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Women's Track and Field - NAIA Outdoor Championship Preview

Posted: May 24th, 2022
Tags: Athletics, Track & Field, Varsity Athletics, Women's Athletics

The Event...Eight members of the Dordt University women's track and field team will compete at the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships this week in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The 2022 event is the 41st annual championship and will be held over three-days, May 25-27, at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.

Championship Information:

Championship Format...Prelims for nearly all races (excluding the half-marathon and 10K) are held on either Wednesday or Thursday. The finals for the 4x800 relay will also be on Thursday with all other finals taking place on Friday. Field events will have the prelims and finals on the same day.

Top eight finishers in the finals are All-American and earn points for their team on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. The team with the most points after all 24 championship events are scored wins the team title.

Last Year...The Defenders finished 16th out of 67 teams at last year's championship with 16.5 points. Dordt athletes claimed All-American honors in three events, one individual and two relays, including a national championship in the 4x800 (listed below): 

  • Cori De Jong - 5th 
  • 4x400 - 6th 
  • 4x800 - 1st

Defenders Line-Up / Outlook...

  • Emma Bakker - 400m
    • Prelims - Thursday, 5pm
      • Heat 1 of 3, lane 2
    • Finals - Friday, 4:30pm
    • seeded 13th among 20 athletes (56.45)
    • Bakker qualified last year as well, placing 11th; she also qualified 2x in the 400 for the indoor championship
    • Praise Idamadudu (Cumberland) is No.1 (52.27)
    • this year's field includes all 2 All-Americans and 7 runners from last year
    • XuXu Peart (Indiana Tech) is the top returner from last year (4th place)
  • Brenna Tolkamp, Greichaly Ellens - Half-Marathon
    • Finals only - Friday, 6am
    • this is the 1st year for the half-marathon; has been a full marathon in years prior
    • Tolkamp is seeded 5th of 33 runners (1:25.51)
    • Ellens is seeded 11th of 33 runners (1:27.01)
    • both Tolkamp and Ellens are competing in their first NAIA Outdoor Championship event
    • 4 All-Americans, 5 overall, runners return from last year's marathon field
    • Taylor Ward (Life), who finished 7th last year, has the top qualifying time (1:23.3)
    • Mei-Li Stevens (Rocky Mountain) is the top returner (3rd)
  • Cori De Jong - High Jump
    • Prelims / Finals - Friday, 2pm
    • De Jong is seeded 28th of 35 athletes (1.64m)
    • This is the third outdoor championship that De Jong has competed in
      • 2021 - T5th - All-American
      • 2019 - 30th
    • 4 All-Americans and 13 athletes return from last year's field
    • Kaylee Diamond (Aquinas) has the top qualifying mark (1.75m)
    • Erin Oleksak (Marian) is the top returner (2nd place)
  • 4x400 
    • Prelims - Thursday, 9:15pm
      • Heat 1 of 3 - lane 5
    • Finals - Friday, 6:15pm
    • seeded No.5 of 17 teams (3:48.3)
    • Dordt is one of six teams that return after earning All-American honors last year
    • The Defenders placed sixth in 2021-3 runners are back from last year
    • Dordt is one of seven teams that are competing this week that earned All-American honors for the 2022 indoor season
    • Ind.Tech has the fastest qualifying time (3:44.26) and is the top returner from last year (2nd)
    • Indiana Tech won the indoor title in March
  • 4x800
    • Prelims - Wednesday, 7pm
      • Heat 2 of 2 - lane 4
    • Finals - Thursday, 7:10pm
    • seeded No.3 of 18 teams (9:10.57)
    • Dordt is the defending champion and returns 3 runners from last year's winning quartet
    • The Defenders won the indoor national title in March
    • Taylor (Ind.) has No.1 qualifying time (9:03.6) and was the runner-up during the indoor season
    • 5 All-American teams, 12 overall, return from the 2021 championship