Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures Great Lakes Regional Title - Advances to NCAA III Championships

Calvin Men's Cross Country Captures Great Lakes Regional Title - Advances to NCAA III Championships
POWELL, Oh. - The 13th-ranked Calvin men's cross country team repeated as Great Lakes Regional Champions on Saturday morning, winning the regional title with a first place score of 61 points.

The Knights finished 49 points ahead of second place DePauw University with Ohio Northern third with 123 points.

The top two teams at the regional meet receive automatic berths to the NCAA III Championships scheduled to take place next Saturday in Elsah, Illinois. 

Calvin has now won 19 Great Lakes Regional titles in the last 22 years.
 
Senior Andrew Philipose (Mount Prospect, Il./John Hersey HS) led the charge for Calvin by placing third on the 8K Liberty Park course in a time of 25:16. Philipose made a bid for the regional title by running with the lead pack before falling behind a few paces in the final 300 meters. Ian McVey of Ohio Northern won the race in 25:11 with Dominic Patacsil of Wabash second in 25:11.
 
Senior Mark DeJong (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was ninth in 25:44 followed by junior Nathanael Dick (Grand Rapids, Mich./Home Schooled) in 15th (26:00.4) and sophomore Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) in 16th (26:00.5).
 
Junior Jamison Koeman (Whitinsville, Mass./Whitinsville Christian HS) had a strong race, placing 18th in 26:03. Senior Andrew Rylaarsdam (Grandville, Mich./Calvin Christian HS) was 20th and freshman Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) 25th (26:11) to round out Calvin's finishers.

By finishing in the top 35, all seven Calvin runners earned spots on the Great Lakes All-Region team. 

"We had an amazing pack today," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "We have a lot of depth and that depth came to the forefront today. Andrew Philipose led us up front. He had a strong race. Mark DeJong was also very solid. After that our pack just came together. Nathanael Dick had a huge race and Jamison Koeman took a big step forward today. We feel confident and strong as a team. We have a few tweaks that we need to make but we feel ready to go for nationals."

The NCAA III Cross Country Championships will be hosted next Saturday by Principia College. Calvin will be making its 25th consecutive trip to the NCAA III Championships and its 33rd overall.