Calvin Women's Track and Field Trio Compete at NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Calvin Women's Track and Field Trio Compete at NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships

(Photo courtesy of Robert Lee)

GENEVA, Oh. - A trio of Calvin College track and field athletes compete on Thursday at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Seniors Michaela Meckes (Bay City, Mich./Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) and Lauren Strohbehn (Stillwater, MN/St. Croix Preparatory HS) concluded their collegiate careers Thursday with Meckes competing in the discus while Strohbehn ran in the 10,000 meters. Meanwhile sophomore Katie Diekema (Kenmore, Wash./Inglemoor HS) made her track and field debut at the national meet.

Meckes concluded a long-standing Calvin family tradition in track and field Thursday as she finished 10th in the discus with a throw of 139-1. In competing in the discus, she became the fourth member of her immediate family to reach the national meet as older brothers Aaron Meckes (2003-2006), Josh Meckes (2006-2007) and Aaron Meckes (2012) had previously done so.

Meckes fouled on her first two attempts on Thursday and then threw 139-1 on her third toss to come up three feet short of advancing to the finals.
"I'm proud of Michaela," said Calvin throwing coach Katie Dean. "Her big goal this year was to make it to nationals and she has worked very hard to reach that goal. She has been a part of a wonderful family legacy and we are very grateful that the Calvin track and field program has been a part of it."

Strohbehn competed in the 10,000 meter run Thursday morning and placed 17th with a time of 37:16.45 after entering the race seeded 20th.

"Lauren ran well," said Calvin distance coach Brian Diemer. "She has had to battle through some things this year to get back to the national meet but she did and did so with grit and determination. She ran in a very talented field of runners.  She can hold her head high as she completes her career as a collegiate runner."

Diekema competed in the 1500 meters and placed 15th in the prelims with a time of 4:36.35 after entering the race seeded 19th.

Diekema did not advance to Saturday's finals but her performance on Thursday was a strong one according to Diemer. "Katie ran a very strong race, particularly at her first national (track and field) meet," said Diemer. "There are some outstanding athletes in the 1500 meters this year. The national meet continues to get faster but Katie showed she belonged."

Scheduled to compete for Calvin on Friday is junior Jenna Dyksen in the prelims of the 100 meter hurdles.