Calvin - 10K Race a Banner for Danner at NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships
Provided by Calvin
By John Leerar
CANTON, NY-senior distance runner Sarah Danner (Watkins Glen, NY/Charles Dickerson HS) was determined to avenge her 2014 finish in the 10,000 meter run.
In that event last year, Danner finished 19th-still an accomplishment to make it to nationals but not what she wanted in that race.
On Thursday, Danner achieved her goal, finishing in 8th and earning the final All-American spot in her event.
Danner stayed consistent throughout the race, never going ahead of 5th but also never falling behind 8th. She came into the race seeded 9th with a time of 35:53.44 but overachieved her seeding, finishing in 36:20.54.
"I was just trying to keep myself in a good position in the pack," said Danner. "I just was trying to keep my footing for most of it."
"It's definitely been my goal all year to be an All-American. It's absolutely a dream come true, and especially with my whole family here to see me."
Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer showed a lot of praise for Danner. "Sarah showed a lot of poise, courage, and determination today. The runners in this event were incredibly bunched up and she was running in lane two for most of the way. She was able to fight off her challenges and made a crucial move on the outside to get past the bubble of middle-of-the-road runners. Without that move, she would not be an All-American. For the last mile, she was only about 40 yards away from her trailer, which turned her coaches into nervous wrecks. I am incredibly glad it worked out for her though."
This is the third straight year that Calvin has had an All-American in the women's 10,000 meter run.
Earlier in the evening, junior McKenzie Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) competed in the women's steeplechase. She qualified as the 5th seed for the national meet with a time of 10:36.75.
However, the day was not hers, as she finished 22nd in the prelims with a time of 11:51.16.
McKenzie, who has been battling a foot injury for the past two weeks, stayed with the pack for the first two laps or so. Eventually, however, the injury caught up with her.
"I was incredibly nervous going into this race," said Calvin distance coach and McKenzie's father Brian Diemer. "Two weeks ago, McKenzie injured her foot on the steeplechase barrier stanchion and she was unable to run on it until this past Monday. Even then, she was limited to just a mile a day. It's obviously a huge accomplishment to make it to nationals and you want to be able to compete at a high level here. The first two laps were pretty good, but the strain caused by running and leaping over barriers with one good foot caught up to her. I am still incredibly proud of her for finishing the race and it provides valuable experience for future races."
In addition, Calvin senior Kate Ardinger (Elmhurst, IL/Timothy Christian HS) competed Thursday in the prelims of the 1500 meter run.
Ardinger came into the event seeded 15th with a season-best time of 4:32.57. She was hoping to secure a top-four spot in her preliminary heat and qualify for the final race on Saturday.
Unfortunately, Ardinger finished fifth in her heat and fifteenth overall in the prelims and failed to qualify for the finals. Although her fifth-place finish was good enough for a first wild-card position, the speed of the following heat pushed her out of the finals. Her time was 4:37.87.
"Kate ran a great race and put herself in great position to qualify for the finals," said Calvin assistant coach Brian Diemer. "It's unfortunate that her heat was so slow. Her forte' is running a fast race, and I think that the slow pace of her heat hurt her. She had to stay back with the pack, and that's really unfortunate. We are all very proud of her accomplishments this year and for earning a trip to the national meet."
CALVIN WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD 10,000 METER ALL-AMERICANS
1993 – Renea Bluekamp – 3rd place
1994 – Renea Bluekamp – 2nd place
1994 – Amy Kuipers – 5th place
1995 – Renea Bluekamp – 4th place
1995 – Amy Kuipers – 8th place
1996 – Amy Kuipers – 6th place
1998 – Andrea Clark – 8th place
2007 – Christina Overbeck – 5th place
2009 – Jessica Koster – 5th place
2010 – Jessica Koster – 6th place
2013 – Nicole Michmerhuizen – 1st place
2014 – Nicole Michmerhuizen – 2nd place
2015 – Sarah Danner – 8th place