Calvin Men’s Cross Country Team Captures Regional Title/Women’s Team Places Third

Calvin Men’s Cross Country Team Captures Regional Title/Women’s Team Places Third

Provided by Calvin

ANDERSON, IN - The second-ranked Calvin men’s cross country team captured a Great Lakes Regional title on Saturday with a first place score of 36 points. The win advances the Knights to next week’s NCAA III Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Great Lakes Regional title is the 17th consecutive regional crown for the Calvin men. Calvin will be makingt its 28th appearance at the national meet in men’s cross country which ranks third on the all-time NCAA III list.

Meanwhile the fifth-ranked Calvin women’s cross country team took third with 103 points. Hope took first place with 91 points with Oberlin second with 95 points. The top two teams receive automatic spots to the NCAA III Championships while the next three teams are eligible for at-large consideration. The Calvin women’s cross country team will now have to wait until Sunday to see if it receives an at-large bid.

In the men’s race, Calvin claimed five of the top 13 spots led by senior Dan Kerr (Petoskey/Petoskey HS) who took second in a time of 24:27. The race also marked the return of senior Nick Kramer (Dyer, IN/Illiana Christian HS) from injury and Kramer did not disappoint, finishing fourth in a time of 24:49. Senior Job Christiansen (New Ispwich, NH/Mascenic Regional HS) continued his stellar campaign, placing sixth (25:13) while senior David Vande Bunte (Byron Center/Byron Center HS) was 11th (25:26), senior Matt VanderRoest (Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Huron HS) 13th (25:29), senior Greg Whittle (Galesburg, IL/Galesburg HS) 26th (25:56) and junior Sam Kerk (Hartland, WI/Lake Country Lutheran HS) 34th (26:06).

All seven Calvin finishers earned Great Lakes All-Region honors by finishing in the top 35. The 13th place finish by VanderRoest was also notable as he has also missed the last month of action with an injury.

“We had a very encouraging men’s race,” said Calvin head coach Brian Diemer. “Nick Kramer and Matt VanderRoest were our wild cards going in and they were terrific. The challenge now is to keep those guys going for one more week and I’m confident we can do that. Our team is very excited and looking forward to the challenge of racing for a championship next week.”

On the women’s side, Calvin again featured a strong one-two punch up front with junior Nicole Michmerhuizen (Holland/Holland Christian HS) taking fifth (21:49) and senior Alyssa Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) taking ninth (21:59). Sophomore Kate Ardinger (Elmhurst, IL/Timothy Christian HS) then took 18th for the Knights (22:16) but the remainder of Calvin’s pack was splintered up as sophomore Kimby Penning (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) was 36th (22:54), freshman Mackenzie Diemer (Caledonia/South Christian HS) 39th (23:01), junior Alyssa Oram (Cheboygan) 42nd (23:07) and sophomore Lizzy Vannette (Visalia, CA/Valley Christian HS) 63rd (23:38).

“We had a little separation with our second group,” said Brian Diemer who also is head coach of the women’s team. “The key for our runners is to stay in contact with a teammate and we got broken up a bit with that strategy. We are still hopeful that our team will receive an at-large selection for next week and if that happens, we will use the lessons learned today next Saturday.”

By placing in the top 35, Michmerhuizen, Penning and Ardinger all earned spots on the Great Lakes All-Region team.