Sawyer Strelnieks—Staff Writer
The Dordt Track and Field teams this season are looking strong as indoor nationals approach for the NAIA. With many returning national qualifiers from last year, Dordt is looking to have a robust presence at nationals at the end of this month.
Many members of the track and field team made their way onto the indoor honor roll with their quick times, long throws, and big jumps during this indoor season. Jenna Bremer, a senior in the weight throw, broke her old record from the previous season with a toss of 48 feet 2 1/4 inches.
On the men’s side of the weight throw, David Davelaar and Ike VanKempen broke the first and second place records for Dordt with throws of 59 feet 2 1/4 inches and 56 feet 8 1/2 inches.
“It’s been fun seeing the improvements from last season for the team, and how we’ve developed since the beginning of the season as well,” senior thrower Ike VanKempen said. “As the season goes on, more and more people are hitting marks and PRs as we go, and that’s always cool to see.”
Along with many of the throwers who have broken records and qualified for nationals, many runners and jumpers have qualified for nationals with notable times. Eric Steiger, a freshman long distance runner, has been dominating on the track. Steiger qualified for nationals with a time of 15:05 in the 5K. He is also pursuing the standard time of 8:44 in the 3K run, which he missed a couple weeks ago by one second.
“With some incredibly talented people on the team though, I’m sure we’ll start to see more qualifications happening very soon,” said Steiger. “I think what I’m looking forward to the most about these events is just the strategic grind that they involve.”
Not many people think of running as a sport that requires strategic thinking. When on a 200-meter track with a bunch of guys running a long distance race, Steiger said that you have to plan when to pass runners and when to make your move.
Many relay teams from Dordt have also qualified for nationals for this season. Matthew Van Eps, a sophomore running mid-distance, is part of the men’s 4 X 800 meter relay going to nationals. Last year he qualified for nationals in the 4 X 800 meter relay and the 4 X 400 meter relay. This year, Van Eps also qualified in the individual 600 meter and 800 meter runs.
“Last year I was able to qualify in some relays, so it is definitely cool to qualify individually this year; however, I am still most looking forward to running in the relays,” said Van Eps. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks with conference and nationals coming up everyone will be healthy and in top shape.”
These runners and throwers are a just a few among the many from the track team that have broken records and qualified for nationals this season. With a few meets still to come before indoor nationals, many athletes are still looking to find their spots for the big meet. NAIA preliminary races are February 28th at SDSU with final races occurring March 1st at SDSU.