The college track & field season is about to begin or has already started for many universities. This also means that many of our own athletes will be giving their all in the coming months to compete for honors. This past summer, more athletes have once again departed for America to begin their college adventure. However, a significant portion is already engaged in their next season.

In this article, we have highlighted some of these top athletes whom we believe have the potential to surprise everyone in the upcoming season.

We have full confidence in our top performers and are certain that they will shine. In this article, we introduce five of these standout athletes to you. Want to know who they are and where they’re competing? Read on to find out more.

Rafael Raap

University: University of Oregon
Division/ Conference: NCAA Division I/ PAC 12 conference

Rafael Raap left for the United States in the spring of 2023 to join the track & field team at the University of Oregon. He competes in the decathlon. It’s now time for his second American season.

In his first year, he immediately showcased his skills, securing a spot at Nationals after a successful outdoor season. He even managed to clinch a fourth-place finish there.

Currently competing as a decathlete at Oregon, I anticipate that he will deliver strong performances both indoors and outdoors, likely earning a spot at Nationals. Hopefully, he can achieve a high ranking there. We expect him to approach or even surpass the 8000-point mark in the decathlon.

Amina Maatoug

University: Duke University
Division/ Conference: NCAA Division I/ Atlantic Coast Conference

Amina departed for the United States in the summer of 2022 to embark on her adventure at Duke. An interesting fact is that Amina had already begun her bachelor’s studies here in the Netherlands.

Last year, Amina experienced a dream season, breaking multiple school records, including those in the mile and the 3000m. Additionally, she actively participated in the National Championships, achieving impressive results.

Her goal for the upcoming semester? Winning a National Championship title! We have full confidence that she may just surprise her competitors in the coming months.

Jip de Greef

University: University of Central Arkansas
Division/ Conference: NCAA Division I/ Southland Conference

Jip left for Arkansas last summer to join the track & field team at the University of Central Arkansas. Even before his move to the United States, Jip had already made a name for himself in the athletics world, becoming a national champion in the decathlon twice.

Just before his departure, Jip even participated in the European Athletics Championships. We are confident that Jip is more than ready for this step and believe that he might surprise everyone with a conference championship title. As a freshman, he might even secure a spot at Nationals.

Thomas Knoop

University: Lamar University
Division/ Conference: NCAA Division I/ Southland Conference

Thomas is also in his first year in America, but not as a freshman. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he is now pursuing a master’s degree in the United States. This summer, Thomas joined the track & field team at Lamar University, specializing in javelin throwing.

Before his move, Thomas had already won several medals at various Dutch championships and had participated in multiple international competitions. In our opinion, he is more than ready for the American adventure.

Expectations are high for Thomas to peak during the outdoor season, and achieving a new personal record of over 70 meters seems within reach. His current PR stands at 68.89m. With this performance, he could potentially become a Conference Champion and even secure a spot at Nationals.

Shantell Kwofie

University: Princeton University
Division/ Conference: NCAA Division I/ Ivy League

Just like Jip, Shantell is in her freshman year. The athlete from Princeton seems ready to make an immediate impact in her first season. Shantell was also active at the European Athletics Championships last summer before leaving Europe behind.

Expectations for the heptathlete are high, and strong performances in both the heptathlon and various individual events seem achievable for the Dutch athlete. Even the chances of a high placement in the Conference, or even securing the victory, are not unrealistic.

Of course, these are not the only athletes who will be in action in the coming months. We are confident that all our top performers will deliver outstanding results. Therefore, keep an eye on our social media channels to follow the achievements of these five athletes as well as our other competitors. We wish everyone the best of luck!

If you’re interested in combining track & field with studying in the United States, feel free to fill out this introductory form. We will gladly get in touch with you to explore your possibilities.