Senior Day Tribute: Men’s Track and Field

On Thursday, May 6 with the start of MIAA Field Day at the Alma College, the Hope College men’s track and field team will pay tribute to its 10 graduating seniors. Since the squad did not have a home meet this year to celebrate those seniors, they are honored here by their coaches.

Andrew Althouse

Andrew Althouse — Hometown: Ludington, Michigan (Ludington HS); Major: Business

“As a two-sport student-athlete (he plays football too), Drew has done a nice job balancing the demands of athletics and school in his schedule.  This is the first year on the track and field team, but he’s been absolutely coachable and ready to make any changes needed to improve his technique.  His physical stature may be what you first notice about him, but it’s been his work ethic that has allowed him to keep finding improvements in his personal records.  Drew has been an awesome addition and I’m glad to have had the chance to work with him.” — Assistant Coach Paul Markel

Barry Bait

Barry Bait — Hometown: Granville, Ohio (Granville HS); Major: Biomedical/Biomechanical Engineering

“Barry has been the core of the men’s pole-vaulting squad for 4 years and has steadily improved through hard work and dedication.  He is now among the best vaulters in the conference.  Barry may also be one of the nicest guys to ever put on a Hope uniform.  He is always willing to help out coaches and other athletes and can always be counted on to be a leader.” — Head Coach Kevin Cole

Lukas Bruxvoort

Lukas Bruxvoort — Hometown: Holland, Michigan (Holland Christian HS); Major: Biology

“Lukas is a very talented athlete who has been able to out-jump almost everyone on the team since his freshman season.  His quiet intensity belies his underlying desire to be the best.  He steadily improved each year and was poised to have a great senior year with some impressive early jumps.  Unfortunately, his season was ended prematurely by an injury but he was a very important part of our jumps squad for 4 years and we will miss him next year.” — Head Coach Kevin Cole

Jacob Kelley

Jacob Kelley — Hometown: Rockford, Michigan (Rockford HS); Major: Religion – Christian History and Theology

“Jacob has really developed these past four years as a runner and a leader on the team.  He was willing to try a new event (steeplechase) and has become one of the top performers in the conference.  Hopefully he remains open to trying new things.” — Assistant Coach Mark Northuis

Jared Lowe

Jared Lowe — Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio (Wyoming HS); Major: Business

“Jared has been one of the best high jumpers in the conference since his freshman year and has also been successful in the triple jump.  Jared keeps himself very busy but still has time to be a great athlete and an excellent team-mate.  It is always fun to be around Jared and he is always willing to help out his fellow athletes.  We will miss having his laid-back, fun attitude on the jumps squad.” — Head Coach Kevin Cole

Zackary Murphy

Zackary Murphy — Hometown: Coldwater, Michigan (Coldwater HS); Major: Exercise Science

Zack is a strong leader and motivator. He gives everything he has in races and helps to bring the best out of his teammates.  I really appreciate the impact he has had these past four years in the classroom and on the course and track.” — Assistant Coach Mark Northuis

Noah Russo

Noah Russo — Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids HS); Major: Business

“From the first week working with Noah his freshman year, I would’ve bet he would be a team captain by his senior year (he made it by his junior year instead).  He shows leadership by example and by providing support, helping out with our younger throwers wherever possible.  Noah is great at building the type of camaraderie in our group that helps turn the individual events of track and field into a team experience.  Now at the end of his four years, he’s put in countless hours honing his technique and training himself to be faster, stronger, and more fit, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does at the end of the season.” — Assistant Coach Paul Markel

Brett Slayton

Brett Slayton — Hometown: Holland, Michigan (Hamilton HS); Major: Communication

“Consistency and hard work define Brett’s career.  He is a person we can depend on to lead others, give his all, and perform well where we place him.” — Assistant Coach Mark Northuis

Chris Stamatopoulos — Hometown: Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS); Major: Biomedical/Biomechanical Engineering

“Chris has been a very successful 400m hurdler for the team and after rehabbing an early injury has also become our best javelin thrower.  He is a very talented individual who sets lofty goals for himself and works hard to attain them.  He is always fun, always outspoken and always looking for ways to get better.  He has evolved into a very good leader on the team and his influence will be missed after he graduates.” — Head Coach Kevin Cole

John Vander Vliet

John Vander Vliet — Hometown: Ada, Michigan (Forest Hills Eastern HS); Majors: Public Accounting and Business

“John has been great to have on the team and enjoys the training aspects of track and field as much as anyone I’ve coached.  He’s always eager to put in extra effort in the weight room and his extra work has shown in his performances this year.  John has high expectations for himself, and with a few meets to go this year, I believe he’ll hit his goals.  Moving forward, as long as he can apply the discipline he’s shown in his training, diet, and preparations for throwing, I know he’ll be successful in whatever he does.” – Assistant Coach Paul Markel

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