NAIA National Championship
Friday, March 6 Recap
The Dordt Defenders crowned an individual as NAIA All-American and a relay team earned the same honor in competition at the NAIA National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Brookings, South Dakota on Friday, March 6.
The Defenders first All-American of the weekend was Grant Brouwer who cleared three heights in the high jump, the last at 6-8.25. Brouwer didn’t miss on either of his first two tries and needed two attempts to clear 6-8.25. Brouwer had strong attempts at the next height but scraped the bar in all three attempts and settled for seventh place in his first NAIA National Championship appearance.
The women’s 4x800 relay team also finished seventh with a time of 9:46.41 with Bethany Ten Haken, Kate Wnek, Annika Rick and Sarah Wensink making up the group. Eastern Oregon was just in front of the Defenders in 9:41 and in front of Westmont with a 9:57.
Jacob Vander Plaats set up a busy Saturday by making the finals in both the mile and the 3,000 meters. Vander Plaats ran a time of 4:17.82 in the mile and enters the finals with the ninth fastest time in the prelims. Four hours later Vander Plaats ran the 3,000 meters and claimed the fourth fastest time in the prelims with a time of 8:49.6. .
Matthew Van Eps ran a 1:53.65 in the 800 meter prelims and improved on his season best of 1:55.87 and has the fourth best time in the prelims entering the finals. Van Eps trailed the field after 600 meters but made a move with 200 meters to go and ended up coasting in with a spot locked up for the finals with a second place finish in the heat.
Sarah Wensink, Anmarie Stuit and Jordan Bos all ran middle distance races and were unable to qualify for the finals in their respective events. Wensink ran the mile in 5:06.42 and was 12th in the field, missing finals by a couple spots despite running her fastest time of the season in the event. Stuit ran the 600 meters and finished in 1:39.6 and was 13th in the field. Bos ran a 3:12.53 and finished 17th in the event.
Thursday, March 5 Recap
The Dordt Defender track and field teams competed at the NAIA National Track and Field Championships on Thursday, March 5 at Brookings, South Dakota. The competition was the first of three days in the competition.
The day was a mix of season best results and disappointment.
Dordt advances three relays to finals in the events on Friday and Saturday. The women’s 4x800 and 4x400 relays advanced with season bests and the men’s distance medley relay also qualified for the finals of the event on Saturday.
Eric Steiger’s bid to repeat as an All-American in the 5,000 meters was stopped short as he was one spot shy of qualifying for the finals in the event on Saturday despite a season best time of 15:12.57 which placed him 13th in the field with the top-four runners in each of the two heats qualifying for the finals of the event. The next four fastest times also qualified and Steiger was three seconds off the pace to pass the next runner in the standings.
The women’s 4x800 of Bethany Ten Haken, Kate Wnek, Annika Rick and Jordan Bos ran a 9:25.64 which was a season best by 13 seconds and qualified the group for the finals on Friday night with the final spot in the eight-team field. The group was fourth in the first heat and held on through the next two heats, sliding into the finals by less than a second.
The women’s 4x400 of Anmarie Stuit, Emma Bakker, Bailey Nelson and Mika Kooistra clipped off a time of 3:50.82 for the fourth fastest time of the prelims and was nearly eight seconds faster than the previous season best in the event. The finals of the event will be run late in the day on Saturday.
The men’s distance medley relay had the second fastest time of the prelims while running a 10:07.77 and will run in the finals on Saturday. Ghiorso, Micah Brands, Van Eps and Trey Engen made up the quartet for the Defenders. The previous season best for the group was 10:12.39.
The men’s 4x800 relay team appeared poised to advance to the finals of the event after running a 7:45.45 which was a season best by over three seconds. The team was met with disappointment though as it was disqualified at the conclusion of the race.
Sarah Wensink starts Friday’s competition for the Defenders in the mile at noon. In all, six runners will compete for spots in the finals of their respective events on Friday while Grant Brouwer is the lone field event representative and will compete in the high jump and the women’s 4x800 will cap the day at 5:20.