Raider on the Radar
Our newest Raider on the Radar is Savannah Clapper, a senior thrower on the Red Raider track and field team. Clapper competed in all five regular season indoor meets this year and earned two top-five finishes in the weight throw. She placed 2nd at the Dordt Open, with a throw of 46-08.25 feet, and 4th at the Dennis Young Classic, with a throw of 45-00.25 feet. The Red Raider outdoor track and field season begins in late March.
Savannah is from Ainsworth, Nebraska, and is pursuing majors in Christian Education/Youth Ministry and Art. She will also graduate with a Christian Missions minor.
Why did you choose Northwestern?
I came to Northwestern because of the track team, but more importantly how they recruited me. When I was being recruited, the coach got to know my story, he found out that I had transferred schools my senior year of high school, and made a point of asking why I chose to do that. I told him that I knew that was where God was calling me, so I transferred to a private school, lived in dorms, and was able to openly grow in my love for God. After that the coach told me, “I want you to be a part of this team because I believe they will continue to push you and grow you in your relationship with God, and you will be able to do the same for them.” That sold me; I wanted a college and a team that recruited me because of Jesus, not because of myself.
So far, what has been the best part of your Northwestern College experience?
The people are my favorite part. I have loved living in dorms, sharing space, learning from faculty and staff, and finding some of my best friends. Together with the community surrounding me, I have grown through tough questions, hard times, and great friendship.
What makes Orange City a great place to be?
Honestly, the only thing that connects me to the broader Orange City community is church and the Old Factory. At church, I have been able to talk to the parents of the youth that I have befriended through youth group and this has led to multiple invitations to homes outside of campus. It is always nice to step into a home, even for a few hours, when you are away from your own home for so long. The Old Factory is the local coffee shop, and though I mostly run into college students, it also allows for a common ground between the community and the college.
What is something that makes your team special or unique?
I was just talking to my dad about this; we were at a track meet and I was looking at my team and I said, “I love my team.” My dad looked at me and said, “That is so unique, not everyone gets to say that.” I think that the track team forms into a family. I know that my best friends have come from track. These are the people that know when I am sick, that invite me over for dinner, and love on me through all of our ups and downs. Together we cheer each other on, and together we create what is known as Red Raider Track and Field.
What’s the best part about competing in the GPAC?
The GPAC provides some great competition for track and field. It pushes me to practice hard so that when I compete, I give everything from the abilities that God has provided and my time invested in drills.
What advice would you give a high school athlete looking to compete collegiately?
Come with the intent to work hard, but also know that you are trying to be a collegiate athlete for a reason: you have the ability to do it. Don’t lose heart, keep working, and know your reward is not in the titles and trophies you win but using your gifts to honor our Creator.
What advice would you give the freshmen on your team?
This is their first year working out for track and field year round and their bodies are tired. I would say it’s okay to be tired and take a breather. Also, maybe they are competing well, and that is awesome! But maybe your are not where you thought you would be, you went from top to bottom - know that time will be on your side, keep fighting the fight.
Who was your biggest role model growing up?
My biggest role models are my parents. I have a relationship with them where they are my mentors when I don’t know what to do, but they are also some of my best friends and rejoice with me, listen to my complaints, and back me up on who I am. My parents give me examples of what it means to love well, how to serve, and have always supported me in my choices from career to extra curricular activities. I know that I am, and always will be, loved, and that gives me the confidence in who I am as a person.
What’s your favorite pre-meet meal?
Almost every Friday, my roommates and I make supper. Most of the time we make pizza with whatever we have in the fridge, and other times it’s leftovers and cookies. I suppose I don’t have a favorite meal, but a favorite space where my roommates and I cook together and rest before we compete the next day.
It is a three-way tie between The Count of Monte Cristo, You’ve Got Mail, and A Knights Tale.
Currently, Look and Live by Matt Papa
Favorite TV show?
Friends all the way!
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?
Watching movies, drinking coffee, and studying are my hobbies and probably every other classic college student’s answer.
Favorite place you’ve visited?
One of the most memorable is when I stopped in Savannah, GA, on a road trip with my roommate, but one of my favorites was Poland on a service trip.
What was your first job?
This past summer I was an intern under a youth program at a church. I loved it so much that I am going back to work their after I graduate.
What is your dream job?
I want to live in an intentional community where I am purposefully loving people well. It may be a part of a church plant, but mostly I want to step into a community and learn and hopefully show what it means to love my neighbor well.