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Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams Capture First Place at MIAA Jamboree

Saturday, September 24, 2011

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ANGOLA, IN – The nationally-ranked Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams put on an impressive show Saturday morning at the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Trine University at the Zollner Golf Course as both teams took first place by solid margins. 

In the women’s race, ninth-ranked Calvin took first place with 27 points, 17 points ahead of rival Hope which entered Saturday’s race ranked 13th nationally. On the men’s side, fifth-ranked Calvin nearly pulled off a perfect score, taking the top four spots and five of the top six to finish with 16 points, well ahead of 31st-ranked Albion which posted a team score of 61 points.

The MIAA Jamboree is worth one-third of the final MIAA crown with the MIAA Championships, slated for October 29 making up the remaining two-thirds.

Senior Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) and junior Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) again led a powerful one-two punch up front with Hoekstra winning the 6K race in 22:52 while Penning was second in 23:20. Calvin placed five runners in the top 10 as senior Kaitlin Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) was fifth (23:49), sophomore Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan, MI) ninth (24:11) and junior Christine Hartley (Pewaukee, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) 10th (24:11). Rounding out Calvin’s top group were freshman Sarah Danner (Watkins Glen, NY/Charles Dickerson HS) in 14th (24:32) and sophomore Nicole Michermhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) in 18th (24:42).

On the men’s side, junior Matt VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) had a monster day, winning the 8K race in a time of 26:01 while junior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) was second (26:09), junior David VandeBunte (Byron Center/Byron Center HS) third (26:34), junior Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/Mascenic Regional HS) fourth (26:44), junior Greg Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS) sixth (26:55), senior Rhett Morici (St. Charles, IL/St. Charles North HS) seventh (26:58) and junior Kevin Peterson (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) 14th (27:33).

“I thought both teams did an outstanding job of working together on a very tough, hilly course,” said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. “Both teams showed a lot of mental toughness. I was just as proud of our second and third packs as I was of our top pack in each race. Both of our teams are really ‘getting it’ which is exciting to see.”

Both Calvin teams return to action next Friday, competing at the Notre Dame Invitational.

Brian Diemer Audio Interview

Al Hoekstra Audio Interview

Women’s Results

Men’s Results

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