Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams Capture MIAA Titles
Saturday, October 31, 2009
ADRIAN, MI—The Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams wrapped up MIAA titles on Saturday with perfect scores of 15 points at the MIAA Championships, hosted by Adrian College.
In the men’s race, 16th-ranked Calvin took the top five spots (8K race) including seven of the top nine. On the women’s side, top-ranked Calvin took the top six spots (6K race) including seven of the top nine. It marks the first time in MIAA history that both a men’s and women’s team has posted a perfect score at the conference meet in the same year.
The MIAA title is the 23rd consecutive crown for the Calvin men’s cross country team which ranks as the second-longest active championship streak in MIAA athletics history, surpassed only by the legendary streak by the Kalamazoo men’s tennis team. The title is also the 36th overall for the Calvin men - more than any other school in MIAA history. On the women’s side, Calvin captured its fifth straight league title including its fourth under current head coach Brian Diemer. The title is the 21st overall for the Calvin women’s cross country program, more than any other MIAA women’s program.
With the men’s and women’s titles on Saturday, Diemer now has 27 MIAA titles to his credit, moving him into a three-way tie for fourth place on the MIAA coaches list for championships won.
In the women’s race, seniors Jessica Koster (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) and Jesi Hale (Rehoboth, NM/Gallup HS) ran up front together with Koster winning the race with a time of 22:56 while Hale was second in 22:58. Seniors Sarah Dugan (Freeland/Freeland HS) and Lauren Bergstrom (Rochester, MN/Century HS) were next with Dugan third (23:14) and Bergstrom fourth (23:17). Senior Liz Smit (Kirkland, WA/Bellevue Christian HS) took fifth (23:26) and junior Gretchen Braymer (Erie, PA/Collegiate Academy) sixth (23:29). Rounding out Calvin’s top seven was sophomore Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) in ninth (23:28).
“Our women ran a very strong race,” said Diemer. “It was nice to have Jessica Koster back from being injured and Jesi Hale is running very well.It was fun to see those two going around the course together. We are very excited about a perfect score and we are hoping this performance propells us on to regionals and hopefully helps us accomplish our goals on a national level.”
Assistant coach Al Hoekstra was also excited about the way the women ran. “It was a very strong effort,” said Hoekstra. “The fact that we had only 32 seconds seperating our top runner and our seventh runner is very exciting. Today’s race is just one more step in the direction we want this season to go.”
In the men’s race, Calvin was led by sophomore Nick Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) ran away from the field to win with a time of 26:53. Senior Aaron Goodman (Milwaukee, WI/Milwaukee Lutheran HS) ran up front with Kramer until falling back a bit over the last mile, finishing second with a time of 27:06. Senior George Visser (Winfield, IL/West Chicago HS) had his best race of the year, finishing third with a time of 27:20. Visser led a group that included sophomore Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) who placed fourth (27:21) and junior Alex Wrobel (Arden Hills, MN/Mounds View HS) who was fifth (27:24).
Rounding out Calvin’s top seven were senior Kyle Mast (Zeeland/Holland Christian HS) in seventh place (27:30) and freshman Matt Vander Roest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) in ninth (27:32).
“We ran with a lot of heart,” said Diemer. “These guys are determined to make something out of this season and really showed that today. Having George Visser up in the mix solidifies our pack. He makes a huge difference. We are really thrilled to record a perfect score. We did not know if that would happen.”
Assistant coach Al Hoekstra stated that the race was a continuation of a strong performance at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational two weeks prior. “Our men’s team continued where it left off from Oshkosh,” said Hoekstra. “Heading into that race, we were really at a crossroads on where the season would go. This team took the correct turn and took a big step forward at that meet and they continued that momentum today. Right now, our guys are running with emotional focus. Something our team has been searching for and now they have it.”
Men’s Varsity Team Results:
1 - Calvin - 15pts
2 - Hope - 74pts
3 - Albion - 82pts
4 - Adrian - 108pts
5 - Alma - 121pts
6 - Kalamazoo - 164pts
7 - Trine - 204pts
8 - Olivet - 241pts
Top 10 Men:
1 - Nick Kramer - Calvin - 26:53
2 - Aaron Goodman - Calvin - 27:06
3 - George Visser - Calvin - 27:20
4 - Dan Kerr - Calvin - 27:21
5 - Alex Wrobel - Calvin - 27:24
6 - Matt Wiersum - Hope - 27:27
7 - Kyle Mast - Calvin - 2730
8 - Garrett Lacy - Alma- 27:39
9 - Matt Vander Roest - Calvin - 27:32
10 - Mike Bremer - Alma - 27:39
Women Varsity Team Results:
1 - Calvin - 15pts
2 - Hope - 56pts
3 - Adrian - 112pts
4 - St. Mary’s - 120pts
5 - Alma - 154pts
6 - Albion - 156pts
7 - Kalamazoo - 162pts
8 - Trine - 224pts
9 - Olivet - NTS
Top 10 Women:
1 - Jess Koster - Calvin - 22:56
2 - Jesi Hale - Calvin - 22:58
3 - Sarah Dugan - Calvin - 23:14
4 - Lauren Bergstrom - Calvin - 23:17
5 - Lizz Smit - Calvin - 23:26
6 - Gretchen Braymer - Calvin - 23:29
7 - Jillian McLaughlin - Kalamazoo - 23:32
8 - Taylor Mattarella - Hope - 23:36
9 - Jodie Hoekstra - Calvin - 23:38
10 - Emily Fischer - Hope - 23:51