Senior Highlight: Pieter Top

Hunter Sipe, Staff Writer

Originating from Wilsonville, Oregon, Pieter Top has been one of the most impactful track athletes in Westmont history. Before his senior year was cut short, we were expecting another breakout season for him.

After hearing the news about the season cancellation, Top says, “Before this season even began, I started to think about my track career, and whether I was chasing after anything else. I realized that, if I was injured or something happened, that I would be content with how my track career had gone.”

He continued, “Obviously I had no idea that COVID-19 would actually make that happen, but I am still content. That being said, having the time with my teammates and coaches ripped away like that was very hard. My best memories aren’t of winning or finishing first, they are of hanging out with my friends.” 

Last season, Top repeated his National Outdoor title with a score of 7,080. Not only did he defend the title, but he broke his previous score from last season. He was also named the USTFCCCA Indoor Far West Region Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

Pieter is extremely thankful to be able to represent Westmont, and he reflects on Westmont athletics by saying, “One thing I can say about my time on the Westmont [t]rack and [f]ield team is it took the attention from myself and into who we, as a group of men and women, are becoming. College is a time of finding out who you are going to be in life and Coach Russell Smelley does an incredible job of creating a culture of servant leadership and integrity.” 

“Everywhere we go as a team, other teams ask us why we all enjoy hanging out, and why a thrower and a distance runner are laughing and joking together. I think the reason is we don’t see each other as athletes first and foremost, but a family that is growing together. I can say I’ve seen similar cultures around me at Westmont and will always be proud of being a Westmont Warrior.”

Top has proven he is a true Westmont student athlete, and will continue to do great things. 

While reflecting on his hopes for this season, Top says, “I would say I was most looking forward to one last GSAC championship, watching my friends and cheering them on. I was looking forward to one last trip to Gulf Shores to suffer in the heat, but know I was being cheered on by my teammates. Those are the moments I am going to miss.”

Top will continue his winning ways wherever his path takes him. He has been a great leader to other athletes on the track and field team and is going to be missed dearly. He has not only made an impact on the record book, but has left a positive impact onto the program as a whole.