ADRIAN, Mich. - The Calvin men's track and field team claimed its 24th MIAA title in the last 25 years including its sixth straight, taking first place at the MIAA Championships with a team score of 212 points Friday afternoon at Adrian College.
Calvin finished 90.5 points ahead of second place Trine.
Senior Ethan Valentine (Mason, Oh./William Mason HS) closed out his MIAA career in sterling fashion, winning the 400 meters for the third consecutive year, clocking in with a time of 48.76. Valentine then anchored Calvin's 4x400 meter relay team to a stunning win as he made up a 35-meter gap in the final leg to nip Hope's team at the wire for the win in a time of 3:17.35. Valentine was joined in the relay by junior Luke Peterson (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS), junior James Jeninga (Brookfield, Wisc./Milwaukee Lutheran HS) and senior Noah Buteyn (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS). Valentine also placed fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 22.73.
Calvin came up with several first place performances on Friday. Buteyn led a 1-2-4 Calvin finish in the 800 meters, winning in a time of 1:56.52 while Jeninga was second (1:56.76) and Peterson fourth (1:58.80).
In the 1500 meters, Calvin went 1-3-6-7 with sophomore Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) winning in 4:06.10), senior Mark DeJong (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) taking third (4:08.00), freshman Noah Cummisford (Mequon, Wisc./Homestead HS) placing sixth (4:11.30) and freshman Micah Meindertsma (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia HS) taking seventh (4:12.80).
In the 1500 meters, senior Andrew Philipose (Mount Prospect, Il./John Hersey HS) took first (15:10.40), freshman Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was second (15:15.80), Johnson sixth (15:40.80) and sophomore Jacob Pettinga (Saugutuck, Mich./Saugutuck HS) seventh (15:43.30).
In the discus, junior Brendan VanHouten (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) defended his title, winning with a throw of 143-6 while sophomore Jordan Jorritsma (Holland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) was fourth (127-8).
VanHouten was also third in the hammer (166-1) while Jorritsma was seventh (141-9) and freshman Eric Van Eck (Yorba Linda, Ca./Hope PSP) eighth (140-1).
In the steeplechase, Calvin took four of the top six spots. Sophomore Caleb Ferguson (Naperville, Il./Neuqua Valley HS) repeated as league champion in the event, winning the race in a time of 9:32.31. Sophomore Addison Smith (Seoul, Korea/Seoul Foreign School) was third (9:47.77), senior Matt Boelens (Bolton, Mass./Noshoba Regional School) fourth (9:57.07) and sophomore Jason Klaasen (Jenison, Mich./Unity Christian HS) sixth (10:17.03).
In the 110 high hurdles, senior Chase Rohrer (Ludington, Mich./Ludington HS) was fifth (16.02). In the 400 meter hurdles, sophomore Sam Veenstra (North Haledon, NJ./Eastern Christian HS) was fifth (57.95) and Rohrer sixth (58.45).
Junior Lee Barents (Redlands, Ca./Arrowhead Christian HS) was sxith in the triple jump (42-4 1/4). Calvin's 4x100 meter relay team of freshman Sam Norman (Fulton, Mich./Fulton HS), senior Nate Veldboom (East Jordan, Mich./Ellsworth HS), freshman Matthew Blanker (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) and junior Jacob Buday (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett HS) took fifth with a time of 48.31.
"We had a very solid day," said Calvin head track and field coach Bret Otte. "It was a 'steady as she goes' mentality for our team. We knew we had pieces in place. It was a matter of staying true to form and focusing on the task at hand. We had solid contributions across the board. We have a strong men's team this year and this championship was a real collective effort. I'm proud of this group for this accomplishment."
Calvin will now prepare to compete in a series of last-chance meets.