A week before spring break, on March 1-3, Dordt College had 22 individuals from 13 different events participate in the indoor NAIA National Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Out of the 22 students and 13 events, four Dordt Athletes earned All-American honors in individual events, and three other relay teams earned honors as well.
Katie Bonnema was one of two Defenders earning second place throughout the meet. Bonnema placed in 600 meter run with a time of 1:32.88, less than two seconds off of the first place finish. Briana Vander Woude had a runner up finish in the women’s pentathlon. She finished with 3789 points overall, 72 points behind first place. Vander Woude added a 6th place finish in the 60 meter hurdles in a time of :08.91 as well as competing in the high jump finishing twelfth, and the long jump finishing thirteenth.
Nic Pfeifle placed 5th in the 400 meters with a time of :47.79, six-tenths off first place. Ryan Tholen also ended up with a 5th place finish in the 800 meter run running a 1:52:59.
The three relay teams were the women’s 4×800 meter relay, and both the men’s and the women’s 4×400 meter relay teams. The women’s 4×800 team placed 8th overall, running a time of 9:20:71. The team consisted of Merissa Harkema, Whitney Wilgenburg, Lillie Koerner and Nichole Duncan. The women’s 4×400 team, made up of Kaitlin Troost, Tara Postma, Kari Van Beek and Bonnema ran a 3:58.27, which was also good for 8th. The men’s 4×400 placed 5th. Alex Henderson, Joe Lammers, Aaron Floen and Pfeifle placed 5th, running 3:14.96.
“The opportunity to perform on a national stage is always a blessing, I just try to soak it all in while I’m there and walk away from the meet with a solid performance,” said senior Alex Henderson. “There’s really no difference other than not knowing the other teams. You can always count on everyone to perform at a high level from the start, everyone gets the same chance and some make it to the last day and some don’t.”
“Once you reach the National stage and you run exceptionally well it becomes a mentality that you do the same repeatedly and one thing about it is that it takes a lot of time and hard work, “ said junior Nic Pfeifle. “It’s really a huge honor to know that you are running with some of the best athletes in the nation.”