Calvin - Women's Track and Field Dominates MIAA Jamboree

Calvin - Women's Track and Field Dominates MIAA Jamboree

Provided by Calvin

ALMA - The Calvin women's track and field team turned in a dominating performance at the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Alma College on Saturday, taking first place with a team score of 973.5 points, finishing more than 100 points ahead of second place Hope.

Saturday's MIAA Jamboree featured a true team scoring format with up to 21 places scoring points in each event. In the past, the MIAA Jamboree would count towards one-half of the final league standings but beginning this year, the MIAA Jamboree does not count towards the final league standings. Only the upcoming MIAA Championship meet will determine the league standings this year. Alma will also host the MIAA Championships on May 1 and 2.

Calvin took first place in several events led by senior Julie Busscher (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) who blazed her way to wins in the 100 meter (12.82) and 200 meter dash (26.30). She also led off Calvin's first place 4x100 relay team that clocked in with a time of 49.66. She was joined on the relay by senior Stephanie Bennett (Rockford, IL/Christian Life Center), sophomore Maria Steblay (Eden Prairie, MN/Eden Prairie HS), and junior Amy Sybesma (Cerritos, CA/Valley Christian HS).

Junior Breanna Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) had a strong performance in winning the 400 meter hurdles with a season-best time of 1:05.69. She was a part of Calvin's winning 4x400 meter relay team of senior Rebekah Folkema (Renfrew, ON/Renfrew Collegiate Institute HS), junior Kelley Tuinenga (Grand Rapids/South Christian HS) and Bennett that clocked in with a time of 4:00.90.

Calvin's distance crew also had a great day. Senior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) won the 10,000 meters with a season-best time of 35:45.55 that places her fourth on the national qualifying list in the event.

In the 5,000 meters, freshman Cassie Vince (Amherst, OH/Amherst HS) led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish with Vince winning in 17:16.97, junior Sarah Danner (Watkins Glen, NY/Charles Dickerson HS) taking second (17:17.57) and freshman Lauren Brink (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) placing third (18:13.89). The time by Vince places her 18th on the national qualifying list while Danner is 19th.

In the 3,000 meter steeplehchase, junior Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) took first place with a season-best time of 11:20.84. Her time ranks her 16th on the national qualifying list. Senior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan/Home Schooled) was third in 11:25.07 and junior Paige McGahan (Brighton/Brighton HS) fourth (11:34.10). Oram is 21st on the national list while McGahan is 22nd.

In the field events, freshman Michaela Meckes (Bay City/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) continued the strong throwing tradition started by her older brothers Nate, Josh and Aaron Meckes at Calvin by winning the event with a throw of 117-6.

In the javelin, Calvin went 1-2 with senior Lauren Madden (Orland Park, IL/Chicago Christian HS) winning with a throw of 116-4 while junior Jordyn Platt (Wood Dale, IL/Timothy Christian HS) was second (110-4). Senior Hilary Banning (Whitinsville, MA/Whitinsville Christian HS) won the triple jump (36-11 3/4) and was second on the long jump (16-3 1/2).

"I thought our women's team was outstanding today," said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. "We had some big performances in the distance events but we also did very well in the sprints and field events. I'm very proud of this group. They brought energy and determination today."

Calvin returns to action next Saturday when it competes at the Grand Valley State Invitational.