Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures 32nd Consecutive MIAA Title

Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures 32nd Consecutive MIAA Title

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The third-ranked Calvin men's cross country team captured its 32nd consecutive MIAA title in grand fashion on Saturday, posting a perfect score of 15 points at the MIAA Championships.

Saturday's race was held at the Eastern Hills Golf Course with Kalamazoo College serving as host.

Calvin took the top six spots individually including seven of the top nine as the Knights posted the eighth perfect score in MIAA Men's Cross Country Championships history. Calvin has posted all eight perfect scores, doing so in 1993, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2018.

Calvin featured a pack of seven runners for the majority of Saturday's 8K race with junior Addison Smith (Seoul, South Korea/Seoul Foreign School) breaking away in the final mile to win the race with a time of 25:09.3. Smith finished seven second ahead of teammate Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) who was second in 25:16.4.

Sophomore Jonathan Ellis (Baltimore, Md./Towson HS) was a fraction behind, taking third in 25:16.8 while sophomore Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) placed fourth (25:18.8).

Junior Caleb Ferguson (Naperville, Il./Neuqua Valley HS) was fifth in 25:25.9 and senior Jamison Koeman (Whitinsville, Mass./Whitinsville Christian HS) sixth in 25:34.7.

Sophomore Noah Cummisford (Mequon, Wisc./Homestead HS) was ninth in 25:56.1 and junior Jacob Pettinga (Saugutuck, Mich./Saugutuck HS) 11th in 26:05.7. Freshman Ryan Vreeke (Lakewood, Ca./Valley Christian HS) was also 16th in a time of 26:33.4.

Albion was second with 56 points and Trine third with 76.

"I am very pleased with how we raced today," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "We have seen this building for a couple of weeks now and it is really exciting. This is a very selfless team. It is a team that runs together, pushes each other and is happy for each other. It is a very powerful thing to watch the power of teamwork with the way this team runs together. Addison Smith was really on top of his game today. With a mile to go he was urging his teammates to follow him. He is in top form right now which is exciting for him and for our team."

Saturday's MIAA title marked the 32nd league crown in men's cross country for Diemer and his 40th overall as he has led the women's program to eight league titles. With 40 MIAA titles to his credit, he is the winningest coach in terms of league championships in MIAA athletics history.

"Winning an MIAA title is something I never take for granted and I have been blessed to have great coaching support from my assistants," said Diemer. "I have had the privilege of coaching many talented runners as well. I am grateful to all of them for their dedication to the Calvin cross country program."

As the conclusion of the competition, Smith, Johnson, Ellis, Varineau, Koeman and Ferguson were all named to the All-MIAA first team with Smith receiving MIAA Most Valuable Runner honors. Cummisford, Pettinga and Vreeke were named to the All-MIAA second team.

Calvin will now prepare to compete at the Great Lakes Regional meet on November 10 in Franklin, Indiana.