Men's Varsity Track and Field @ NAIA National Championship

NAIA National Championship

10:00 AM - Saturday, March 7, 2020
Brookings, South Dakota
Non-conference Match

Recap

Saturday, March 7 Recap

Matthew Van Eps won his second career NAIA National Championship to headline Dordt’s final day at the NAIA Indoor National Track and Field Championship in Brookings, South Dakota.

Van Eps outraced the field to claim the title in the 800 meters with a time of 1:53.41, beating his nearest competitor by over a second to win his second career national title.  He also won the outdoor 800 meters last season at Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Later in the meet Van Eps teamed with Anthony Ghiorso, Micah Brands and Trey Engen to finish third in the distance medley relay. The 4,000 meter event came down to three teams battling for the top spot.  Dordt’s time of 10:03.66 was just behind St. Francis with a time of 10:03.55 and Olivet Nazarene ran a 10:02.82 to claim the title.

Earlier in the day Jacob Vander Plaats earned individual track and field All-American status for the first time in his career with a 4:16.15 in the mile to earn eighth place in the event.  Vander Plaats also ran the 3,000 meters and finished 10th in 8:37.10.

The women’s competition on Saturday revolved around the 4x400 where Anmarie Stuit, Emma Bakker, Bailey Nelson and Mika Kooistra ran a 3:51.54 for sixth place. The quartet earned All-American status in the process.

Finishers in the top-eight are considered All-Americans.

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 third fastest time in the prelims with a time of 8:32.4. 

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.