Calvin Cross Country Teams Place Second at Michigan Intercollegiates at Gainey Athletic Complex

Calvin Cross Country Teams Place Second at Michigan Intercollegiates at Gainey Athletic Complex

Provided by Calvin

Story By Mark DeHaan/Photos by Paul Evans

Preparing for the important Division III UW-Oshkosh Invitational next weekend, Calvin hosted the Michigan Intercollegiates at the Gainey Athletic Complex on a cool Friday afternoon. The Knights claimed second place in the men’s race and second in the women’s race.

Racing against Division II, Division III, NAIA and CC competition, the Calvin men earned a second place finish in their 8k race while Grand Valley took first. With a few of their top runners not racing, Calvin put up a strong fight against the Division II competition. Crossing the line first for the Knights was senior Job Christiansen, who took 6th overall in a time of 24:58.9. Coming in right behind him in 7th was senior David Vande Bunte in 25:00.4. Senior Rhett Morici was the third Calvin runner across the line in 14th place, finishing in 25:22.5. Sophomore Steven Haagsma put in a strong race finishing 22nd, running a personal best 25:32.8 while junior Sam Kerk came in 24th with a time of 25:36.4. The Knights rounded out their top seven with sophomore Josh Ferguson in 31st at 25:47.5 and junior Philip Spitzer in 33rd at 25:54.7.

“Both of the races are set up races for next week (at UW-Oshkosh),” said head coach Brian Diemer. We tried to run a little bit more conservative and stick with our packs a little bit longer. We wanted to move in the middle of the race, and our guys did that very well. We gave specific duties to the packs, and for the most part, we accomplished a lot of what we set out to do. David Vande Bunte came through huge.

He was about 30 seconds faster than when he ran the Knight Invite here. Steven Haagsma had a fantastic race, a big personal record by about 30 seconds.”

On the women’s side, also without some of their top runners, Calvin leaned on a few of their younger members to pull out a second place finish with a team score of . Leading the Knights finishers was sophomore Kimby Penning who earned a 10th place finish in 18:03.9. Trailing her and taking 11th was sophomore Lizzy Vannette who finished in 18:04.6. Freshman McKenzie Diemer was next across the line in 14th place with a time of 18:07.5. Senior Christine Hartley finished 19th with a time of 18:13.9 while junior Alyssa Oram finished 20th in 18:16.5. Finishing in 24th and Calvin’s 6th spot was senior Kaylea Brase in 18:40.5 while sophomore Sarah Danner rounded out the Knights top seven with a 31st place finish in 18:49.7.

“The women performed very well,” said Diemer. “Kimby Penning ran a fantastic race and Lizzy Vannette really showed up in a big way today. A huge improvement and a huge personal record (for Lizzy). She showed that she could run with our main chase pack as we progress through the season.”

The Knights now prepare for the UW-Oshkosh Invitational where a number of Division III’s top schools will meet. The Invitational will take place next Saturday with the women running at 11 a.m. and the men at noon.