Calvin Men's Cross Country Places 12th at NCAA III Championships - Philipose Claims All-America Honors

Calvin Men's Cross Country Places 12th at NCAA III Championships - Philipose Claims All-America Honors
ELSAH, Il. - The No. 12 Calvin men's cross country team proved worthy of its national ranking, placing 12th at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships Saturday morning.
 
The Knights posted a team score of 353 points, finishing six points ahead of Williams College. 

Calvin ran strong through the first three miles of the hilly 8K course as the Knights sat in fifth place according to the electronic chip timing system used at the meet. Calvin was unable to maintain that pace over the final stretch however, settling on its final 12th place finish. 

The finish was an improvement of seven spots from Calvin's 2016 national finish when it placed 19th at the NCAA III Championships.

Senior Andrew Philipose (Mount Prospect, Il./John Hersey HS) led the way for the Knights on Saturday with an NCAA III All-America finish, placing 16th with a time of 24:40. The All-America run was the third for Philipose in his distance running career, joining his All-America runs in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters last May at the NCAA III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Senior Mark DeJong (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) made a bid for an All-America berth early, running alongside Philipose for the first half of the race before falling back to a finish of 113th (25:34). 

Sophomore Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) was Calvin's second finisher, placing 74th with a time of 25:21.

Senior Andrew Rylaarsdam (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) closed out his collegiate career by placing 138th in 25:43. Junior Nathanael Dick (Grand Rapids, Mich./Home Schooled) was 138th in 25:47.

Freshman Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) made his nationals debut by placing 176th in a time of 25:53.

Junior Jamison Koeman (Whitinsville, Mass./Whitinsville Christian HS) rounded out Calvin's finishers, placing 212th in a time of 26:12.

"We had a solid race," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "We were hoping for a little higher finish and for most of the race we were right on track to do that. We just were unable to hold on enough over the final third of the race.  It was a very challenging course with a lot of hills. We knew that going in. Individually it was great to see Andrew Philipose become a cross country All-American. He was right up there with some of the same guys he has gone up against in track nationals and he ran well. It was also good to move up seven spots from last year (team finish). We are headed in the right direction as a program."

Darin Law of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire won the individual title on Saturday with a time of 24:03. North Central won the team title with a team score of 57 points.
 
Calvin was making its 33rd overall appearance at the NCAA III Championships which is tied for third on the all-time NCAA III Men's Cross Country list.