win over Northwestern. In a season marred by weather problems from start to finish, the Defenders placed Travis De Jong (junior, Hull, Iowa) on the all-GPAC second team for the second year in a row. De Jong had a .327 batting average in 34 games with 34 hits.

Nate Daane (senior, Waupun, Wisconsin), Chris Liebhart (junior, Chino Hills, California), Bobby Lutke (junior, Hudsonville, Michigan), and Dillon Peters (sophomore, Denver, Colorado) earned all-GPAC honorable mention. Daane had three wins on the mound for the Defenders while Liebhart had a team low 2.25 earned run average. Both Lutke and Peters had batting averages over .300.

Softball

The Defender softball team fought the same problems the baseball team did with the weather and ended the year 6-31. Jaclyn Ver Mulm (freshman, Le Mars, Iowa) and Amanda Pothoven (junior, Kellogg, Iowa) earned honorable mention from the conference coaches. Ver Mulm played most of the season at catcher and had a batting average of .326ótops on the team. She also knocked in 17 runs with 28 hits.

Pothoven had a .321 batting average with 34 hits, 17 runs scored, five doubles, three homeruns and 11 stolen bases. Pothoven ranks in the top-ten in several offensive categories and is second in career homeruns.