Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Women’s cross-country team named MIAA conference co-champions

Women’s cross country team after winning the conference. Photo courtesy Dillion Baumchen.

Calvin’s women’s cross-country team shared the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) conference championship with Hope College on October 28. It marks the first time the team has won the conference since 2014. Both Hope and Calvin tied for first with 33 points, making it the first time the conference has named co-champions since 1989.

The Knights were led by second place finisher freshman Hailey Erickson and third place finisher Jenna Allman. The Knights’ top five runners were each named All-Conference runners given that they finished within the top 12 runners in the conference. Calvin’s fifth runner — junior Cath Kortman — had “the race of her life” finishing 12th to solidify the championship, according to head coach Nicole Kramer.

Knights achieved many personal bests –– 14 out of the 18 runners on the team left the meet running their fastest 6K of their lives. The top seven finishers for the Knights will continue into postseason competition with NCAA regionals but for those not in the top seven, this conference marks their last race of the season.

While the NCAA has a tiebreaker rule to declare a single champion, the MIAA chooses to not implement the rule into its competition. Hope College would’ve been named conference champions if a tiebreaker had been used. The Knights were not aware of the tie at first and had assumed they had finished second. Senior Jenna Allman believed that it was important to be proud of how they ran, win or lose –– even more important to her than winning itself. “Those couple of minutes where we thought Hope won the tiebreaker, we were super happy and proud of the work we put in,” Allman said.

Allman credits the team’s mentality all season long as one of the key factors that helped them win. According to Allman, one of the team’s goals since cross-country camp has been to “train like MIAA champions.”

“I think it felt extra sweet to win because of how intentional we were about believing we could do it,” Allman said.

Kramer was happy to be able to share the championship with rival Hope College, as both programs have a lot of respect for one another.“I think it’s only fitting that we share the title,” Kramer told Chimes.

Sharing the title did create a small issue for the two teams, however, since the two teams had to figure out how to share the trophy and T-shirts available at the meet. The Flying Dutch — Hope’s team — let Calvin take home both; the conference commissioner Dr. Chris Brown is ordering more shirts and another trophy for Hope’s trophy case, according to Kramer.

The Knights travel to Norton, Ohio on November 11 to race at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, looking to secure a spot to race at the National Championships.

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