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Calvin cross country teams place third at Notre Dame Invitational

Friday, September 28, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, IN - The nationally-ranked Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams had solid performances at the Notre Dame Invitational Friday afternoon as the sixth-ranked Calvin men’s team took third in the men’s Gold Division with a team score of 96 points while the eighth-ranked Calvin women’s team was third in the women’s Gold Division with 130 points.

In the men’s race, Calvin gave top-ranked North Central a scare as the Knights led the race through four-and-a-half miles but the Knights faded over the final 1,000 meters while the Cardinals surged, allowing North Central to with with 54 points. The University of Texas-Arlington took second with 73 points.

Calvin senior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) continued his all-star senior campaign, finishing fourth individually with a time of 24:40. Senior Matt VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) who took sixth in a time of 24:55. Calvin’s third man was senior Greg Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS) who placed 22nd in a time of 25:13. The race was the first of the year for Whittle.

Rounding out Calvin’s top seven were senior Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/Mascenic Regional HS) in 30th (25:22), junior Sam Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) in 34th (25:27), senior David VandeBunte (Byron Center/Byron Center HS) in 37th (25:31) and senior Rhett Morici (St. Charles, IL/St. Charles North HS) in 41st (25:38).

“We showed we can run with North Central,” said head cross country coach Brian Diemer. “We just didn’t finish the race the way we wanted to. We fought of a couple of surges from North Central but over the last 1,000 meters, we really hit the wall.”

On the women’s side, Calvin received a sensational performance from junior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) who placed fifth individually in a time of 17:49.

Calvin then had a strong pack of runners as senior Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) was 29th (18:22), junior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan) 30th (18:22), freshman McKenzie Diemer (Byron Center/South Christian HS)  31st (18:23), senior Christine Hartley 35th (18:29), sophomore Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) 36th (18:30), and sophomore Sarah Danner (Pewaukee, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS)) 37th (18:33).

“Nicole Michmerhuizen had an outstanding race,” said Brian Diemer. “She showed she has what it takes to run with the top runners in the country. We had a few people under the weather today so I think what we did today was pretty solid. If we can get a few people back to full health, I think we’ll be that much better.”

Texas Christian took first place with 62 points while host Notre Dame was second with 86 points. Calvin was the top Division III team in the Gold Division.

A group of Calvin cross country runners will compete at the Loyola Lakefront Invitational Saturday morning.

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