Hope College Women's Track & Field Historic Moments

Updated thru 2019 season

Track and field for women became an intercollegiate sport at Hope College in 1976. It took just five years before the Flying Dutch won their first Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship.

Sprinter Nora Kuiper '09 became Hope's first national female track and field national champion as she won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2009 NCAA Division III championships. She also finished second at nationals in the 200-meter dash. 

Erin Herrmann claimed the Flying Dutch's second national title with a winning performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 27, 2017 in Geneva, Ohio. She clocked a time in the final of 10:21.08 that was the ninth-fastest in Division III history. She later ran the fourth-fastest steeplechase time in Division III women's history by going 10:13.39 on a June 11 all-star race in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Two Hope athletes have been crowned four-time MIAA champions -- Paula Smith '86 in the long jump (1983-86) and Marcia Vandersall '93 in the 5,000 meter run (1990-93). Vandersall also achieved NCAA All-America status four times in her career, finishing sixth twice in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter run.
 
Hope's first NCAA All-American in women's track and field was Karen Gingras-Hoekstra '86 who was sixth at nationals in the javelin in 1987. Gingras-Hoekstra was also a standout basketball player who held Hope's all-time scoring record for several years.
 
Hope's best performances at nationals have been the silver medal finishes of Mary Busscher '89 in the shotput (1989) and Jennifer VanderMeer '07 in the pole vault (2004 and 2005).

As a freshman, Lindsay Lange '08 broke five school records during the 2005 season -- 200 meters, 400 meters, 100 meter hurdles, 400 meter hurdles and heptathlon. She achieved NCAA All-America honors all four years, as a freshman in 400 meters), and as a sophomore, junior and senior in heptathlon.

Jennifer Price '04 was a standout middle distance runner, winning the MIAA 800 meter title three times (2001, 2002, and 2004) and achieving NCAA All-America honors as a senior with a seventh place finish at nationals.

Pole vaulter Jennifer VanderMeer '07 became the first Hope athlete to achieve All-America honors four consecutive years -- 2004 (2nd place), 2005 (2nd place), 2006 (6th place) and 2007 (5th place).

For the first time in the history of Hope College track and field, both 2012 teams were crowned champions of the MIAA in the same season. Competing in the 121st MIAA Field Day, the Flying Dutchmen clinched their first outright men's league championship since 1986 while the Flying Dutch gained a co-championship in the women's standings for the first time since 1988. Coach Kevin Cole's Flying Dutchmen won both the league jamboree and Field Day crown to claim the outright title. It ended a string of 18 consecutive outright or co-titles by Calvin. The Flying Dutch ended Calvin's domination of women's track an1

A national qualifier four consecutive years in the 400-meter hurdles, Sarah Venlet achieved NCAA All-America honors as a senior with an eighth place finish. She improved the Hope record in the event evey year. It was 1:03.09 when she began her first year. As a freshman she went 1:03.04, as a sophomore 1:02.64, as a junior 1:02.32 and as a senior 1:01.40.

Sheri McCormack finished sixth in the nation in the 1,500 meters at the 2014 Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She became Hope's first All-American in the event. 

Indoor track & field debut as an MIAA sports in the 2015-16 school year. The Flying Dutchmen finished second in the inaugural MIAA Indoor Championships after winning league titles in four events: distance medley relay, Rachel Satkiewiecz (400 meters), Rachael Webb (800) and Erin Herrmann (3,000 meters).

The Flying Dutch claimed two All-America performances at the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in Waverly, Iowa. Erin Herrmann finished national runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Jane Pearson was sixth in the heptathlon. Herrmann was Hope's first All-American in the event.

Junior Mitchel Achien'g becamse the Flying Dutch's first indoor MIAA Most Valuable Athlete when she received the top field performer honor from the league's coaches. She set a school record in the indoor triple jump and won a MIAA title on her first try for the event.

Hope repeated as MIAA champions in outdoor track & field in 2018 and 2019 and 1981-82. The Flying Dutch claim an MIAA indoor team title in 2018 for a sweep pf cross country and track & field championships in a single school year.

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