NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The nationally-ranked Calvin men’s and women’s teams came away with a pair of dominating performances at the MIAA Jamboree hosted by Saint Mary’s College on Friday.
Calvin’s women prevailed as the eighth-ranked Knights recorded a team score of 20 points, 33 points ahead of No. 17 Hope. The Calvin women took the top two spots individually including seven of the top nine to cruise to the win.
No. 6 Calvin men’s team took six of the top seven spots to record a first place team score of 17 points, 56 points ahead of second place Hope.
Junior Nicole Michmerhuizen led the way in the women’s 6K race with a first place time of 22:01, with senior teammate Alyssa Penning close behind in second place (22:03). The duo ran in tandem and broke away from Hope’s Sheri McCormack early in the race with McCormack finishing third in 22:17.
Calvin freshman McKenzie Diemer also had a big afternoon, placing fourth individually with a time of 22:31 while senior Christine Hartley came in sixth (22:33) and sophomore Kimby Penning seventh (22:38) to round out Calvin’s top five. Junior Alyssa Oram was eighth (22:41) and sophomore Sarah Danner ninth (22:53) to close out Calvin’s top 10 finishers.
“I am so proud of the way our women’s team ran today,” head coach Brian Diemer said. “Our team ran with a purpose and they ran together. So many of our young runners made big jumps during the (outdoor) track season last spring and they are reaping the benefits of that development this fall. I am excited about how this team has come together.”
Diemer was also excited with the way his men’s team ran as the trio of seniors Dan Kerr, Job Christiansen and Matt VanderRoest formed a tight pack up front with Kerr placing first (25:29), Christiansen second (25:30) and VanderRoest third (25:35).
Senior David VandeBunte was Calvin’s next finisher, placing fifth in 25:44 while junior Sam Kerk was sixth (25:51) and senior Rhett Morici seventh (25:58).
“Our men’s team had a great day,” said Diemer. “Our guys got out front early and stayed out of trouble on a course that had some tight spots. I thought our pack running was outstanding all the way through our lineup. I think we set ourselves up well for the conference championships in a month and I think some guys took a step forward today that will help us reach some of other teams goals this year as well.”
The MIAA Jamboree is worth one-third of the final MIAA title with the MIAA Championships making up the remaining two-thirds.