Women's Track/Field Wins Four Events, Finishes Runner-Up At MIAA Indoor Championships

Addyson Gerig posing for a headshot Mitchel Achien'g poses for a portrait By Lenny Padilla

Addyson Gerig had a bag of ice taped to her left ankle after her events were done. She wasn't about to let an ankle sprain from keeping her from a big day at the track.

The junior from Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS) won the high jump and finished third in the triple jump to help the Hope College women finish second with 141 points at the MIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday, which were held at Aquinas College.

The Flying Dutch, who finished only behind Trine University, claimed titles in two individual events and two relays.

"I felt pretty good," Gerig, pictured right, said of a 1.56-meter leap in the high jump. "A really good confidence boost."

Hope took all three spots in the high jump. Allison VanderStoep (Holland, Michigan/West Ottawa) placed second in 1.50 meters and Hannah Bredeweg (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville HS) was third with a leap of 1.45.

"I didn't know we got 1-2-3," said Gerig, a junior from Holland (West Ottawa HS). "But when I found out on the podium, I was so excited."

Head coach Kevin Cole said he was pleased with the women's team, especially the jumps.

"Addy had a really great day," Cole said of Gerig. "Her high jump was awesome and she had a great triple jump in there. She was doing three events at the same time. So she was busy."

Gerig finished third in the triple jump in 10.48 meters. She also competed in the high jump and 60 meter hurdles.

Junior Mitchel Achien'g of Nairobi, Kenya (Kisumu HS), pictured left, had never done the triple jump in her career until Wednesday. On Saturday, she won that event and set the school indoor record with a leap of 10.75 meters.

"She's an amazing athlete," Cole said. "She asked me on Wednesday if she could do it. I was hesitant, but she talked me into it and I'm glad she did. Sometimes it's better to be lucky."

Achien'g wasn't even sure what the triple jump was before coming to the United States from Kenya.

"I think, maybe it's like … when I was a kid, we used to play 'hop, skip and jump', so maybe that helped me today," Achien'g said.

She just shrugged her shoulders like setting school records happens every day.

"It's the first time," she said. "I don't know, I guess I just jumped. My coach me told me what to do and that's what I did."

Cole is still shocked at Achien'g's raw talent.

"She never did track before she got to college," he said. "So everything she's doing, it's kind of new to her. Last year, she did the heptathlon. So she can just pick up events and learn them. She played field hockey in Kenya."

Achien'g also finished third in the long jump with a leap of 5.30 meters.

The Flying Dutch also won the distance medley relay. The team of Avery Lowe (Muskegon, Michigan/North Muskegon), Chelsea Miskelley (Holland, Michigan/Black River), Hannah Kenny (Grand Haven, Michigan/Grand Haven) and Kelly Peregrine (Traverse City, Michigan/T.C. Central) won with a time of in 13:12.78. 

Hope won the final relay of the day - the 4x400 - in 4:12.21 with the team of Nicole Kruithof (Byron Center, Michigan South Christian), VanderStoep, Sally Hansma (Grand Rapids, Michigan/Jenison) and Miskelley.

Kruithof was also second in the 400 (1:02.11) and Anna Frazee (Watervliet/homeschool) was second in the 3,000 meters (10:37.22).

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