All the news from NAIA Mens and Womens Track.

Josh Pestka-N. Scott-SAU
©Fighting Bees Athletics 2020

Bees’ Pestka Conference Athlete of the Week

Josh Pestka-N. Scott-SAU ©Fighting Bees Athletics 2020

Josh Pestka-N. Scott-SAU
©Fighting Bees Athletics 2020

Olivet Nazarene University’s Bryce Vollrath (Peoria, Ill.) claimed his fourth straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week award, while St. Ambrose University’s Josh Pestka (Eldridge, Iowa) captured his first Track Athlete of the Week honor for the seven-day period ending Feb. 9, it was announced by the league office Wednesday morning.

Courtesy Bees Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Josh Pest
ka-N. Scott-SAU©Fighting Bees Athletics 2020


Pestka ran the fastest time in the NAIA this year in the 1,000 meter run on Saturday. The senior clocked in at 2:27.93 to win the event at the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcat Open. A total of 35 individuals made up the field.

Austin Hill-Pella-GVU
©Doug Wells 2019

Vikings Off to Good Start

 Isaiah Wittrock-Richland-GVU ©Doug Wells 2019

Isaiah Wittrock-Richland-GVU
©Doug Wells 2019

The men’s indoor track and field team was crowned champions of the Chelsey M. Henkenius Open on Saturday.  The Vikings took home the team crown with 187 total points.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: © Austin Hill-Pella-GVU©Doug Wells 2019


Viking Champions…

In the men’s 60-meter dash it was Austin Kalar (FR/Bettendorf, Iowa) who was victorious with a time of 7.20 seconds.

Carter Huyser (FR/Oskaloosa, Iowa) won the 600-meter run with a time of 1:23.15.

Grand View’s Ben Huftalin (JR/Osage, Iowa) broke the school-record in the 1 Mile run.  Huftalin posted a time of 4:24.89.

Daniel Headley (SR/Melbourne, Florida) won the Long Jump even with a jump of 6.84 meters.

In the shot put, Grand View’s Austin Hill (SR/Pella, Iowa) won the event with a toss of 14.64 meters.

Clay Siefken (SR/Burlington, Iowa) won the weight throw with a toss of 17.50 meters.

Notable Finishers…

Trey Albert (FR/Eldon, Iowa) finished in 7th place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.40 seconds.

In the 200-meter finals, Jake Clouse had the fastest time for Grand View with a 23.09 second post.  Clouse finished in 3rd place.   Malachi Thongvanh (SO/Adel, Iowa) and Timothi McMaster rounded out the top 5.

Leo Desequeira (FR/Davenport, Iowa) finished in 2nd place overall in the 400-meter dash.  Anthony Dixon (SO/Fresno, California) finished in 5th place overall.

In the 600-meter run Talon Munger (SO/Oskaloosa, Iowa) finished in 5th place with a time of 1:24.11.

Ahren Davis (SO/Ankeny, Iowa) also broke the school-record for the 1-mile run, but he finished in 2nd place to his teammate, Ben Huftalin.  Davis posted a time of 4:26.95.

The team of Tyler Miller (SO/Madrid, Iowa), Isaiah Wittrock (SO/Richland, Iowa), Alonzo Rodriguez-Spencer (JR/Buffalo, New York), and Carter Huyser finished in 2nd place in the 4X400 meter relay.

Trent Beck competed in the high jump and finished in 4th place overall.  Beck also finished in 2nd place overall in the long jump.

In the Pole Vault, AJ Babino (FR/Spring, Texas) finished in 3rd place overall

Zach Stacy (SO/West Des Moines, Iowa) finished in 2nd place in the shot put, Niles Siefken (SO/Burlington, Iowa) finished in 3rd place overall, while Clay Siefken finished in 4th place.  Tyler Goeller (SR/Fairbank, Iowa) rounded out the top 5 with a 5thplace finish in the shot put.

In the weight throw, Austin Hill, Tyler Goeller, and Noah Clark (JR/Prairie City, Iowa) all finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place respectively.

Team Standings…

  1. Grand View   187pts
  2. Wartburg       157pts
  3. Hawkeye CC  66pts
  4. Upper Iowa   38pts

What’s Next?

Grand View will once again compete on January 24th in Cedar Falls, Iowa when they attend the UNI-Jack Jennett Open.  The meet is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM.

Taylor Miller-Madrid-Grandview
©Doug Wells 2019

Vikings Kick-Off Indoor Season

Jerry Monner-Grand View ©Doug Wells 2019

Jerry Monner-Grand View
©Doug Wells 2019

The men’s indoor track and field team was dominant in the St. Ambrose Invitational this weekend.  The Vikings were crowned champions on Saturday.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Taylor Miller-Madrid-Grandview©Doug Wells 2019

Viking Champions…

In the 800-meter finals it was Isaiah Wittrock (SO/Richland, Iowa) who won the event, posting a time of 1:59.74.

Ben Huftalin (JR/Osage, Iowa) took care of the 1,000-meter finals, winning the event with a time of 2:33.63.

In the mile run it was Anthony Rodriguez who ran a sub 5-minute mile, posting a time of 4:31.47 and won the event.

In the 4X400 meter relay, it was the Vikings team of Tyler Miller (SO/Madrid, Iowa), Daniel Headley (SR/Melbourne, Florida), Alonzo Rodriguez Spencer, and Grayson Thacker (JR/Clinton, Iowa) who won the event.  They posted a time of 3:27.83.

Grand View also won the Distance Medley with the team of Trent Sivola (FR/Vinton, Iowa), Brandon Albaugh (SR/Polk City, Iowa), Jaxson Eden (SO/Atlantic, Iowa), and Chris Hatch (SO/Placerville, California) who won the event.  They posted a time of 11:50.05.

Trent Beck won the Long Jump Finals with a jump of 7.01 meters.

In the Weight Throw it was Clay Siefken (SR/Burlington, Iowa) with a throw of 18.26 meters.  Siefken won the event.


Other Notable Finishes…

Austin Kalar (FR/Bettendorf, Iowa) finished in 5th place overall in the 60-meter dash.  Kalar posted a time of 7.22 seconds.  Another Viking finished inside the top 10 in the 60-meter dash.  It was Leo Desequeira (FR/Davenport, Iowa), with a time of 7.26 seconds.

Trey Albert (FR/Eldon, Iowa) finished in 8th place overall in the 200-meter finals.  Albert posted a time of 24.04 seconds.

Two Vikings finished inside the top 5 in the 400-meter finals.  Grayson Thacker finished in 3rd place with a time of 52.10 seconds.  Jake Clouse finished right behind Thacker with a time of 52.50 seconds and a 4th place finish overall.

In the 800-meter finals, Grand View also took home 2nd place with Carter Huyser (FR/Oskaloosa, Iowa) posting a time of 1:59.95.  Alonzo Rodriguez-Spencer (JR/Buffalo, New York) also took home 4th place with a time of 2:03.99.  Jaxson Eden (7thplace overall), Brandon Albaugh (9th place overall), and Gonzalo Gaytan (SO/Carrollton, Texas) (10th place overall) rounded out the Vikings efforts in the 200-meter finals.

In the 1,000-meter finals Grand View not only took home 1st place, but they also recorded five other top 10 finishers.  Anthony Rodriguez (4th place), Talon Munger (SO/Oskaloosa, Iowa) (5th place), Trevor Albert (JR/Eldon, Iowa) (6th place), and Nick Wakefield (FR/Roland, Iowa) (8th place).

Grand View remained dominate in the Mile run as well.  Taking home 1st place, as well as Ahren Davis (SO/Ankeny, Iowa) (2ndplace), Trevor Albert (3rd place), Talon Munger (4th place), and Nick Wakefield (6th place).

In the 3,000-meter race/walk two Vikings finished in 2nd and 3rd place.  Caleb Chmelka (SO/Council Bluffs, Iowa) and Seth Diser (FR/Marshalltown, Iowa) were Grand View’s top finishers.

When the 60-meter hurdles were completed, the Vikings ended up having three top-ten finishers.  Tyler Miller finished in 3rdplace overall, Malachi Thongvanh (SO/Adel, Iowa) finished in 6th place overall, and Jacob Large (SO/Olathe, Kansas) who finished in 9th place overall.

Bubba Rutledge (SR/Tama, Iowa) finished in 2nd place in the High Jump finals.  Trent Beck also finished in 4th place overall in the high jump.

In the Pole Vault finals, it was AJ Babino (FR/Spring, Texas) who finished in 4th place with a vault of 10’6″.  Jacob Large also finished in 6th place overall in the pole vault.

Grand View had three other top 10 finishers in the long jump finals.  Trey Albert finished in 3rd place, Linc Thomas finished in 5thplace overall, and Seth Pippett (FR/Ankeny, Iowa) finished in 8th place.

The shot-put finals featured six Vikings inside the top 10 overall.  Austin Hill (SR/Pella, Iowa) led the way, finishing in 3rd place.  Zach Stacy (SO/West Des Moines, Iowa) finished in 4th place, Tyler Goeller (SR/Fairbank, Iowa) finished in 6th place, Clay Siefken finished in 7th place, Noah Clark (JR/Prairie City, Iowa) in 8th place, and Niles Siefken (SO/Burlington, Iowa) rounded out the Vikings in 10th place.

The throwers continued their dominance in the weight throw.  Austin Hill (2nd place), Tyler Goeller (3rd place), Noah Clark (4thplace), Niles Siefken (7th place), and Zach Stacy (10th place) all finished inside the top 10.


The Standings…

The Vikings finished in 1st place overall.  The full team standings are below.

Grand View  236

Augustana    149

St. Ambrose 109

Judson            31


What’s Next?

The Vikings will be back at the oval next weekend.  They will compete in the Wartburg-Henkenius Open.  The meet will begin on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 AM.

Dordt Women's Cross Country
©Defenders Athletics 2019

Iowans Help Defenders at Nationals

Jacob Vander Plaats-Sioux Center-Dordt  ©Defenders Athletics 2019

Jacob Vander Plaats-Sioux Center-Dordt
©Defenders Athletics 2019


The Dordt Defender men’s cross country team finished 16th at the NAIA National Championship on Friday, November 22 in the 8,000 meter race hosted in Vancouver, Washington.

Courtesy Defenders Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Dordt Women’s Cross Country©Defenders Athletics 2019


The Defenders were in 18th place after 2,000 meters and moved up as a pack int 16th place at the 6,000 meter mark and held on to that spot for the finish with 435 points.

Oregon Tech finished 15th with 406 points and the Defenders were 42 points clear of Huntington in 17th place.

Oklahoma City, the number one team all season long, locked up a national championship with 110 points, beating Taylor by 61 points.

Eric Steiger finished 57th place with a time of 26:00.  The sophomore ran aggressively after running the first 2,000 meters and was in 80th at that time.

Jacob Vander Plaats was 82nd in a time of 26:16 and Davis Tebben locked up 103rd with a time of 26:25.

Joe Anderson, running in his first national championship race, made up significant ground in the final 2,000 meters, passing 35 runners to finish in 137th place in 26:47.  Nicolas Veldhorst was Dordt’s final scorer with a time of 26:45 and he also made up ground, passing 54 runners from where he stood after the first 2,000 meters to finish 146th in the 335 runner field.

Trey Engen was 167th in 26:53 and Brooks De Waard was 236th in a time of 27:10.

Dordt’s 1-5 spread was 00:45 and the 1-7 total spread was 1:10.

Oklahoma City’s Mark Shaw won the individual title in 24:39.

37 teams competed in the race.


Eric Steiger 57/26:00

Jacob Vander Plaats 82/26:15

Davis Tebben 103/26:25

Joe Anderson 137/26:47

Nicolas Veldhorst 146/26:45

Trey Engen 167/26:53

Brooks De Waard 236/27:10



The Dordt women finished 23rd at the NAIA National Championship run in Vancouver, Washington on Friday, November 22.  Dordt totaled 505 points in the 36 team field that featured 341 runners.

Courtesy Defender Athletics, click here!


The Defenders were led by Olivia Couch with a 46th place time of 18:55.  The senior has been Dordt’s lead runner through out the season and battled in the 35-40 place range before settling for a 46th place finish.  Couch went out fast and was in 20th place after 1,000 meters before settling into 38th place at the 2,000 meter mark.

Sarah Wensink ran 78th in 19:16 and Jordan Bos was 156th in a time of 19:49. Wensink moved up gradually through out the race from 112 after 1,000 meters to 91st through 3,000 and passed six runners in the final 1,000 meters.

Jordan Bos ran third for Dordt in a time of 19:49 and finished 155th.  Bos was in 207th place through 2,000 meters before passing 52 runner over the final 3,000 meters.

Eden Winslow was Dordt’s fourth runner with a time of 20:16 and ran 223rd while Sienna De Jong was 229th with a time of 20:19 and was the final scorer for Dordt.

Dordt’s sixth and seventh runners were Mary Kate Postma was 246th and Brenna Tolkamp was 282nd in times of 20:29 and 21:00 respectively.

Dordt’s 1-5 spread was 01:24 and the 1-7 spread was 2:05.

Madonna won the team title with 111 points and College of Idaho was second with 146.

The Defenders were nine points behind Olivet Nazarene with 532 points and Mount Mercy had 519.

Hannah Stoffel from Huntington won the individual championship with a time of 17:18.


Oliva Couch 46/18:55

Sarah Wensink 78/19:16

Jordan Bos 155/19:49

Eden Winslow 222/20:16

Sienna De Jong 228/20:19

Mary Kate Postma 246/20:29

Brenna Tolkamp 282/21:00

Ro Paschal-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Mustangs End Season On a High Note

Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside ©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Looking to end the 2019 season on a high note, Morningside College put three runners in the top 175 of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Championships Friday, Nov. 22.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo:Ro Paschal-Morningside©Mustangs Athletics 2019


Senior Emmalee Fundermann (Anthon, Iowa) topped the women’s team efforts for head coach Dave Nash’s qualifying individuals, crossing the finish line at the Fort Vancouver Historic Site course in 19:39.1, good for her fourth straight sub-20 minute 5K race and fifth such outing of the season. Sophomore Jo McKibben (SO/Mapleton, IA) (Mapleton, Iowa) clocked a 19:56 flat, good for 171st, which was her fifth successive finish in sub 20.

On the men’s side of the ledger, after a tough start that left juniors Ro Paschal (JR/Mancos, Colo.) (Mancos, Colo.) and Connor Ritz (JR/Sioux City, IA) (Sioux City, Iowa) in the 250th place range, both Mustangs rallied back for strong standings. Paschal ran a 26:56.9 to wind up 175th, and Ritz turned in a 27:03.4 for 189th place.

“It was a great experience for the entire group,” Nash noted. “Most of them placed in the top half, and Emmalee ran, simply put a perfectly paced plan. I’m pleased with our entire day here, though, as both races were physical and challenging with loops and course terrain.”

Ro Paschal,  Connor Ritz-Sioux City, Emmalee Fundermann-Anthon,  Jo McKibben-Mapleton
©Maverick Athletics 2019

Maverick Leaders Have Big Goals

Connor Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside  ©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Connor Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Four personalities … differing as many do on any college campus.

Four personalities are seeking a strong finish to the 2019 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ cross-country season. Making their differences focus on goals set by Morningside College head coach Dave Nash when they compete at the Fort Vancouver Historic Site Friday, Nov. 22.

Courtesy Mavericks Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Ro Paschal, Connor Ritz-Sioux City, Emmalee Fundermann-Anthon, Jo McKibben-Mapleton©Maverick Athletics 2019


Finish in the top half and potentially the first 100 was among the messages set in front of them by their head coach. Junior men’s competitors Ro Paschal (JR/Mancos, Colo.) (Mancos, Colo.) and Connor Ritz (JR/Sioux City, IA) (Sioux City, Iowa) and the women’s duo of senior Emmalee Fundermann (Anthon, Iowa) and sophomore Jo McKibben (SO/Mapleton, IA) (Mapleton, Iowa) all aim for that season’s ending but have taken different paths with intriguing stories to reach the association’s championship … continuing 14 straight years in which the Maroon has had at least one individual men’s and/or women’s qualifier.

Fundermann and McKibben have continued a friendship that began in the communities of Mapleton and Anthon that share Maple Valley Community School District. According to Jo, they’ve been good friends since elementary school, and they are roommates on Morningside’s campus.

“I’m so lucky to have Em here to pull me through,” McKibben noted. “I’m a big overthinker in certain situations, including races. My mind has been my worst enemy when I’m running, but this year, I’ve learned to shut it off somewhat (during those times). Like Emmalee tells me, ‘Just go out and run.'”

Fundermann is glad to have the camaraderie of her friend and teammate, too. “We all have people to push us (on the women’s team), and Jo is one of those for me,” she said. “I love running with her. It’s awesome having a good friend like that on the team and understanding what kind of things you want to accomplish.”

The pair also share the fact that neither of them figured a collegiate cross-country career was ahead of them. Fundermann admits, with a smile, that running three miles “wasn’t her thing” and didn’t even run cross country in high school. McKibben did compete for the Ramblers and was part of a state meet squad as a junior, but her focus has been on 60 meters and long jumping.

However, this odd long-distance couple has turned heads all season, both going sub-20s on 5K courses. They each placed in the top 10 of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships and are hoping for more success this weekend.

“While I might not favor cross country, when I’m competing, I’m giving it everything I’ve got,” Fundermann said. “I can’t go out just to run. I’m very competitive and want to do well … no matter what the situation.”

“To see where I’m at now, it does make me smile,” McKibben said. “It all comes down to me wanting to show that I could compete (in cross country) and make that big jump from what I do in track and field. It’s been a fun and interesting journey.”

For the men, Ritz has the advantage of being in a national meet setting, as he competed a year ago in Cedar Rapids. Paschal has also been through the big race feel having fought for one of National Collegiate Athletic Association’s premiere programs in any division when he ran two seasons for Division II perennial powerhouse Adams State University.

“I’m going in with a different mindset (this year),” Ritz said of his second nationals’ attempt. “Last year, it was all about understanding what it was all about. This year, though, I’m aiming for the top 100 and maybe to get a personal record, too.

I feel like one of the reasons for my success this year is due to the leadership role that Ro and I have (on the men’s team),” he added. “It’s a different feeling and focuses when you have other people leaning on you. We have to go out and show our best, so the younger guys understand what the program is trying to accomplish.”

Paschal admittedly leads by example as a new team member, but he also shows his teammates some of that competitive energy that harkens back to his Adams State days.

“I’ve been getting that old fire back through each meet,” he said. “I think it helps show the guys where we could be if we compete at a high level. This has been a great opportunity all the way around … I love the school. Coach Nash is wonderful. The team is great.

Connor pushes me, which is what I need … we got out and put in around 55-60 miles a week,” he added. “The rest of the team sees that, too, and is beginning to challenge one another.”

One more challenge awaits with the 12:30 p.m. men’s 8K race and the 1:30 p.m. women’s 5K event in Washington state. Nash and Mustang fans hope to see the personalities come together to end 2019 on a high note.

Grand View Men's Cross Country
©Doug Wells 2019

Albert Earns All-Conference Honors For Vikings at Conference

Trevor Albert-Eldon-Grand View ©Doug Wells 2019

Trevor Albert-Eldon-Grand View
©Doug Wells 2019


Trevor Albert (JR/Eldon, IA) collects Heart of America First-Team All-Conference honors after finishing 10th at the conference meet held at Central Methodist in Fayette, Missouri.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Grand View Men’s Cross Country©Doug Wells 2019


Albert ran a time of 26:46.64 which helped him finish 10th overall individually and lead his team to a fifth-place finish out of 12 teams. Head Coach Jerry Monner was very impressed with Albert’s performance at the meet and throughout the season, “He has been a great leader all season. The milage he put in this summer and discipline he had with his training and preparation throughout the season really paid off for him.”


The women’s cross-country team traveled down to Central Methodist University and the Fayette Golf Course to compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here!


Notable Finishers…

Michaela Barretta (SR/Indianola, IA) led the Vikings in the conference championship, finishing 31st overall with a time of 21:33.3.  A pair of Vikings finished back to back with Chloe Greig (FR/Bettendorf, IA) and Megan Smoldt (FR/Ankeny, IA) crossing the finish line in 44th and 45th place.  Allie Flaws (SR/Webster City, IA) crossed the finish line in 60th place overall with a time of 22:55.4.  Rounding out the top 5 finishers for the Vikings is Paige Thompson (FR/Sigourney, IA) in 68th place.


Jo McKibbe-Mapleton-Morningside, Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside and  Conner Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Iowans Propel Mustangs at GPAC

Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside ©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Peaking at the right time was the order of the day during a mild early November afternoon at Dordt University Saturday, Nov. 9.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo:  Jo McKibbe-Mapleton-Morningside, Emalee Fundermann-Anthon-Morningside and Conner Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside©Mustangs Athletics 2019


With the opportunity for individual and team honors as well as advancement to the 2019 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Championships Friday, Nov. 22, head coach David Nash‘s Morningside College men’s and women’s cross-country teams put the pedal to the metal on the DU course. As the dust settled, the Mustangs found themselves tacking another year of successive first five team finishes. For the men, who’s 102-point total eased them past Northwestern College for third and finished behind the host Defenders (28) and Doane University (44), it was good for an 11th straight residence, and the women, cracking the top four with 119 points, doing so for the fifth straight season.

“Overall, we’re so happy (with what occurred),” Nash said. “Being honest, there was a time, for the men, where we didn’t know what might happen in the team standings as one of the guys was out sick, but they dug deep and when we heard we were third, we went crazy. It’s somewhat uncharted territory for us to finish that high, so there was a reason for celebration.

The women were just as impressive, as you had Jo, who was only running 100s and 200s in track, continuing to drop her lifetime best and Emmalee who struggled a little last season but has worked really hard through the summer and fall and had another strong race today,” he added. “The entire day was just a lot of fun.”

Individually, the Maroon managed to punch at least three tickets to the Fort Vancouver Historic Site in Washington state for the national meet. The potential for a fourth hangs in the balance with the official field announcement Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The women’s tandem of senior Emmalee Fundermann (Anthon, Iowa) and sophomore Jo McKibben (SO/Mapleton, IA) (Mapleton, Iowa) continued their impressive season strides by each winding up in the best 10. McKibben took seventh, taking the proverbial sledgehammer to her previous season-best by over 22 seconds (19:10.6 – 19:32.8 at Mount Marty Oct. 26), while Fundermann crossed the line one place behind her hometown friend in eighth, dropping six seconds off her previous top 2019 mark (19:15.2 – 19:21.5) which occurred during the regular season Dordt meet.

Connor Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside  ©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Connor Ritz-Sioux City-Morningside
©Mustangs Athletics 2019

Mside’s men were led by junior Ro Paschal (JR/Mancos, Colo.) (Mancos, Colo.). He clocked a 25:40.7, good for fifth, to take more than 11 seconds off his 25:51.9 at DU early last month. Fellow Class of 2021 member Connor Ritz (JR/Sioux City, IA), a Sioux City native, also etched himself into the top 10, running to a 25:48.4 to place ninth and obliterate his previous season-low mark of 26:14 flat by almost 26 seconds.

Digging deeper, junior Zach Ambrose (JR/Dunlap, IA) (Dunlap, Iowa) made it three in the first 20 (26:26.09). Morningside’s women wound up with three in the top 30, as senior Alex George (Seward, Neb.) ended 28th (19:52.88).

Dordt Women's Cross Country
©Defenders 2019

Wensink Leads Defenders at GPAC Championships

Sara Wensink-Sioux Center-Dordt ©Defenders Athletics 2018

Sara Wensink-Sioux Center-Dordt
©Defenders Athletics 2018

The Dordt Defender women’s cross country team finished second in GPAC Championship run in Sioux Center on Saturday morning, November 9.

Dordt totaled 48 points while Concordia had 39 to win the title.

Courtesy Defenders Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Dordt Women’s Cross Country©Defenders 2019


The Defenders were led by Olivia Couch and Sarah Wensink who finished first and third with times of 18:20 and 18:44.  Eden Winslow finished sixth in 19:09.  All three earned all-GPAC honors for their performances.

Jordan Bos and Brenna Tolkamp completed Dordt’s scoring with 17th and 21st place finishes in respective times of 19:30 and 19:39.


Olivia Couch 1st/18:20

Sarah Wensink 3rd/18:44

Eden Winslow 6th/19:09

Jordan Bos 17th/19:30

Brenna Tolkamp 21st/19:39

Mary Kate Postma 24th/19:48

Annika Brands 38th/20:16


Olivia Couch is the fourth Dordt women’s runner to claim an individual title as she joins Jen Kempers (2008), Michelle Steiger (2010) and Annecheina Knevelbaard (2018)  in the elite group.


“The Defender women ran a great race today.  Having three ladies in the top six and the individual conference champion in Olivia Couch was a solid conference result.  Winning the individual championship is a great accomplishment for Olivia and one that she has pursued over her four year career.  As a freshman she did not compete on our conference team, but through steady and diligent training and finished All Conference three times and finished higher and higher at the conference meet each year, culminating with this win.”


The Dordt women will secure a berth in the NAIA National Championship in Vancouver, Washington if they remain the top-30 of the NAIA Poll released early next week.  Dordt was 22nd in the most recent polling.  The National Championship meet will be run on November 22.

James Plummer-GVU
©Doug Wells 2019

Vikings Strong Showing at Nationals

Amara Taylor-Cedar Rapids-GVU @Doug Wells 2018

Amara Taylor-Cedar Rapids-GVU
@Doug Wells 2018

The final day of the 2019 Indoor Track and Field National Championships took place on Saturday, March 2nd.  The Vikings had a strong showing on the third and final day of the meet.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here! Feature photo: James Plummer-GVU©Doug Wells 2019


James Plummer (SR/Columbia, South Carolina) competed in the shot put finals on Saturday, taking home 4th place and an All-American honor.  His national championship in the weight throw and his 4th place finish in the shot put was good enough to earn Plummer NAIA “Outstanding Male Athlete” at the Indoor National Championships.

Amara Taylor (SO/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) finished in 7th place in the 60m Hurdles finals.  That finish was good enough for Taylor to garner All-American honors with a time of 8.88 seconds

Women’s Final Standings…

Rank-Team-Total Points
1 Wayland Baptist 83
2 Southern-NO 63
3 Indiana Tech 54
4 Doane 32
5 Oklahoma City 28
5 Point Park 28
7 Oregon Tech 25
8 Judson 24
9 Concordia (Neb.) 23.5
10 SCAD Atlanta 23
11 Cornerstone 19
11 Spring Arbor 19
11 Taylor 19
14 Aquinas 17.5
15 Hastings 17
16 Dakota Wesleyan 16
16 Life 16
18 Eastern Oregon 15
18 Westmont 15
20 Grand View 14
21 Friends 13
21 Lewis-Clark 13
21 McPherson 13
24 Bethel (Ind.) 12
24 Graceland 12
24 Union (Ky.) 12

Men’s Final Standings…

Rank-Team-Total Points


If you would like to view complete results from the meet, please click here.

What’s Next?

The Vikings will take a few weeks off from competition before beginning the outdoor season.  The outdoor season will begin with a home meet, the Grand View Invitational that will take place on Saturday, March 23rd.  Events will begin at 11:00 am at Williams Stadium.