The men’s and women’s indoor track and field MIAA championship took place last weekend at Aquinas College. The women competed to defend their championship title from the year before but took second behind Trine University, with wins in two individual events and two relays. The women scored a total of 141 points throughout the meet, with Trine scoring 155.50. The Flying Dutch swept the top three spots in the high jump, led by junior Addyson Gerig with a 1.56 meter jump. “I didn’t know we got 1-2- 3,” Gerig commented. “But when I found out on the podium, I was so excited.” Senior Allison VanderStoep took second with a jump of 1.50 meters in the high jump, and junior Hannah Bredeweg took third with a 1.45 meter jump.
Gerig also took third in the triple jump at 10.48 meters. Junior Mitchel Achien’g set the school record in the triple jump at the meet, jumping 10.75 meters. Achien’g had never heard of the triple jump before coming to college and hadn’t tried the event until last Wednesday. “I think it’s like when I was a kid, we used to play ‘hop, skip and jump’, so maybe that helped me today,” Achien’g commented. “It’s the first time. I don’t know, I guess I just jumped. My coach told me what to do, and that’s what I did.” The Flying Dutch also won the distance medley relay with a team of senior Avery Lowe and juniors Chelsea Miskelley, Hannah Kenny and Kelly Peregrine with a time of 13 minutes, 12.78 seconds.
Miskelley went on to run the 4×400 relay with Vanderstoep and juniors Nicole Kruithof and Sally Hansma, winning again with a time of 4:12.21. Another notable performance during the meet was Kruithof in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:02.11. Junior Anna Frazee ran in the 3,000 meter run, placing second with a time of 10:37.22. The men’s team took fourth in the meet with 89 points, with one strong win in the distance medley relay with a time of 10 minutes, 48.53 seconds. The team was led by sophomore Zackary Murphy, followed by senior Collin Thomas, junior Breden Jones and freshman Nick Hoffman. “It was good,” Thomas commented. “We’re going to try to run the DMR at nationals. I don’t train with any of the guys that I ran with in the DMR, but it’s really cool to see the distance team come together for that.” The men also did well in the 4×400 relay, placing second with a time of 3:26.22 with a team that included Thomas, Jones, junior Owen Ljung and sophomore Terrell Solberg. Ljung also took second in the 800 meter with a time of 1:56.82. “For this track, it was okay,” commented Ljung. “I think I could go faster. I just didn’t want to get boxed in, and I did that.”
Unfortunately, the men’s team suffered a loss during the MIAA meet when senior sprinter Justin Freeman suffered a hamstring injury and pulled out of all his events. Head coach Kevin Cole commented on the injury: “He had a hamstring pull in the prelims of the 60 meters. It’s severe enough that he couldn’t run today. It’s a potential 20 points that we could have had. It hurts, but I think others picked it up. You always have to plan on a few injuries and things that don’t go your way.” The athletes will continue their training into the outdoor track and field season, where the women look to defend their MIAA championship title.