Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams Take Small Division Titles at Michigan Intercollegiates
Saturday, October 09, 2010
ROCHESTER - The nationally-ranked Calvin men’s and women’s cross country teams had solid performances at the Michigan Intercollegiates Friday afternoon at Oakland University’s Katke Golf Course as both Calvin squads took first place in their respective small college divisions. The Michigan Intercollegiates includes teams from around the state of Michigan at the NCAA I, II and III levels as well as NAIA institutions.
On the men’s side, Calvin took first place in the small college division with 55 points. Although the meet was scored separately, dividing Division I schools into a separate division, Calvin would have won the Division I men’s race as well as the Knights had a team score of 66 points against all schools including 55 points against non-Division I schools.
Senior Ben Van Wyk (Sussex, NJ/High Point High School) had an outstanding afternoon in the men’s 8K race, finishing third individually with a time of 25:48. Junior Rhett Morici (St. Charles, IL/) also stepped up in a big way, finishing 11th in a time of 26:33. Senior Jake Christiansen (New Ipswich, NH/New Ipswich HS) was close behind in 13th place (26:40) with junior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) 16th in 26:44. Rounding out Calvin’s finishers were sophomore Greg Whittle (Galseburg, IL/Galesburg HS) in 23rd (27:10), sophomore Kevin Peterson (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) in 54th (27:56) and sophomore Alex VanHaitsma (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS) in 60th (28:05).
“We had a very encouraging performance this afternoon,” said Calvin cross country Brian Diemer. “Ben Van Wyk was outstanding and the guys behind him really filled some gaps. We left some of our top runners home today to let them freshen up a bit but the rest of the guys stepped up and ran great.”
On the women’s side, Calvin took first place in the small college division with 34 points. Junior Jodi Hoekstra (Homer Glen, IL/Chicago Christian HS) led the way with a sixth place individual finish in a time of 18:18. Senior Gretchen Braymer (Erie, PA/Collegiate Academy) also had a strong afternoon, placing 15th with a time of 18:47.
Calvin then featured a tight pack of three with senior Alison Tuuk (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) 30th in the 5K race (19:17), senior Samantha Westveer (Kentwood/East Kentwood HS) 31st (19:17) and junior Kaitlin Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) 36th (19:23).
Rounding out Calvin’s top finishers were freshman Rebekah Folkema (Renfrew, ON/Renfrew Collegiate Institute) in 65th (19:57) and freshman Devin Van Doornik (Zeeland/Zeeland East HS) in 72nd (20:08).
“I was very pleased with our women’s team,” said Diemer. “Jodi Hoekstra continues to get better and better and I thought our pack running behind her was excellent. We have some individuals that are really starting to step up and we’re excited about the possibilities for the upcoming weeks ahead.”
Calvin will now break until next Saturday when the bulk of its team competes at the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational while another group will compete at the Manchester Invitational.