By Lenny Padilla
Hayley Scollard said she was out of breath after she cross the finish line of the 400-meter hurdles and had no idea who won.
"I thought I got second," the freshman from Traverse City, Michigan (T.C. Central) said with a laugh. "I didn't realize I'd won until people were coming up to you me saying 'You're conference champ!' And I'm like "what?!
"I was like 'no way' because I've never beat Hailey (Pickelheimer). I've been trying to get her all year in practice. It was so close."
Scollard led a group of four Flying Dutch runners who topped the field in the race on Friday at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Field Day at Brewer Track.
The entire Hope team was dominant as well, collectively posting a first-place performance of 189 points that was 73 points ahead of the nearest competitor.
Photo by Lynne Powe
The Flying Dutch claimed their second consecutive outdoor MIAA title and sixth overall.
"To win here on the home track, that was really cool," head coach coach Kevin Cole said. "It's a neat opportunity. I told them that they had a chance to do something special. And they made the most of it.
"It's hard to even pick out just one thing because they were all so good. Taking the top four places in the 400 hurdles and taking three of the top places in the 800 … those pulled us way ahead (in points)."
In the 400 hurdles, Scollard clocked a winning time of 1:08.36. She was followed by junior Hailey Pickelheimer of Powell, Ohio (Olentangy Liberty) in second at 1:08.40, senior Allison VanderStoep of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa) in third at 1:09.22 and Sophie Hall of Holt, Michigan (Haslett) in fourth at 1:09.26).
Hope dominated the 800 meters, too. Chelsea Miskelley, a junior from Holland, Michigan (Black River) won the event in 2:17.28. She was followed by Sally Hansma of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Jenison) in third place at 2:19.20 and Emily Jackson of Grayling, Michigan (Grayling) in fourth at 2:23.08.
The Flying Dutch won the 1,600 meter relay, blowing away the competition with a time of 4:05.89 and winning by five seconds. The team was made up of Nicole Kruithof of Byron Center, Michigan (South Christian), VanderStoep, Hansma and Miskelley.
The high jump ended up being a battle of three Hope College teammates as well.
Addyson Gerig and Allison VanderStoep each had a jump of 5 feet (1.53 meters), but Gerig converted on her first attempt and VanderStoep on her second to give Gerig the title for the second time in row.
Hannah Bredeweg of Zionsville, Indiana (Zionsville) finished tied for third with a leap of 4-9 (1.45m).
"Ally and I were the last two left, so then it was just fun and that helped me jump better," said Gerig, a junior from Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa). "There was no pressure. I cleared on my first attempt and she cleared on her second. I beat her by a miss. But it was still fun."
VanderStoep didn't mind the second-place finish.
"We just kind of feed off each other," she said of Gerig. "She pushes me a lot and sets the bar for me."
Gerig also finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 34-5 (10.50m).
"It was good," said Gerig, who has battled foot injuries. "It was an outdoor PR, so that's exciting. I got edged out of second by like 0.02. So I could have gotten it. But with the way my body's been feeling, i'm very happy with that."
VanderStoep had a strong day all around. She finished second in the 400 meters (1:01.01), third in the 400 hurdles (1:09.22) and third in the 400 relay (50.39) and first in the 1,600 relay (4:05.89).
"We swept it," VanderStoep said of the 400 hurdles. "That was great. We have a great 400 squad. I felt pretty good in that race, actually. Usually I don't run the open 400, I just do the 400 hurdles."
It has been a very busy week for VanderStoep and the other seniors on the track team. Graduation is on Sunday.
"It's a lot of big stuff happening at once," she said. "It's a little overwhelming. I'm trying to enjoy every moment."
Mitchel Achien'g, a junior from Nairobi, Kenya (Kisumu) won the 100 hurdles (15.75), took second in the long jump (17-5 / 5.32m), finished third in the 400 relay (50.39) and placed fifth in the triple jump (30-3 / 10.45m).
"I felt good because, during the indoor season, I finished fourth," Achien'g said of the hurdles. "It was a close race today, so winning it today makes me happy."
Emily Tyner of Ann Arbor, Michigan (Skyline) took second in the javelin with a toss of 114-3 (34.82m).
The 400 relay team finished third in 50.39 seconds. It comprised of Hannah Huizen of Jenison, Michigan (Jenison), VanderStoep, freshman Brenna Bastien of West Olive, Michigan (Allendale) and Achien'g.
In the 1,500 meters, Kelly Peregrine of Traverse City, Michigan (T.C. Central) came in fourth at 4:46.56. Jacinda Cole of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa) was fifth at 4:51.41, while Anna Frazee was sixth at 4:55.73.
Jenna Breuker was strong in the throws. The freshman from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Forest Hills Eastern) was third in the hammer throw with a toss of 141-08 (43.19m) and was fourth in the shot put of 38-9 (11.82m).
Other top Hope performances include: Kruithof in fourth in the 400 at 1:01.35 and Huizen sixth in the 100 hurdles at 16.64.