Lake Winnecone, Wisc. - The 13th-ranked Calvin men's cross country team took sixth place in a field of nationally-ranked teams at the KollegeTown Invitational hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday.
The Knights posted a team score of 114 points, finishing only 12 points behind third place (and third-ranked) Wartburg. Top-ranked North Central won the race with a team score of 46 points while ninth-ranked Pomona-Pitzer provided a mild surprise by finishing second with 79 points.
10th-ranked Chicago and fourth-ranked Washington University of St. Louis was fourth with 105 points followed by
Junior Jonathan Ellis (Baltimore, Md./Towson HS) was Calvin's top finisher, placing eighth with a time of 25:01. Senior Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) was next, placing 12th in 25:16 while junior Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was 20th in 25:30.
Senior Caleb Ferguson (Naperville Il./Neuqua Valley HS) was 50th (25:51) and freshman Brandon Knepper () 83rd (26:16) to round out Calvin's top seven.
Nick Matteucci of Washington University won the race individually with a time of 24:43 on the 8K course.
COACHES COMMENT: "It was a solid race," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "We showed if we get a few things better, we're in the picture for the top 10 (nationally). We showed we can compete with some of the best teams. At 7K we were in 4th place. We did not finish well. We fought for it but we need to find a way to execute better. There are some good things going on. We have a couple of weeks until we are more sharp and ready to race."
NEXT UP: Calvin will compete at the MIAA Championships November 2 at Trine University.