Dordt College News

Defender Cross Country Prepares For Nationals

November 20, 2013

Meet Time… The Dordt College cross country teams will run in the NAIA National Championship Meet on Saturday, November 23.  The men’s race gets underway at 10:30 with the women following at 11:45.

Where…Rim Rock Farm near Lawrence, Kansas is the site of the meet.  Rim Rock Farm is the home site of the Kansas University cross country teams.  You can learn about Rim Rock here.

Participants…The men’s field includes teams from:
Aquinas (Mich.)  
Berea (Ky.)  
British Columbia  
Bryan (Tenn.)  
Cal State San Marcos  
College of Idaho  
Concordia (Neb.)  
Eastern Oregon  
Embry-Riddle (Fla.)  
Emmanuel (Ga.)  
Indiana Tech  
Indiana Wesleyan  
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)  
Missouri Valley  
Morningside (Iowa)  
Mount Mercy (Iowa)  
Oklahoma Baptist  
Oklahoma City  
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)  
Park (Mo.)  
Rocky Mountain (Mont.)  
Shawnee State (Ohio)  
Southern Oregon  
Southwestern (Kan.)  
St. Francis (Ill.)  
Saint Mary (Kan.)  
Saint Xavier (Ill.)  
Tennessee Wesleyan  
The Master's (Calif.)  
Texas at Brownsville  
Valley City State (N.D.)  
William Jessup (Calif.)  
67 other runners qualified for the meet as individuals and will compete with the 32 men’s teams.  Last year 309 runners competed at the National Championship race.

The women’s field includes:
Baker (Kan.)  
Biola (Calif.)  
Blue Mountain (Miss.)  
Brenau (Ga.)  
Brescia (Ky.)  
British Columbia  
Cal State San Marcos  
Carroll (Mont.)  
College of Idaho  
Cornerstone (Mich.)  
Dordt (Iowa)  
Indiana Tech  
Kansas Wesleyan  
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)  
Milligan (Tenn.)  
Northwest Christian (Ore.)  
Oklahoma Baptist  
Oklahoma City  
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)  
Ottawa (Kan.)  
Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)  
SCAD Savannah (Ga.)  
Shawnee State (Ohio)  
Simpson (Calif.)  
St. Ambrose (Iowa)  
St. Francis (Ill.)  
St. Mary (Neb.)  
Taylor (Ind.)  
Texas Wesleyan  
The Master's (Calif.)  
Westmont (Calif.)  
William Woods (Mo.)  

There will also be 103 individuals competing along with the 32 teams in the women’s race at Rim Rock Farm.  Last year there were 320 women that completed the national championship race.

How They Got Here… The Dordt College Defender women’s cross country team made it back to back GPAC Championships with a dominating performance at the event held at Seward, Nebraska on Saturday, November 9.  Dordt totaled 35 points, easily outdistancing Doane for the team title and the automatic berth at the NAIA National Championship Meet to be held at Lawrence, Kansas in two weeks on Saturday, November 23.

Dordt used a strong pack to win the event by 30 points over Doane.  Lauren Opp  (Junior; Garner, Iowa) was the first runner across for the Defenders with a time of 18:18 for second place.  Kayla Byl (Junior; Sioux Center, Iowa)  recorded a fourth place time of 18:50 and Abby De Vries (Junior; Maurice, Iowa) was right behind in sixth place with a time of 18:55.  Jordyn Visscher (Freshman; Ariss, Ontario) and Lillie Koerner (Junior; Freeman, South Dakota) completed Dordt’s scoring five with times of 19:11 and 19:14 for ninth and 11th place respectively.  Dordt’s sixth and seventh runners were 13th and 15th as Justine Van Zee (Freshman; Sioux Falls, South Dakota) ran 19:25 and Katie Bonnema (Senior, Ireton, Iowa) 19:42 on the 5,000 meter course.

Dordt also qualified for the NAIA National Championship Meet in 2012 and finished ninth in the team race.

Nick Vander Kooi (Freshman; Fremont, Michigan) and Nathan Jackson (Junior; Tracy, California) earned spots as individual competitors at the National Championship Meet  by finishing in the top-five of the runners not on teams qualifying for the NAIA National Meet at the GPAC Championships on Saturday, November 9.

Vander Kooi placed fourth at the meet and third among NAIA runners (Nebraska Wesleyan is NCAA Division III for cross country) with a time of 26:38.  Vander Kooi was the first runner to qualify as an individual.  Jackson finished 14th overall and 11th among NAIA runners and was the fourth of the five runners from the GPAC to qualify as an individual.  Jackson ran a 27:04 on the 8,000 meter course.  Jackson also ran at the National Championship Meet last season and finished 145th with a 26:36.

Last Year… The Dordt College womens' cross country team tallied 290 points for ninth place at the NAIA National Championship Meet in Vancouver, Washington on Saturday, November 17. The Defenders nipped Biola (California) who finished 10th with 292 points and were 17 points out of the eighth place spot held by Lewis-Clark (Idaho).

Lauren Opp led the Defenders with 29th place in the points standings with a 18:47and Merissa Harkema was 50th with a time of 19:11. Kayla Byl was 64th in 19:27 and Abby De Vries and Katie Bonnema was tight at 73rd and 74th with times of 19:34 and 19:35. Renee Buikema and Lillie Koerner were sixth and seventh for the Defenders with Buikema in 78th and Koerner in 146th in times of 19:37 and 20:25 respectively.

Hillary Holt from the College of Idaho won the race with a time of 17:00 and British Columbia won the team title with a total of 98 points.

Ryan Tholen and Nathan Jackson ran at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 17 in Vancouver, Washington. The two runners finished within three seconds of each other fter qualifying as individuals at the GPAC meet two weeks ago with top-10 finishes.
Tholen ran the 8,000 meter course in 26:33 for 141st place while Nathan Jackson ran a 26:36 and finished 145th.

John Gilbertson from The Master's (California) ran a 23:56 to win the race and St. Francis had 138 points for the team title.

Post-Season Honors… Dordt College cross country coach Greg Van Dyke was named the 2013 Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year following the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship Meet on Saturday, November 9.

Van Dyke also was named the men’s coach of the year in 2011and the women’s coach of the year in 2012.  He’s been the head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at Dordt College since 2006 after serving as an assistant in 2005.

Van Dyke guided the Defender men to an NAIA National Meet berth in two years ago and has coached the Defender women to a pair of berths at the meet the last two seasons.

Van Dyke coached an NAIA all-American in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He also serves as an assistant coach in track and field and graduated from Dordt College in 2002.  He ran both cross country and track while a student and is a Dordt College admissions counselor.

Seven Dordt College runners earned all-GPAC honors following the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship Meet on Saturday, November 9 at Seward, Nebraska.

Runners finishing in the top-15 of their respective races automatically earn all-conference honors.

The Dordt runners earning all-GPAC honors were:
Lauren Opp-2nd  place (Junior; Garner, Iowa)
Kayla Byl 4th place (Sophomore; Sioux Center, Iowa)
Abby De Vries 6th place (Junior; Maurice, Iowa)
Jordyn Visscher 10th place (Freshman; Ariss, Ontario)
Lillie Koerner 13th place (Junior; Freeman, South Dakota)
Nick Vander Kooi  4th place (Freshman; Fremont, Michigan)
Nathan Jackson 8th place (Junior; Tracy, California)
Opp, Byl, De Vries and Jackson are repeat honorees after earning the same honors in 2012.

LAST TIME ON THIS COURSE…The Dordt College Defender women’s cross country team ran to a NAIA National Preview Meet title on Saturday, October 12 at Rim Rock Farm.

Dordt was led by Lauren Opp’s 18:28 for fifth place overall. Kayla Byl and Abby De Vries weren’t far behind with the two claiming 11th and 14th overall with times of 18:51 and 18:56 respectively. Jordyn Visscher continued her strong freshman campaign with a time of 19:17 and 32nd place overall and Lillie Koerner was Dordt’s final point placer as she cross the line in 19:26 for 42nd place.

Dordt also got a strong finish by Katie Bonnema as she ran a 19:53 on the 5,000 meter course for 72nd and Renee Buikema was 85th in 20:04.

30 teams finished the race with Dordt totaling 99 points to beat Taylor (Indiana) with 107.
Oklahoma Baptist’s Hannah Helker ran a 17:02 to win the race by over a minute. 268 runners took part in the competition that was a rare afternoon start.

The Dordt College men’s cross country team had a strong finish in the team race as they finished eighth as a team with 276 points and was topped by just one GPAC team, Concordia, in the final standings.

Dordt’s Nathan Jackson ran a 26:06 for 31st place overall and Nick Vanderkooi paced out a 26:19 on the 8,000 meter course for 45th place.   The field consisted of  30 teams and  272 runners.
Oklahoma Baptist’s Adam Godwin ran 24:34 to win the race by nine seconds. Aquinas (Michigan) won the team title with 85 points and Lewis Clark was second with 100 points.

Poll…British Columbia was the overwhelming no. 1 pick in the NAIA Coaches’ Women’s Poll released on November 10.  Dordt was slotted at no. 6 with 531 points and got nudged out of no. 5 with 534 points going to Cal State San Marcos.  The Master’s was right behind Dordt with 517 points and Doane was no. 21 but failed to make the field.

The Dordt men were in the receiving votes category of the poll and took 58 points in the voting.  Southern Oregon was the no. 1 pick while  Morningside and Concordia went back to back at no. 18 and 19 to earn spots at the meet.

This Year…Here are the results of the 2013 season for the runners making the trip to Lawrence, Kansas.

Lauren Opp  Jr. Garner, Iowa
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)      3rd  16:54
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   7th 23:06
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   22nd 23:29
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   5th 18:28
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  3rd 18:28
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  2nd 18:18

Jordyn Visscher  Fr.  Ariss, Ontario
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   15th 17:25
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   15th 23:24
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   28th 23:36
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   32nd 19:17
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  11th 19:12
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  10th 19:11

Kayla Byl  So.  Sioux Center, Iowa
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   21st 17:37
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   14th 23:22
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   58th 23:58
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   11th 18:51
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  4th 18:46
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  4th 18:50

Renee Buikema Jr.  Brookfield, Wisconsin
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   24th 17:43  
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   43rd 24:28
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   89th 24:38
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   85th 20:04
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  5th 18:54
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  21st 19:43

Katie Bonnema Sr.  Ireton, Iowa
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   60th 18:28
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   45th 24:36
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   100th 24:48
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   72nd 19:53
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  16th 19:29
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  19th 19:42

Lillie Koerner   Jr.  Freeman, South Dakota
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   27th 17:47
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   37th 24:24
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   181st 25:52
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   42nd 19:26
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  10th 19:09
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  13th 19:14

Abby De Vries  Jr. Maurice, Iowa
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   34th 17:52
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   13th 23:21
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   59th 23:58
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   14th 18:56
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  6th 18:55
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  6th 18:55

Justine Van Zee  Fr.  Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   36th 17:53
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   166th 25:36
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   90th 20:06
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  15th 19:26
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  16th 19:25

Kelsey Lewis  Fr.  Lachine, Michigan
Augustana Twilight (3 mile)   53rd 18:21
Woody Greeno (6,000 meters)   30th 24:11
Roy Griak (6,000 meters)   107th 24:54
NAIA Preview (5,000 meters)   89th 20:04
Mount Marty Invite (5,000 meters)  24th 19:48
GPAC Championship (5,000 meters)  20th 19:42

Nathan Jackson  Jr.  Tracy, California
Augustana Twilight (4 mile)   50th 20:21
Woody Greeno (8,000 meters)   12th 26:28
Roy Griak (8,000 meters)   61st 26:51
NAIA Preview (8,000 meters)   31st 26:06
Mount Marty Invite (8,000 meters)  15th 26:17
GPAC Championship (8,000 meters)  14th 27:04

Nick Vander Kooi  Fr.  Fremont, Michigan
Augustana Twilight (4 mile)   17th 19:24
Woody Greeno (8,000 meters)   20th 26:47
Roy Griak (8,000 meters)   69th 26:54
NAIA Preview (8,000 meters)   45th 26:19
Mount Marty Invite (8,000 meters)  6th 26:00
GPAC Championship (8,000 meters)  4th 26:38

Next… This marks the conclusion of the 2013 season.

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