The Flying Dutchmen return 26 letterwinners from a 2008 team that finished second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Coach Kevin Cole begins his fourth season at the helm of the track and field program with a roster that includes 12 freshmen, 19 sophomores, 10 juniors and 11 seniors.
Co-captains of the team are senior Robert Bailey of Ogden Dunes, Ind. (Portage HS) and junior Jeff Minkus of Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard West HS).
A record number of Hope track and field athletes received All-MIAA honors in 2008 as the men's and women's teams crowned 16 conference champions. At the conference championship meet each team had its highest point total since the current point-system was initiated in 2000.
Returning All-MIAA athletes include senior Sean Bergsma (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven HS), senior Brandon Bosch (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville HS), sophomore John Donkersloot (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East HS), sophomore Cameron Lampkin (Oak Park, Mich./Berkley HS), junior Jeff Minkus (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West HS), and sophomore Nick Rinck (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville HS).
Sean Bergsma is the two-time defending MIAA champion in the high jump. Other returning MIAA champions include Brandon Bosch, long jump; Jeffrey Minkus, triple jump; and Nick Rinck, 400-meter hurdles.
Three of the team's distance runners achieved All-MIAA cross country honors last fall -- co-captain Robert Bailey, senior Paul VanderVelde of Lawrence, Kan. (Lawrence Free State HS), and junior Matt Wiersum of Minnetonka, Minn. (Minnetonka HS).
Other returning letterwinners include junior Matthew Clark (Holland, Mich./Holland HS), sophomore James Colten (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North HS), junior Bryan Dekoekkoek (Martin, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian HS), sophomore Dezmon Fulton (Southfield, Mich./Dearborn Robichaud HS), senior Forrest Gordon (Rockford, Mich./Rockford HS), junior Ryan Jara (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Norhern HS), junior Collin Kooy (Metamora, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic HS), sophomore Mickael Nunez (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic HS), junior Preston Pierson (Traverse City, Mich./TC Central HS), junior Frenk Prebvich (Adrian, Mich./Onsted HS), senior James Ralston (Holly, Mich./Fenton HS), junior Jonathan Rodriguez (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs HS), senior Chaz Shelton (Tucson, Ariz./Holland HS), junior Aaron Treiber (Auburn, Mich./Valley Lutheran HS), and junior Lucas Wolthuis (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS).