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Calvin senior reflects on running career
By Jeff Febus

As her collegiate career begins to wind down, Erinn Boot can look back on four years of growth at Calvin College.

A native of Kalamazoo and a graduate of Kalamazoo Christian High School, Boot played a key role on Calvin women's cross country teams that captured four MIAA and Great Lakes Regional titles as well as two NCAA III national championships. Over the tenure of her four-year cross country career at Calvin, Boot was named to the All-MIAA second team once and to the All-MIAA first team three times. In addition, she was a three-time Great Lakes All-Region selection and was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Runner in women's cross country this fall.

This fall, Boot stepped into a leadership role as a team captain. "Erinn was a terrific captain for our team this fall," said Calvin women's cross country Nancy Meyer. "When she came to Calvin she had more of a quiet personality but she has really grown into a leader. When our team needed someone to step up and be vocal, she was there to provide that kind of leadership."

Boot also displayed her leadership on the cross country course as she took first place at the MIAA Jamboree on September 22 with a time of 18:57 and then took first at the MIAA Championships October 27 with an impressive time of 18:38 on a wet and muddy course leadling Calvin to its 14th consecutive league title with a near-perfect score of 17 points.
"The course for the MIAA Championships was very wet and muddy because of all the rain we had received the week of the meet," said Meyer. "Erinn had been fighting off some injuries at that point of the season too so it could have been a good time to use her injuries and the running conditions as an excuse not to run well. But Erinn is not the type of person to use excuses. She dug down with a lot of grit and determination and came up with one of the best races of her career."

Boot's grit and determination has served her well throughout her career. As a freshman in 1998, she served as an alternate on Calvin's first-ever national championship team in women's cross country. As a sophomore the following year, she moved into Calvin's top seven and ran as the all-important "fifth" runner on the team at the NCAA III Championships in Oshkosh, Wis. At the national meet, Boot finished 50th with a time of 17:49 that helped Calvin repeat as national champions with a first place score of 85 points.

At the 2000 NCAA III Championships, Boot was Calvin's top finisher placing 61st as the Knights finished 14th as a team. This past fall, she again finished among the top-65, placing 64th on a Calvin team that earned sixth place.

Boot has also sparkled in the classroom, compiling a grade point average of 3.88 with a double-major of biology and psychology. She plans to attend medical school in the future. As a junior, she was named a third team Verizon Academic All-American and is up for nomination again as a senior.
This past spring, she spent the spring semester studying in Chicago as part of Calvin's Chicago Metropolitan program.

"It can be a challenge juggling my academic and athletic responsibilities but I've also received a great amount of support from my coaches and professors at Calvin," said Boot. "I've also found that there are many opportunities at Calvin and I've enjoyed exploring the many options that have been available to me like the Chicago 'Met' program."

Boot's Calvin ties run deep as her parents Scott and Susan are 1977 Calvin graduates while her grandparents Robert and Marge Boot are 1950 Calvin graduates.

"I know that was the hope—that I would go to Calvin because of my family connections," said Boot with a smile. "I'm glad that I made my own choice and I'm glad that my choice was Calvin. It was the school for my parents and my grandparents but I also feel now that it is 'my' school now too. It's a place that has allowed me to grow in many ways and a place that I am thankful to have been a part of."

Women's Cross Country

A fan's-eye view of the national championships

Victory at Regionals


MIAA Cross Country

 

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