Calvin Men's Cross Country Has All-American Saturday at NCAA III Championships

Calvin Men's Cross Country Has All-American Saturday at NCAA III Championships

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Calvin men's cross country team placed 14th at the NCAA III Cross Country Championships on Saturday with a final team score of 148 points.

Saturday's championship was held at Tom Sawyer State Park.

Highlighting the afternoon for the Knights were the All-America performances turned in by junior Jonathan Ellis (Baltimore, Md./Towson HS) and senior Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS).

Ellis took 18th on the 8K course with a time of 24:49 while Johnson was 28th in 24:52. By finishing in the top 40, the duo earn NCAA III All-America honors for the first time in their collegiate careers.

Senior Addison Smith (Seoul, South Korea/Seoul Foreign School) closed out his collegiate cross country career by placing 105th in 25:29. Sophomore Ryan Vreeke (Lakewood, Ca./Valley Christian HS) was 134th (25:40) while freshman Brandan Knepper (Mechanisburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg HS) was 192nd (26:02), senior Caleb Ferguson (Naperville, Il./Neuqua Valley HS) 203rd (26:07) and junior Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) 206th (26:09).

Pomona-Pitzer captured the national title with a team score of 164 points with defending national champion North Central taking second with 182 points.

Calvin entered Saturday's competition ranked 11th nationally.

COACHES COMMENT: " Jonathan Ellis and Tyler Johnson ran good races. They realized their dreams of becoming All-Americans," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "That was good to see them up there duking it out. Overall we are pretty disappointed with our team performance. We thought we were fit and ready to go but today we just did not execute as a team. We got out decent in the first 200 meters but by the one kilometer mark we began to fall back. We didn't run together the way we usually do and we finished where we did because of that."