by Alan Babbitt
Addyson Gerig relishes the opportunity to jump. High jump and triple jump in particular.
The senior for the Hope College women's indoor track and field team leaps into the opportunity with open arms.
"High jump and triple jump are my favorites," Gerig said. "High jump is just such a weird concept to me — that bending backwards over a bar and it looks athletic. The triple jump, there's a rhythm to it. I like to listen to people hitting their jumps and getting excited."
Gerig's next opportunity to jump will be Saturday, February 29 at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Trine University. The one-day meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
The two-time, All-MIAA honoree in indoor track and field is seeking to repeat as MIAA champion in the high jump. She shares the MIAA indoor record in the event at 1.56 meters (5 feet, 1 ¼ inches).
This season, Gerig has recorded the MIAA's top high jump of 1.56 meters (5 feet, 1 ¼ inches).
In the triple jump, Gerig has posted the third-best performance at 10.59 meters (34-9). She trails only teammate Mitchel Achien'g (11.03 meters, 36-2 2/14) and Albion College's Cianna Brown (10.6 meters, 34-9 ½).
In the long jump, Gerig also ranks eighth at 4.87 meters (15-11 3/4).
Gerig also plans to compete in the 60-meter hurdles. She owns the MIAA"s seventh-fastest time in the event this season at 10.11 seconds.
"Going into it with confidence is key for me," Gerig said. "Staying focused on myself and knowing what I can do because I do it in practice."
When she is not competing for the Flying Dutch, Gerig is preparing herself for a career in elementary education with a concentration on science.
"I've loved my time at Hope," Gerig said. "I came in as a freshman kind of afraid of everything. I didn't want to do track because I was like 'You people are better than me.' I don't belong here. Looking back on my four years, I think Hope has transformed me into the person I knew could be, but also the person I did not know how to become. Faith has been huge, just being part of team Bible studies, campus ministries.
"The competitive side of it made me realize how much I love sport and how sport can bring people together. I have created lifelong friends. I'm very blessed. Hope gave me the confidence to see myself fully and became the person I've always wanted to be. I'm still working on that, I'm obviously not perfect, but Hope has definitely given me the tools."