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Calvin Sports News
  Big finish for Timmer rewards teammate
By Ben Knoester

TimmerWith the gallery of fans, teammates and coaches screaming "Go Timmer!" at the top of their lungs, Lisa Timmer turned on what she had left and burst ahead of a competitor from another school with 400 yards to go. While this scenario seems like the perfect way to capture first place at the MIAA championships, for Timmer, it was the perfect way to capture second place at the MIAA championships and allow teammate Amy Mizzone to win the race and earn MIAA MVP. "I knew we had to put two runners ahead of her in order for Amy to get MVP," said Timmer. "I didn't think I could do it, but everyone was screaming, and I just went for it and passed her."

For the two-time MIAA MVP Timmer, seeing her fellow teammate and good friend Mizzone receive the recognition she deserved was the best part of the whole experience. "I was so happy for Amy," Timmer pronounced after the race. "Last year, she didn't have a good race at the MIAA championships. I knew that she was better than I was last year, but I ended up getting the MVP award. I am so happy she got the recognition she deserves."

The unselfishness Timmer displayed at the MIAA championships this year is not uncharacteristic of her warm and friendly personality. At the Great Lakes Regional just after the MIAA championships, Timmer could have gone all-out in pursuit of the highest individual place she could muster, but instead, she chose to hang back a little and help pull teammate Liz Kuipers along. "Our top seven runners were in the top twenty or twenty five out of 200 girls not even halfway through the race," explained Timmer. "Liz and I were running together and there wasn't a reason to not run together. It is so much easier to run with someone simply because you can work together. You can both push and encourage each other, and it takes the mind off the pain... Liz ran an incredible race that day, and it was fun being able to help her run."

Do not be fooled however, because behind her veil of unselfishness is an incredible athlete. A four-year member of the Calvin women's cross country team, Timmer earned All-MIAA first team honors in cross country all four years. She is one of only seven athletes in MIAA women's cross country history to earn a spot on the All-MIAA first team four consecutive years. In addition, Timmer has been a member of four MIAA championship teams and four Great Lakes Regional Championship teams. She was also on the '96 team that finished fourth nationally, the '97 team that finished ninth nationally, and of course, Calvin's '98 and '99 National Championship teams. Timmer is a three-time All-American in cross country, having finished 26th at the nationals in '96, 11th in '98, and 12th in '99. In addition, she has earned All-American honors twice in track and field, finishing among the top eight in the 3,000 meters at the track and field nationals in both '97 and '98.

Amazingly enough, this fall's cross country season almost never happened for Timmer as she suffered through a bout of mononucleosis last spring that caused her to miss most of her track and field season and left her somewhat in doubt for the cross country season this fall. "When I found out I had mono, I was so disappointed and immediately knew my track season wasn't going to happen the way I had hoped. By the time I started running again, it had been eight weeks. I basically had to start from ground zero. It was difficult to get motivated to run after work on hot summer days, but it's what you do when you have a goal. I wanted to end my senior year on a strong note."

Timmer certainly achieved her goal and more with her 12th place finish at nationals. Her clutch performance helped propel Calvin to its second consecutive national championship in women's cross country.

When all the championship dust settles and Timmer's illustrious career at Calvin comes to an end, one thing is for sure, and that is that Timmer realizes the truth about her life. "Throughout the four years I've been at Calvin, the most important thing I've gained is my dependence on God for everything. In cross country, we really try to focus on God in not only running, but in all aspects of our lives. The relationships and friends I've made through cross country not only brought me closer to people, but the relationships and friends I've made through cross country brought me closer to God, and that's what is important to me."

Timmer is a native of Ann Arbor and a graduate of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. She is a nursing major and hopes to find a job at a local hospital upon graduation.

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