On the morning of April 8, 2017, multiple teams from the Crossroads League raced against each other at HU’s King’s Track and Field Stadium.
While outdoor track has individual events, it is considered a team sport. One HU student, Clayton Kregel, listed as an independent runner as the result of a dare.
Kregel’s roommate, Codi Wiersema, is an HU track runner and frequently told Kregel how easily he though Kregel would be able to beat others he ran against. They laughed about how funny it would be for everyone to see Kregel participating.
“Codi and I were just joking around at first,” Kregel said, “but somehow, it lead me to actually signing up for the race and competing.”
One person found out about this, and word spread across campus. With the pressure of performing lingering over Kregel, he signed up as an independent and agreed to pay the fine to race.
The only prep that Kregel did for the race happened the night before the meet. He met up with his roommate at King’s Track and did a few laps. The next day, Kregel said he was definitely unprepared.
“I remember going up to the start, and all the other people had blocks and were stretching,” Kregel said. “So I just started doing jumping jacks.”
After one false start, the race began, and Kregel was in the back of the pack. He said he was really disappointed with himself and that he didn’t want to end up last, but had no idea how to pace himself.
“Yeah, it was probably the worst few seconds of my life,” he said.
Just a few weeks ago, Kregel tweeted that he would not be racing this year. This generated a negative response on his Twitter feed, which influenced his final decision to sign up for the same race this year, where he will once again be competing as an individual runner.