posted May 29, 2004

Hope Has Two Track All-Americans

Two Hope tracksters achieved NCAA All-America honors at the Division III championships held May 27-29 in Decatur, Ill.

Freshman Jennifer VanderMeer of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS) finished second in the women's pole vault (12-2 1/2) while sophomore Jeff Weber of Grandville, Mich. (Grandville HS) was seventh in the 1,500-meter run (3:53.10.

In an amazing accomplishment for the conference to which Hope belongs, athletes from the MIAA captured three of the top four places in women's pole vault competition. Adrian sophomore Amanda Haines won the event's gold medal, clearing 12 feet, 8 1/4 inches, Vandermeer finished second with a school-record height and Calvin sophomore Missy Smith tied for fourth (11 feet, 8 1/4 inches).

VanderMeer becomes Hope's second female track and field silver medalist. In 1989 Mary Busscher finished second in the shotput.

Weber entered the national meet seeded ninth in the 16 runner field. He advanced to the finals by finishing 12th in the trials. He becomes the first Hope All-American in the 1,500 and the eighth male All-American alltime.

A career-best time by freshman Aaron Kenemer of Zeeland (Zeeland HS) was not quite good enough as he finished 12th among the 16 runners in the 800-meter run. The difference between his time (1:51.97) and the fifth qualifier for Saturday's finals was six-tenths of a second. Kenemer entered the championships seeded 14th with a season-best time of 1:52.35.He was only eleven one-hundredths of a second off the alltime Hope mark (1:51.86).

Ryan Terlouw, a freshman from Pella, Iowa (Pella HS), just missed advancing to the 1,500-meter finals as he placed 13th (3:55.54) in the trials while senior Christy Watkin of Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa HS) did not advance to the finals in the long jump. After fouling on her first two jumps, she cleared 16 feet, 3 inches

The Flying Dutch garnered eight points to finish 30th among 76 teams scoring points in the women's meet. The Flying Dutchmen tied for 65th among 77 teams in the men's meet with two points.

Athletes from MIAA member colleges recorded 21 All-American performances, including two national champions -- Amanda Haines of Adrian in the women's pole vault and Nicholas Morgan of Albion in the men's 110-meter high hurdles.