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Women’s Cross Country Team Rolls To First Place at Calvin Knight Invitational

Saturday, September 08, 2012

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Knight Invitational Website

The 10th-ranked Calvin women’s cross country team opened its 2012 campaign in strong fashion, powering its way to a first place finish of 34 points at its own Knight Invitational Saturday morning at the Gainey Athletic Complex.

With several of its top runners from a year ago having graduated, the Knights have plenty of spots to fill this fall. On Saturday, the holes were filled nicely as the Knights took six of the top 15 points including five of the top 13.

Allison Steinbrunner of Ohio Northern won Saturday’s race in a time of 17:42 but Calvin took the next two spots as senior Alyssa Penning was second (17:57) and junior Nicole Michmerhuizen third (18:02) as the duo ran together throughout the race.

Freshman McKenzie Diemer stepped up and took ninth individually for Calvin in a time of 18:15 while sophomore Kimby Penning was 12th (18:25), junior Alyssa Oram 13th (18:26) and sophomore Sarah Danner 15th (18:33). Sophomore Lizzy Vannette also had a strong finish, placing 19th (18:37).

“This team has really put in some hard work over the summer and I was so pleased to see the way they ran with each other,” said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. “We had people filling gaps and running with determination. It was a great start to the season.”

Longtime assistant coach Al Hoekstra agreed. “Our women’s team showed the power of pack running,” said Hoekstra. “We had groups of runners working together and feeding off each other’s energy. Our women ran as a team and if they continue to do that, they will have good things in store for them down the road. It is exciting.”

A team from Grand Valley State took second with 64 points while Case Western Reserve was third with 121 points.

Calvin will now break for nearly two weeks, returning to action at the MIAA Jamboree on September 21 when Saint Mary’s College serves as host.

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