Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams Capture MIAA Titles
Saturday, October 27, 2012
By Mitch Blankespoor
ALBION – The Calvin College men’s and women’s cross country teams ran in the second of two MIAA Jamborees Saturday morning hosted by Albion College. Both Knights’ teams were victorious and captured the MIAA Championship.
The men’s race was first off at 11:00am. The Knights finished in the top four spots. Senior Dan Kerr (Petosky/Petosky) paced Calvin running the eight kilometer course in 24:37. Two fellow seniors, David VandeBunte (Byron Center/Byron Center) and Job Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/Mascenic Regional) finished together with a time of 24:49. Junior Greg Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg) finished fourth with a time of 24:58.
Calvin finished with 20 points as a team. Hope finished second with 75 points. This was the 26th consecutive MIAA championship for the Calvin men’s cross country program.
“We packed the race very well,” Calvin head coach Brian Diemer said. “It was really nice to see all the guys run well, and accomplish their goal of winning a conference championship and continuing the success of the program.”
Calvin had nine runners make All-MIAA. Kerr, Christiansen, VandeBunte and Rhett Morici (St. Charles, IL/St. Charles North) were named to the All-MIAA First Team. Sophomores Steven Haagsma (Grandville/Calvin Christian) and Josh Ferguson (Naperville, IL/Neuqua Valley), juniors Sam Kirk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran) and Philip Spitzer (Buckley/Buckley) and senior Kevin Peterson (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) were named to the All-MIAA Second Team.
Kerr was named Most Valuable Runner for the second consecutive year.
The women’s race began at noon. Calvin had four finishers in the top eight, taking first, second, sixth and seventh. Junior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian) won the six kilometer race with a time of 21:49. Senior Alyssa Penning was right behind, finishing second with a time of 22:06. Defending conference champion Hope had the next three spots. Sophomores Katie Ardinger (Elmhurst, IL/Timothy Christian) and Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian) secured Calvin’s victory, finishing sixth and seventh respectively with times of 22:24 for Ardinger and 22:26 for Penning.
The Knights finished with 26 points, 11 ahead of defending champion Hope.
Calvin had seven runners make All-MIAA teams on the women’s side. Michmerhuizen, Alyssa and Kimby Penning, freshmen Mackenzie Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian) and junior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan, WI/Home schooled) earned spots on the All-MIAA First Team. Ardinger and Christine Hartley (Pewaukee, WI/Lake County Lutheran) were named to the All-MIAA Second Team.
Michmerhuizen was named Most Valuable Runner.
“Nicole [Michmerhuizen] was as solid as a rock today,” said Diemer. “She just kept on grinding, and during the second loop the competition fell off.”
Both teams will return to action at NCAA Regionals November 10, hosted by Anderson University, IN.