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2nd of 11

GPAC Outdoor Championships

  • 9:00 AM - Saturday, May 7, 2022
  • Crete, Nebraska
  • Conference Match


The Dordt University men's track and field team finished as the runner-up at the 2022 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Outdoor Championship held today in Crete, Neb.

The Defenders accounted for 155 points and finished as the conference runner-up for the second consecutive year. Doane won the team title with 182 points; Concordia was third (129pts) and Mount Marty fourth (104pts). 

Dordt athletes claimed titles in five events (4 individual and one relay), established one school record and qualified for nationals in three more events to highlight an outstanding weekend. 

After winning conference titles on Friday (Ethan Summerhays - 10K, 4x800 relay), Dordt athletes claimed three more on Saturday. 

Eric Steiger led a group of five Defenders to all-conference honors in the first running event on Saturday, the 3000m steeplechase. Steiger edged out Doane's runner, Kalen Dockweiler, to win the championship with a time of 9:19.6. Nic Veldhorst was the third to cross the finish line (9:26.2), followed by Thaniel Schroeder in fourth place (9:34.86) and Peter Shippy in fifth with a personal best time of 9:39.7, ranking sixth all-time at Dordt. Zach Elbers was the fifth Defender to claim all-conference honors, placing eight with a personal best time of 10:08.

Joe Anderson won the 1500m championship in a school record time of  3:53.9 and finished just ahead of a pair of Concordia runners. Jebadiah Merkle (5th - 3:58), Trey Engen (6th - 3:59.6) and Riley Ruhaak (8th - 4:08) also claimed all-conference honors and scored points for the Defenders. 

Cole Zevenbergen won the Defenders final GPAC championship, taking first in the 800m. Running in the second of three heats, Zevenbergen's time of 1:56.39 held up against all of the times in the third and final heat. He edged out teammates Payton Mauldin (2nd - 1:56.46) and Trey Engen (3rd - 1:56.55). Merkle placed sixth (1:56.9) and gave the Defenders four all-conference entries. 

Mauldin later finished third in a competitive and fast 400m while also meeting the NAIA A standard with a time of 48.0, second fastest in Dordt history. Luke Wagner earned all-conference honors with a seventh place finish and had a personal-best time of 49.39.

Mauldin, Zevenbergen, Wagner and Micah Brands teamed up to place second in the 4x400 with an auto standard time of 3:14.79. The Defenders time ranks ninth in the NAIA and is the fourth best in program history.

Grant Brouwer met the provisional mark and placed fourth in the high jump. Brouwer cleared a personal-best height of 2.05m, third best mark in the history of the program and 11th best in the NAIA this season.

Peyton Miller had a standout performance in the 400m hurdles, placing fourth with a personal best time of 54.72. Miller just missed the 'B' standard and now has the second fastest time in program history.

Five Defenders earned all-conference honors in the 5000m, led by Anderson in second place (15:18). Davis Tebben and Eric Steiger finished back-to-back in third and fourth place while both Bailey Vande Griend (7th) and Ethan Summerhays (8th) earned all-conference honors in their second event this weekend.

The Defenders 4x100 relay team of Wagner, Brands, Miller and Ryan Schober finished sixth to claim all-conference honors.

  • "Both our men’s and women's teams had an outstanding meet and exceeded expectations in team scoring," commented Dordt Head Coach Craig Heynen. "The second (men's) and third place (women's) finishes are one of the top combined finishes we have had. It is always difficult to win events at the conference meet and we were able to walk away with quite a few championships as well as a good number of second and third place showings. Emma’s double in the 200/400 was impressive, and a pretty difficult feat. On the men’s side, we had a great showing on the track and winning the 800 (Cole), 1500 (Joe), Steeple (Eric), and 10K (Ethan) shows the strength of our middle distance/distance group through a range of events. We also had multiple high placers in all of those events. It was a very exciting way to wrap up the regular season."

Dordt's GPAC Champions (5)

  • Ethan Summerhays - 10K
  • Cole Zevenbergen - 800m
  • Joe Anderson - 1500m
  • Eric Steiger - Steeplechase
  • 4x800 Relay
    • Mauldin, Brunsting, Engen, Zevenbergen

School Record Set:

  • Joe Anderson - 1500m: 3:53.96

New NAIA Standards Met:

  • Payton Mauldin - 400m (A)
  • 4x400 - (A)
  • Grant Brouwer - High Jump (B)

Dordt's All-Conference Entries:


  • Cole Zevenbergen - 1st: 1:56.39
  • Payton Mauldin - 2nd: 1:56.46
  • Trey Engen - 3rd: 1:56.55
  • Jebadiah Merkle - 6th: 1:56.91


  • Payton Mauldin - 3rd: 48.00
    • NAIA A standard
    • #19 in NAIA
    • 2nd fastest in Dordt history
  • Luke Wagner - 7th: 49.39
    • Personal Best


  • Joe Anderson - 1st: 3:53.9  
    • school record 
    • NAIA 'B'
  • Jebadiah Merkle - 5th: 3:58
    • season best
  • Trey Engen - 6th: 3:59
  • Riley Ruhaak - 8th: 4:08
    • personal best

3000m Steeplechase:

  • Eric Steiger - 1st: 9:19
    • NAIA 'A'
  • Nic Veldhorst - 3rd: 9:26
  • Thaniel Schroeder - 4th: 9:34
  • Peter Shippy - 5th: 9:39 
    • Personal Best
    • 6th fastest in program history
  • Zach Elbers - 8th: 10:08
    • Personal Best

High Jump:

  • Grant Brouwer - 4th: 2.05m (6-8.5)
    • B standard; personal best
    • 3rd best mark in Dordt history
    • No.12 in NAIA

4x100 -  6th: 42.46

  • 6th fastest time in Dordt history
  • Micah Brands, Luke Wagner, Ryan Schober, Peyton Miller

400m Hurdles

  • Peyton Miller - 5th: 54.72 
    • Personal Best
    • #2 time in Dordt history


  • Joe Anderson - 2nd: 15:18
    • 8th fastest in Dordt history
  • Davis Tebben - 3rd: 15:23
  • Eric Steiger - 4th: 15:26
  • Ethan Summerhays - 7th:15:54
  • Bailey Vande Griend - 8th: 15:59

4x400 - 2nd: 3:14.79

  • NAIA Auto- 9th best in NAIA
  • 4th fastest in Dordt history
  • Micah Brands, Cole Zevenbergen, Luke Wagner, Payton Mauldin

From Friday...


  • Ethan Summerhays - 1st: 32:06
  • Bailey Vande Griend - 2nd: 32:24
  • Aidan Vorster - 4th: 32:59

4x800 - 1st: 7:39

  • Brunsting, Zevenbergen, Engen, Mauldin

Pole Vault:

  • Brady Fergen - 8th: 3.95m