posted May 23, 2011

Hope Qualifies Four for Track & Field Nationals

Four Hope athletes are headed to the NCAA Division III track and field championships next weekend (May 26-28) in Delaware, Ohio. The field of competitors for the men's and women's championships was determined on Sunday from a pool of automatic and provisional qualifiers.

* Senior Nick Rinck of Hudsonville (Hudsonville HS) is an automatic qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles. Competing at nationals for the first time, Rinck will be seeded fifth (:52.54) among the 19 qualifiers. Champion of the event at the MIAA championships for a fourth consecutive year this spring, Rinck's qualifying time is also the Hope record.

* Senior John Donkersloot of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS) will be competing at nationals in the high jump for a fourth consecutive year. He is a two-time NCAA All-American having finished third at nationals as both a sophomore (6-10 1/4) and junior (6-10 1/4). As a freshman he placed ninth (6-6). He will be seeded fourth (6-10 3/4) among the 20 competititors.

* Senior Kara Vande Guchte of Hamilton (Hamilton HS) will be seeking to repeat as an All-American in the seven-event heptathlon. A year ago the versatile two-sport athlete won the bronze medal at nationals in the event. She was 20th as a sophomore. She is seeded 12th (4,438 points) among 22 competitors. A year ago she was seeded 16th and went on to finish third.

* Sophomore Sarah Venlet of Zeeland (Holland Christian HS) will compete at nationals for the second straight year in the 400-meter hurdles. She is seeded 22nd among 23 qualifiers. Her time of 1:02.66 is a Hope record.