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Three Individuals and One Relay Earn All-American Honors On Final Day

Posted: May 28th, 2021
Tags: Athletics, Varsity Athletics, Men's Athletics, Women's Athletics, Track & Field

Day Three Recap

Friday, May 28 marked the conclusion of the 2021 NAIA National Track and Field Championship. Dordt’s day was highlighted by three individuals and one relay earning All-American honors to conclude the 2020-21 athletic calendar.

Matthew Van Eps concluded his career with a runner-up finish in the 800 meters with a tie of 1:50.19.  Van Eps missed the national title by 11-hundreths of a second and earned All-American honors for the 11th time in his career.

Cori De Jong jumped a season best in the high jump by clearing 5-5 and tied for fifth in the event while earning All-American honors. Cassie Brandsma also competed but was unable to clear the opening height of 5-2.

Jacob Vander Plaats moved from tenth to sixth on the final lap of the 1500 to finish off a 3:56.09 and claimed All-American honors.  Vander Plaats ran the final 400 in 58.08.

The women’s 4x400 dueled with Marian most of the race for fifth place and finished sixth in 3:49.51 with Anmarie Stuit, Emma Baker, Annika Rick and Mika Kooistra making up the quartet.

The men’s steeple chase was scheduled to run prelims on Wednesday but instead went straight to finals. Nicolas Veldhorst and Eric Steiger ran 13-14 in 9:44.36 and 9:49.08 respectively.

The Defender men finished 14th in the team race with 21 points while the women were 16th with 16.5 points.


Day Two Recap

The Dordt Defenders had a banner day at the NAIA National Track and Field Championship by sweeping the 4x800 relay events.

The Dordt women clocked a 9:06.54 in the early evening to beat their nearest competitor by nearly 2.5 seconds. Bethany Ten Haken and Anmarie Stuit each ran 2:17 and Annika Rick responded with a 2:16 on the third leg and Mika Kooistra put the race away with a 2:14 to give the Dordt women the relay championship.

The Defender men followed and defended their 2019 title with a time of 7:30.55 two win the event by over two seconds. Anthony Ghiorso ran the first leg in 1:56 and gave to Trey Engen who clocked a 1:53 split. Payton Mauldin and Matthew Van Eps had carries of 1:51 and 1:49 to take the lead and hold on.  For Van Eps it was his fifth national title in both indoor and outdoor individually and on a relay.

Earlier in the day Van Eps locked up a spot in the 800 finals on Friday with a time of 1:51.91 as he took second in the final heat of three.

Emma Bakker ran the open 400 and finished 11th in the prelims with a time of 57.2 and won’t compete in the finals.

Also running in the prelims but not making the finals was Davis Tebben in the 5,000 where he ran 15:20 and finished 29th in the field.

The women’s 4x400 of Anmarie Stuit, Bakker, Rick and Kooistra will run in the finals on Friday after recording a time of 3:49.49 and got in with the fourth place finish in heat one.

The men’s 4x400 was met with disappointment as they ran the eighth fastest time in the race but won’t make the finals as the runner-up finisher in another heat will get in the finals with a slower time. Luke Wagner, Cole Zevenbergen, Micah Brands and Payton Mauldin ran the four laps in 3:14.31 and Mauldin ran the anchor leg in 47.2. 

Day One Recap

The Dordt Defender women’s and men’s track and field teams competed at the NAIA National Championship at Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

Both the women’s and men’s 4x800 teams survived the prelims to make the finals to be run on Thursday while Jacob Vander Plaats earned a spot in the finals of the 1500 to be run on Saturday.  The men’s 3000 meter steeplechase prelims were canceled and will be run as a final event on Saturday  and Taylor Anema finished the day in the 10,000 meters where she ran 39:11 and finished 17th.             .

The women’s 4x800 of Bethany Ten Haken, Anmarie Stuit, Annika Rick and Mika Kooistra ran the fastest time in the prelims with a 9:09 and they won heat two.  Wayland Baptist, the team that ran right behind the Defenders, was disqualified at the conclusion of the race.

The men’s 4x800 of Anthony Ghiorso, Trey Engen, Cole Zevenbergen and Payton Mauldin ran a 7:39 in heat two and qualified as the second team out of the heat. Grand View ran a 7:32.43 to win the first heat and has the fastest time in the prelims.

Jacob Vander Plaats ran a 3:59.35 in the 1500 meters earlier in the day and finished seventh in heat two and claimed a spot in the 12-runner finals with the ninth best time in the prelims. 

Competition resumes on Thursday, May 27 at 3:50 when Matthew Van Eps begins defense of his 2019 800 meter championship with the prelims in the event.