Calvin Men's Cross Country Team Cruises to MIAA Jamboree Victory

Calvin Men's Cross Country Team Cruises to MIAA Jamboree Victory

ALMA, Mich. - The 15th-ranked Calvin men's cross country team was nearly perfect on Saturday morning at the MIAA Jamboree as the Knights took five of the top seven spots for a first place score of 18 points.

Saturday's 8K race was held at the Pine River Country Club with Alma College serving as host.

Calvin dominated the competition as Albion took second with 72 points followed by Hope in third with 96 points.

Senior Zac Nowicki (Comstock Park, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) led a 1-2-3 Calvin finish as he took first place in a time of 25:22. Junior Mark DeJong (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was second (25:29) and senior Jordan Kramer (Pewaukee, Wis./Lake Country Lutheran HS) third (25:34).

Junior Andrew Philipose (Mount Prospect, Ill./Mount Prospect HS) was fifth (25:46) and sophomore Jamison Koeman (Milford, Mass./Whitinsville Christian HS) seventh (25:48).

Calvin's top seven was rounded out by sophomore Nathanael Dick (Grand Rapids, Mich./Home Schooled) in ninth (26:05) and senior Nathan Van Haitsma (Olympia, Wash./Olympia HS) in 10th (26:06).

"Our guys ran as a team today and that's a trait that this group has really developed this year," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "Our victory today was spurred on by performances right on through the ranks. Our guys in the back were pushing their teammates up front. The enthusiasm and energy with our guys was terrific."

A key part in the race came at the 8K mark according to Diemer as Nowicki broke away from the lead pack. "When Zac made that move, it pushed the tempo of the race and that was to our team's benefit," said Diemer. "This race provided another big confidence boost for our team. Our guys are starting to believe and that's exciting because we have several big races ahead of us."

Calvin's next big race will come next Friday when it competes at the prestigious Notre Dame Invitational.