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Calvin Cross Country Teams Capture Great Lakes Regional Titles - Punch Tickets to National Meet

Saturday, November 14, 2009

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Rose-Hulman Great Lakes Regional Site

TERRE HAUTE, IN—TERRE HAUTE, IN—The Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams are headed to the Rock and Roll City. Both teams punched their tickets to next week’s NCAA III Championships scheduled to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, with first place finishes at the Great Lakes Regional meet hosted Saturday by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The top two teams in the men’s 8K race and the top two teams in the women’s 6K race on Saturday both received automatic trips to the NCAA III Championships

In the men’s race, Calvin captured the Great Lakes Regional title for the 14th straight year with a first place score of 73 points, finishing 21 points ahead of Heidelberg. Sophomore Nick Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) highlighted the day for the Knights by taking first place individually with a time of 25:45, finishing nine seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Kramer is the ninth individual in Calvin men’s cross country history to win a regional title individually and marks the eighth time in the last 10 years that a Calvin men’s cross country runner has accomplished the feat.

Kramer was part of six Calvin runners that placed in the top 35 with freshman Matt Vander Roest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) placing 14th (26:18), senior George Visser (Winfield, IL/West Chicago HS), placing 17th (26:24), senior Aaron Goodman (Milwaukee, WI/Milwaukee Lutheran HS) 19th (26:28), senior Ben Van Wyk (Sussex, NJ/High Point HS) 22nd (26:34) and junior Alex Wrobel (Arden Hills, MN/Mounds View HS) 35th (26:49). By placing in the top-35, all six Calvin runners earned Great Lakes All-Region honors. Rounding out Calvin’s finishers was sophomore Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) with a 58th place time of 27:18.

VanderRoest was the second-fastest freshman in the men’s race, surpassed only by Oberlin’s Eric Line who placed ninth in a time of 26:11.

In the women’s race, top-ranked Calvin placed seven runners in the top-18 led by senior Lauren Bergstrom (Rochester, MN/Century HS) with a fifth place time of 22:16. She was followed by senior Jesi Hale (Rehoboth, NM/Gallup HS) in eighth (22:26), senior Jessica Koster (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) in 10th (22:39), senior Elizabeth Smit (Kirkland, WA/Bellevue Christian HS) in 13th (22:46), senior Sarah Dugan (Freeland/Freeland HS) in 15th (22:51), sophomore Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) in 17th (22:55) and junior Gretchen Braymer (Erie, PA/Collegiate Academy) in 18th (22:57).

Oberlin grabbed the other automatic qualifying spot by placing second with a team score of 120 points, 10 points ahead of Case Western Reserve.


POST RACE QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH BRIAN DIEMER:

*ON THE MEN’S RACE - Our men really came through in a big way. The guys have really stepped up over the last four weeks, catching on and ‘getting it.’ If we run next week like we ran today, we have a chance to do very well at nationals. This team was very determined to make a statement that this year was a reloading year for the Calvin men’s cross country team, not a rebuilding year.

*ON NICK KRAMER’S REGIONAL TITLE PERFORMANCE - Nick Kramer ran an awesome race. He bided his time and worked in the first pack nicely. It was very wise racing. He ended up pulling away from the second place runner from Denison ( Makorobo Salukombo) with about a mile to go and then he just kept working it and finished strong.

*ON FRESHMAN MATT VANDER ROEST - Matt Vander Roest is stepping up in a big way. He was the second fastest freshmen in this race. He was running with the big boys today and showed no fear. For awhile, he was even leading the pack with Nick Kramer which was exciting to see.

*ON THE WOMEN’S RACE - Our women’s team took care of what it needed to do today and that was to run strong and make it to nationals. Today was a good dress rehearsal for next week. Individually, Lauren Bergstrom is really coming on strong. Jesi Hale continues to run real well and a couple of our other runners who have fought through some injuries really had encouraging performances today. 

*ON BOTH TEAMS - I am really proud of both teams today. We’re looking forward to putting on a good show next week at the national meet.

POST RACE QUOTES FROM ASSISTANT COACH AL HOEKSTRA:

*ON THE MEN’S RACE - I can’t be any more prouder of this team than I am right now. Earlier this year there was a time of doubt that our men would even make it back to the natoinal meet but the last three races, they’ve taken things up another notch each time. Our guys really ran with a lot of heart. They are running together and running for more than just themselves which is the key to becoming a great team.

*ON NICK KRAMER’S REGIONAL TITLE - Nick Kramer ran the best race of his career and picked a perfect time to do it. He has been in a bit of valley with his training but he came out of the valley today and ran a phenomenal race. He ran a very smart, calculated race. He has really become a great Calvin racer.

*ON THE WOMEN’S RACE - Our women ran very well. To have seven in the top 18 was solid. Our women’s team has a little work to do up front for next week but I think they can make the right adjustments. We are eally Looking forward to next week.

GREAT LAKES REGIONAL XC CHAMPIONS FROM CALVIN

2009 Nick Kramer (Calvin)
2008 Jed Christiansen (Calvin)
2007 Jed Christiansen (Calvin)
2005 Tim Finnegan (Calvin)
2003 Hendrik Kok (Calvin)
2002 Hendrik Kok (Calvin)
2001  Dan Hoekstra (Calvin)
2000  Dan Hoekstra (Calvin)
1994  Ray VanArragon (Calvin)
1991  Thad Karnehm (Calvin)
1990  John Lumkes (Calvin)
1989  Adam Suarez (Calvin)
1988  Adam Suarez (Calvin)

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2 comments on "Calvin Cross Country Teams Capture Great Lakes Regional Titles - Punch Tickets to National Meet"
  • Go Jessi, we’re proud of you.
    Coach Martinez

    Posted by Galen Martinez on 11/15 at 04:11 PM
  • I think Calvin has 3 of the top coaches in Division 3.  They have good runners, but the coaches are what really make the runners great.  You can’t have success year after year without people like Brian Deimer guiding the program.  I hope my son David can eventually be part of the top 7, and keep the tradition going.

    Posted by Gene Vande Bunte on 11/14 at 07:58 PM