Men’s cross country claim title, women finish second


Photo Courtesy Calvin Sports Information

Winning their 29th consecutive MIAA title last Saturday, the men’s cross country team once again proved their ability to run tight and smart, with only a 38-second spread between their first and seventh runner.

Finishing with a low score of 20 points, Calvin took seven of the top 11 spots. The first runner for both the team and the race was junior Zac Nowicki, with a time of 25:13. Sophomores Andrew Philipose and Mark De Jong followed in second (25:25) and third (25:25).

Senior Ethan Anderson finished sixth in the race (25:32), and senior Jeff Meitler rounded out the top five with an eighth place finish and a time of 25:43. Juniors Jordan Kramer and Nate Van Haitsma finished 10th (25:47) and 11th (25:51) respectively.

While the boys ran smart, the girls ran gutsy, almost upsetting Hope’s reign as the top team in the conference.

Junior Lauren Strohbehn led the charge, finishing first with a time of 21:30 in the 6K. Sophomore Kate McLain finished seventh (22:44), and junior Autumn Vonk came in 10th, with a time of 22:49.

Perhaps the real story lies in Calvin’s fourth runner, first-year student Katie Diekema. In the last 400 meters, Diekema collapsed, yet still got up to finish 14th overall (23:11). It was here that Hope gained their final advantage, finishing several of their runners ahead of Diekema in the final stretch.

For the team, Diekema exemplified Calvin’s heart and perseverance. At the finish line, there was nothing but support and admiration.

“I was beyond proud of the team for stepping up, giving it our all and almost pulling off something we didn’t believe we could do earlier this season,” said Diekema. “Going into the postseason, it’s exciting to see how much everyone is willing to give to help the team be the best we can be.”

Junior Jessie Mulder was Calvin’s fifth runner, placing 15th overall (23:16). First-year student Marissa Hielkema and senior Lora Huizingh finished 21st (23:40) and 25th (23:59) respectively.

Both teams will race at the NCAA III Great Lakes Regional meet on Nov. 14 in Terre Haute, Indiana.