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Men's Track and Field - NAIA Outdoor Championship Preview

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

The Event...The Dordt University men's track and field team will have 16 athletes 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 14th out of 77 teams at last year's championship with 21 points. Dordt won its second consecutive national title in the 4x800 and two individuals, Matthew Van Eps and Jacob Vander Plaats, earned All-American honors. (listed below): 

  • Matthew Van Eps - 2nd 
  • Jacob Vander Plaats - 6th 
  • 4x800 - 1st

Defenders Line-Up / Outlook...

  • Payton Mauldin - 800m
    • Prelims - Thursday, 3:50pm
      • Heat 1 of 3
    • Finals - Friday, 5pm
    • seeded 4th among 24 athletes (1:49)
    • Mauldin was part of the Defenders 4x800 that won the national title last year
    • Mauldin was an All-American at the Indoor Championship this spring in the 600m
    • Senzo Sokhela (Westmont) is the defending champion and has the fastest qualifying time (1:48)
    • this year's field includes all 4 All-Americans and 6 runners from last year
  • Joe Anderson - 1500m
    • Prelims - Wednesday, 4:50pm
      • Heat 2 of 2
    • Finals - Friday, 3:10pm
    • Anderson is seeded 20th out of 24 runners (3:53.96)
    • Anderson qualified and reached the finals in the mile during the indoor championships
    • 4 All-Americans, 7 runners overall, return from last year's field
    • Senzo Sokhela has the top qualifying time (3:42.3) and is the defending champion
  • Eric Steiger, Nic Veldhorst, Peter Shippy - Steeple
    • Prelims - Wednesday, 9pm
      • Heat 1 2
    • Finals - Friday, 2:20pm
    • Steiger is seeded 4th (9:11.5), Veldhorst is 9th (9:18), Shippy is 12th (9:22) out of 20 athletes
    • Steiger and Veldhorst qualified in the steeple last year; Veldhorst placed 13th, Steiger 14th
    • Dylan Uhrich (British Columbia) has the fastest qualifying time (8:57)
    • this year's field includes all 4 All-Americans and 8 runners from last year
    • Shimales Abebe (Oklahoma City) is the top returner from last year (2nd place)
  • Bailey Vande Griend / Brooks DeWaard - Half Marathon
    • Finals - Friday, 6am
    • this is the first year of the half-marathon; prior to 2022, the full marathon was run
    • DeWaard is seeded 8th (1:11) and Vande Griend is 14th (1:11.43) out of 51 runners
    • this is first time that either DeWaard and VandeGriend has competed at nationals in track
    • Connor Turpin (Lewis-Clark State) has the fastest qualifying time (1:10.1)
    • Jake Barraclough (SCAD Savannah) returns as the defending champion
    • 2 All-Americans and eight runners return from last year's field
  • Grant Brouwer - High Jump
    • Prelims / Finals - Thursday, 4:30pm
    • Brouwer is seeded 19th of 20 athletes (2.05m)
    • Brouwer previously qualified at the 2022 NAIA Indoor Championship
    • 5 All-Americans and 11 athletes return from last year's field
    • Vance Shewey (Tabor) has the top qualifying mark (2.14m)
    • Shandon Reitzell (Midland) returns as the defending champion; Reitzell also won the NAIA Indoor Championship in March
  • 4x400 
    • Prelims - Thursday, 9:45pm
      • Heat 1 of 3 - lane 3
    • Finals - Friday, 6:25pm
    • seeded No.9 of 22 teams (3:14.79)
    • Dordt is one of nine teams that return from last year's field
    • The Defenders placed ninth in 2021-all four runners return
    • Four teams return after earning All-American honors in 2021
    • Wayland Baptist is the defending champion and is in this year's field
    • Life has the fastest qualifying time (3:08) and won the indoor national title
  • 4x800
    • Prelims - Wednesday, 7:35pm
      • Heat 1 of 3
    • Finals - Thursday, 7:30pm
    • seeded No.4 of 24 teams (7:37.1)
    • Dordt is the 2x defending champion and returns 2 runners from last year's winning quartet
    • The Defenders were the national runner-up at the indoor championships
    • Seven All-American teams and 13 overall return from last year
    • Grand View has the fastest qualifying time (7:33.57)
    • Indiana Wesleyan, seeded 8th, won the indoor title in March