Cross country dominates MIAA Jamboree


File photo.

The men and women’s cross country teams swept away the competition at the MIAA Jamboree, hosted by Saint Mary’s College.

Calvin’s men, who are ranked fourth in the nation, took six of the seven top spots on Friday, earning them their first place team score of 17 points and beating second place team Hope College by 56 points.

The eighth ranked Calvin women also dominated, earning 20 points as they took seven of the top nine spots, which led to their win over second place Hope College by 33 points.

Junior Nicole Michmerhuizen of Calvin led the way in the women’s 6 kilometer race with a time of 22:01. Senior teammate Alyssa Penning was a close second, coming in to the finish line with a time of 22:03. The duo broke away from the pack early on and ran in tandem the entire race.

Freshman McKenzie Diemer of Calvin had a great afternoon, placing fourth overall with a time of 22:31.

“I’m really excited for our team,” Diemer says, “It’s really cool how we beat Hope. We had seven girls in front of their number two girl.”

Freshman teammate Anneri Vermeulen is also excited about the win and the team’s outlook for the rest of their season.

“It’s amazing how well the team works together and how strong the packs are,” explains Vermeulen, “We’re like a family, and it’s just so nice to immediately have a big group to embrace as a freshman.”

All team members were also proud of the men’s trio of seniors that took the first three places of the race.

Senior Dan Kerr came in first with a time of 25:29, senior Job Christiansen followed with a time of 25:30, and senior Matt VanderRoest trailing in close behind with a time of 25:35.

“It’s really rewarding being a freshman on the team,” says freshman runner Bret Habura, “I get to learn from great senior leaders and awesome coaches. Taking the first three places of this race puts us off on the right foot and gives us a good sense of trust in each other.”

The MIAA Jamboree is worth one-third of the final MIAA title with the MIAA Championships making up the remaining two-thirds. The MIAA Championships will be held on Oct. 27 with Albion College serving as host.
The Knights run again this weekend at the Notre Dame Invitational and the Loyola Lakefront Invitational.