NAIA National Championship
(Thursday, March 4; Sioux Center, Iowa) The Dordt Defender men’s track and field team opened competition at the NAIA National Indoor Track and Field Championships and advanced three relay teams and individuals in three events as well.
Thursday, March 4
Distance Medley prelims: (Joe Anderson, Trey Engen, Thaniel Schroeder, Micah Brands) ran a 10:24.11 and had the fifth fastest time in prelims and advanced on to the finals on Saturday. Oklahoma City had the fastest time in the field with a 10:16.44.
4x800 prelims: (Jebadiah Merkle, Cole Zevenbergen, Lance Van Zee, Matthew Van Eps) had the fastest time in hieat two and in the prelims and will run in the eight-team final on Saturday after posting a 7:50.55. Grand View ran a 7:50.83 and has the second fastest time in the prelims.
4x400 prelims: (Micah Brands, Grant Brouwer, Payton Mauldin, Luke Wagner) ran a 3:20.3 in the prelims and will run in the finals on Saturday after posting the fifth fastest time in the field. Marian (Indiana) posted the fastest time in the prelims with a 3:19.25.
Mile prelims: Jacob Vander Plaats ran 4:19.63 and will run in the finals with the sixth fastest time in the field. Elijah Chesterman from Huntington ran 4:15.93 to record the fastest time and Dordt’s Trey Engen also ran in the prelims and had a 4:25.88 and won’t advance out of prelims.
600 meter prelims: Payton Mauldin ran 1:20.23 and will have the top time entering the finals. Three other runners ran a sub-1:21 and Cole Zevenbergen earned a spot in the finals as well with a 1:22.17.
800 meter prelims: Matthew Van Eps won the first heat in 1:55.03 to claim the third fastest time in the prelims. Max Whittredge (Spring Arbor) ran 1:54.86 to claim the fastest time heading into the eight-man finals on Saturday. Jebadiah Merkle and Anthony Ghiorso ran 1:57.06 and 2:00.04 respectively and will not run in the finals.
1000 meter prelims: Jacob Vander Plaats was unable to pull off a difficult double on Thursday and ran a 2:34.69 in the 1,000 meters on the same day he qualified for the finals in the mile. Vander Plaats as unable to advance to the finals in the event with Clayton VanDyke running 2:29.92 to claim the fastest time.
Heptathlon: Josh de Jong competed in the first four events of the heptathlon. He cleared 5-8.5 in the high jump and recorded a 31-8.5 in the shot put. He had a long jump of 19-10.25 and ran the 60 meter dash in 7.47. He’ll have the 60 meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meter run on Friday to complete the seven event competition.
COACH HEYNEN SAID
"The men's team performed very well today! Many of them had multiple events and we were able to get most of our events to finals. We are looking forward to a busy day on Saturday!"