The fastest 4x100-meter relay in Hope College men’s track & field history is the first All-American one as well.
The Flying Dutchmen earned NCAA Division III All-America honors by clocking an eighth-place time of 41.70 seconds Saturday in Waverly, Iowa.
Senior Dion Goliday of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge HS) led off the relay. He was followed by freshman Justin Freeman of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS), junior Matt Pelyhes of Augusta, Michigan (Gull Lake HS) and senior Boone Marois of Traverse City, Michigan (Central HS).
“It’s a dream come true, what we’ve been working since day one,” Marois said. “My freshman year, I started on the 4x100 relay, and the goal was to get nationals. We went my freshman year, but we’ve been fighting every since. This year, everything came together.
“To accomplish this is really cool, especially for a couple of us being seniors.”
Hope’s 4x100 relay set the school record of 41.33 seconds at an April meet at Grand Valley State University.
“They really wanted to be All-Americans,” Hope coach Kevin Cole said. “They really came together at the end of the season. Their first goal was to get to nationals, then to be All-Americans. Everything just came together really well for them.”
Cole said the relay members have been focused on staying sharp on handoffs since they clocked a time they thought would qualify the Flying Dutchmen for nationals.
“They worked hard making sure they got the handoffs down every time,” Cole said. “By that time, we did all the training we could. It was just trying to keep them on top of their game until the end of the season.”
Hope College’s Nicholas Salomon set his own pace for the 800-meter preliminaries at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and gave himself a Top-10 finish.
The junior from Troy, Michigan (Detroit Jesuit HS) rose from 20th seed to a 10th-place time of 1 minute, 51.85 seconds on Friday in Waverly, Iowa.
Salomon came within two places of qualifying for Saturday’s final.
Cole said Salomon ran a really good race.
“He was smart. We went out a little slower than everyone else, but finished strong,”
Cole said. “He was really moving up the field.”
Photo of Dion Goliday by D3Photography