Calvin Cross Country Teams Turn in Dominating First Place Performances at MIAA Jamboree
Friday, September 21, 2012
NOTRE DAME, IN - The nationally-ranked Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams came away with a pair of dominating performances at the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Saint Mary’s College Friday afternoon.
Ranked sixth nationally, the Calvin men’s cross country team took six of the top seven spots to record a first place team score of 17 points, 56 points ahead of second place Hope.
On the women’s side, Calvin also dominated as the eighth-ranked Knights recorded a team score of 20 points, 33 points ahead of 17th-ranked Hope. The Calvin women took the top two spots individually including seven of the top nine to cruise to the win.
Junior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) led the way in the women’s 6K race with a first place time of 22:01 with senior teammate Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) close behind in second place (22:03). The duo ran in tandem and broke away from Hope’s Sheri McCormack early in the race with McCormack finishing third in 22:17.
Calvin freshman McKenzie Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) also had a big afternoon, placing fourth individually with a time of 22:31 while senior Christine Hartley (Pewaukee, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) came in sixth (22:33) and sophomore Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) seventh (22:38) to round out Calvin’s top five. Junior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan, MI) was eighth (22:41 and sophomore Sarah Danner (Watkins Glen, NY/Charles Dickerson HS) ninth (22:53) to close out Calvin’s top 10 finishers.
“I am so proud of the way our women’s team ran today,” said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. “Our team ran with a purpose and they ran together. So many of our young runners made big jumps during the (outdoor) track season last spring and they are reaping the benefits of that development this fall. I am excited about how this team has come together.”
Diemer was also excited with the way his men’s team ran as the trio of senior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS), senior Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/Mascenic Regional HS) and senior Matt VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) formed a tight pack up front with Kerr placing first (25:29), Christiansen second (25:30) and VanderRoest third (25:35).
Senior David VandeBunte (Byron Center/Byron Center HS) was Calvin’s next finisher, placing fifth in 25:44 while junior Sam Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) was sixth (25:51) and senior Rhett Morici (St. Charles, IL/St. Charles North HS) seventh (25:58).
“Our men’s team had a great day,” said Diemer. “Our guys got out front early and stayed out of trouble on a course that had some tight spots. I thought our pack running was outstanding - all the way through our lineup. I think we set ourselves up well for the conference championships in a month and I think some guys took a step forward today that will help us reach some of other teams goals this year as well.”
The MIAA Jamboree is worth one-third of the final MIAA title with the MIAA Championships making up the remaining two-thirds. The MIAA Championships will be held on October 27 with Albion College serving as host.