2013 Season Outlook
The track and field programs have been competitive in the past few years and the 2013 season will not be an exception. The method to their success will take an adjusted approach this year as both the women’s and men’s team will look for points from a more varied list of events and from a wider range of individuals.
The success of last season included a number of quality performances that made their way into the records book as well as to the national championships. In 2012 the teams had eight indoor and five outdoor NCCAA All-Americans and, for the first time in Trinity’s history, a NAIA All-American. The number of NAIA national qualifiers continued to increase with three individuals for the indoor championships and eight for the outdoor championships as well as a women’s and men’s relay team in each of those national events. In addition, the teams set a total of 34 new school marks during the indoor and outdoor seasons. Both the women’s and the men’s teams also finished in the top three at the CCAC Championships.
“Over the past few years we have raised the bar as to what is expected,” said third-year coach Bob Brickman. “This season we plan on continuing in that trend and keeping our standards high.”
While the goals and objectives remain the same for this season, the approach will be slightly different. Over the past few years the roster size has been increasing with nearly a total of 50 student-athletes in 2012. This season the rosters for both the women and men are not as extensive with 16 participants on the women’s slate and 13 for the men. In addition, previously the teams have typically relied on a couple of areas in which they were strong and deep. This season their roster is more diverse in talent and will score points in a wider variety of events.
“Even though our roster size is smaller this year, we will use that to our advantage,” commented Brickman. “We will all pull together and utilize the variety of talent we have in a more well-rounded approach. I expect we will create a close knit group that will provide sense of team cohesiveness and determination.”
The teams will be looking to new personnel and new events to emerge in prominent positions, but are not without their veterans as well. The women’s team returns nine athletes of which four were NCCAA All-Americans as well as NAIA national qualifiers a year ago. In that returning group are also five school record holders in 14 different events. The men’s team has seven returners on the squad and three of those qualified for the NAIA championships last year and two earned NCCAA All-American honors. In addition four of them are in the record books in 16 different events.
“We have a handful of proven athletes who we will depend on for quality performances and for leadership,” said Brickman “However we will also look to new personnel to make an immediate impact. While we may not have that ‘sure thing’ in a number of events, we will look to a variety of athletes to contribute and will be able to score in more events.”
The women’s team is fairly young, but has a good blend of athletes that will be able to fill more events than in the past. With the exception of a couple of individuals, they do not have the standouts who will consistently place near the top in events, but they do have a number of athletes who can perform well in multiple events. Overall the athletes on the roster are well-rounded and will compete in more than one event and fill in where needed, thus making the team better overall.
Areas of strength for the Trolls will be middle distance to distance events, where the majority of the veterans return. Sophomore Anna Bos (Rockford, Michigan) rose to the top last year as a freshman and again, after another successful cross country season, will lead the team in the distance races this year. Last spring she became Trinity’s first NAIA All-American with her eighth place finish in the 3,000 meter at the indoor championships. She also qualified as a part of the indoor distance medley relay team and as well as in the 10,000 meter in outdoor competition. Bos earned NCCAA All-American honors in three events and holds five Trinity records.
Senior Hannah Schaap (Mahomet, Illinois) is the school record-holder, as well as CCAC champion, NCCAA All-American, and NAIA qualifier, in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. In addition she has been a part of national qualifying relay teams for the past two seasons and ranks in the top five in Trinity’s records in number of middle distance to distance events. Joining Schaap in the middle distances is junior Justine VanDyk (Tinley Park, Illinois), who was also a member of the national qualifying distance medley and 4 x 800 meter relay teams a year ago. In addition to her vital role on the relay squads for the past two seasons, she has experience in middle distance races, the hurdle events, and the triple jump.
The distance races will be strengthened by a group of experienced athletes. Junior Hannah Schwab (Pella, Iowa) has run distances anywhere from 800 to 3,000 meters and is coming off a strong cross country season. Sophomore Kasey Zaremba (Frankfort, Illinois), who competed in the 3,000 and 5,000 meter last year, along with freshmen Jessica Disselkoen (Walker, Michigan) and Leah VanTol (Rock Valley, Iowa) all have cross country experience that will translate onto the track.
In the shorter races the Trolls make some gains in personnel. Leading the group is senior Keishera Smith (Chicago, Illinois), who is a returning member of the NAIA qualifying distance medley relay team and has placed in post-season competition in the 400 meter, and 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relays, and holds records in those relays. Joining her will be a group of freshmen who will compete in a variety of events. Emily Dykstra (Lansing, Illinois) is a well-rounded athlete who will participate in the sprints and hurdle races, as well as in the jumps. Brooke Hamilton (Gallup, New Mexico), who is a high school state champion 300 meter hurdler, will specialize in the hurdle races, but can also compete in other sprints. Nicki Jager (Grand Rapids, Michigan) also has experience in the hurdles and will fill a new role on the team as she competes in the pole vault.
The team will be more active in the field events this year and will look to pick up scoring in a larger variety of areas. The group of throwers is not a deep as it has been in the past with only three individuals competing in those events. The veteran and leader of the group is senior Carly Lerner (Oak Lawn, Illinois) who holds school indoor records in the shot put (38-00.75) and weight throw (46-09) and an outdoor record in the hammer throw (140-00). Sophomore Sarah Nix (Colorado Springs, Colorado) gained experience last season in a variety of areas and freshman Olivia Schipper (Zeeland, Michigan) will add new talent in the outdoor competition after she completes her season with the women’s basketball team.
In the other field events the Trolls make the most gains in the horizontal jumps. Sophomore Courtney Samudio (Surprise, Arizona), who is also a member of Trinity’s volleyball team, joins the team this season. She is a high school state champion triple and long jumper and can also help out in the sprints. Emily Dykstra also has high school experience in the jumps and Justine VanDyk competes as a triple jumper. Sophomore Rebecca Kuipers (Grandville, Michigan) returns to specialize in the high jump, an event that Hannah Schaap has also had success at.
The men’s program has significant change from last season. With last spring’s graduation of a strong core of seniors, plus the early graduation of a handful of juniors, the current squad is left with only 13 members without any seniors. Despite the shift in personnel, the team returns a handful of their top athletes and will be more diversified. They will look for scoring and improvements in different areas and will not depend on a few individuals to pull them through. They will be able to field strong leaders in all areas and are encouraged that any gains they make this year will benefit them next year as well.
The Trolls have always relied on a deep group of athletes in the middle to distance events. This year the number of runners in those distances has noticeably been reduced. Returning as a top performer is middle distance runner junior Andy Reidsma (Wyoming, Michigan), who holds four indoor and three outdoor school records. Last season he was a member of two NAIA qualifying relay teams as well as an individual qualifier in the 800 meter and earned NCCAA All-American honors. In addition he is coming off a cross country season in which he qualified for the NAIA championship and received All-American status. Junior Chris Koutavas (Orland Park, Illinois) is an experience distance runner who in the past two seasons has covered distances from the 1500 meters to the marathon, an event he qualified in for the 2012 NAIA championships. Adding to the middle to distance races will be sophomore Jason Van Deraa (Crete, Illinois) and freshman Michael Potter (Kentwood, Michigan), who both finished their first season of cross country competition, and newcomer sophomore Mark Bohdan (Lockport, Illinois).
The group of sprinters also experience changes from last year, but remain strong in number. With the addition of some incoming runners this group may make more of an overall team impact and can field more relay events. Leading the group is sophomore Marcus Devers (Lynwood, Illinois), a NAIA qualifier, NCCAA All-American and school record (48.26) in the 400 meter. In addition he was a member of the indoor national qualifying distance medley relay team and holds five more records at Trinity. Also returning is junior Chris Morse (Litchfield, Connecticut), who competed in the indoor season, but missed the outdoor competition last year. He has experience in the sprint relays and the short dashes.
Added to the sprinters are three new freshmen. Caleb Fredrickson (Pella, Iowa) will compete in the 100 and 200 meters, Caleb Dutton (Lafayette, Indiana) is a versatile athlete who will ran the short races, and Matthew Schaap (Mahomet, Illinois) provides the team with a hurdler as well as another 200 to 400 meter runner.
In addition to the sprint races Devers and Dutton will participate in the horizontal jumping events as well. Last season Devers set the school indoor record in the long jump, took third at the conference championships, and finished sixth at the NCCAA Indoor Championships. Dutton will miss the indoor season due his participation on the men’s basketball team, but will look to contribute in the outdoor season.
The team brings back a fair amount of experience in the throwing events with three returning athletes. Heading up that group is junior Jon DeYoung (South Holland, Illinois), who placed in the shot put, discus, and javelin at the conference championships a year ago and holds the school record in shot put at 46-04. Junior Jimmy Burns and (Crestwood, Illinois) and sophomore Joseph Keller (Momence, Illinois) are both versatile throwers who can compete in multiple events. Last season they both finished in the top five in the javelin at the conference championships.
The teams will start their indoor season on January 26 at Indiana Wesleyan University. They will compete in a total of four indoor meets, including a return to the Chicagoland Championships in the second weekend of February. The athletes that reach qualifying standards will participate in the NCCAA Championships on February 15-16 and the NAIA Championships on February 28-March 2. The outdoor season for the Trolls begins at the end of March and consists of meets at Goshen College (Indiana), Huntington University (Indiana), Benedictine University (Lisle, Illinois), Hillsdale College (Michigan), and North Central College (Naperville, Illinois). The CCAC Championships will be hosted by the University of St. Francis on April 20. Post-season completion includes the NCCAA Championships in Joliet, Illinois on May 2-4 and the NAIA Championships in Marion, Indiana on May 23-25.