Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures Great Lakes Regional Title

Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures Great Lakes Regional Title

WEST OLIVE, Mich. – The Calvin men's cross country team captured its first regional title since 2012, finishing with a first place team score of 63 points at the Great Lakes Regional Championships Saturday at the West Ottawa Golf Club.

Calvin placed five runners in the top 20 to finish 53 points clear of second place Allegheny. With its regional title, the Knights receive an automatic berth to next week's NCAA III Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

With a senior class that had never tasted a regional crown before, the Knights were hungry for a win and senior Jordan Kramer (Pewaukee, Wisc./Lake Country Lutheran HS) helped satisfy Calvin's appetite with a second place individual finish in a time of 24:51.1. Kramer finished just seven seconds back of regional individual champion Dan Cheung of Allegheny College.

Junior Mark DeJong (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) had one of his top races of the season, placing 11th individually with a time of 25:04.1. Junior Andrew Philipose (Mount Prospect, Il./Mount Prospect HS) was right behind in 13th place with a time of 25:07.2.

Calvin then featured a pack of senior Zac Nowicki (Comstock Park, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) and sophomore Nathanael Dick (Grand Rapids, Mich./Home Schooled) with Nowicki placing 18th (25:17.4) and Dick 19th (25:17.4).

Senior Nate Van Haitsma (Olympia, Wash./Olympia HS) was 44th (25:59.4) and sophomore Jamison Koeman (Milford, Mass./Whitinsville Christian HS) 55th (26:10.2) to round out Calvin's finishers.

By finishing in the top 35, Kramer, DeJong, Philipose, Nowicki and Dick all earned Great Lakes All-Region honors from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association.

"I'm extremely proud of our team," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "Our senior class in particular wanted this one bad. Winning a regional title has been a stated goal for them and for our entire team since the first day of the season. The great thing about this group is that they are having fun and they have another week to keep the season going. We are excited to represent Calvin and our conference at nationals."

Calvin will be making its 32nd trip to the national championships which ranks third on the all-time NCAA III men's cross country list for national team appearances.