Calvin Women's Cross Country Claims First Place at MIAA Jamboree

Calvin Women's Cross Country Claims First Place at MIAA Jamboree

ALMA, Mich. - A pack of determined Knights proved to be too much for the rest of the MIAA to overcome on Saturday morning as the ninth-ranked Calvin women's cross country team claimed first place at the league jamboree at Alma's Pine River Country Club.

Calvin took five of the top eight spots in the MIAA Jamboree as the Knights posted a team score of 29 points, 18 points ahead of 15th-ranked Hope.

Senior Lauren Strohbehn (Stillwater, Minn./St. Croix Preparatory HS) was the top finisher for the Calvin women, placing third individually with a time of 21:40. Freshman Johanna Admiraal (Cincinnati, Ohio/Towson HS) also sparkled in her first conference competition, placing fifth in a time of 22:00.

Senior McKenzie Diemer (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS) was closed behind in sixth (22:20) while junior Cassie Vince (Amherst, Ohio/Marion L. Steele HS) was seventh (22:24), sophomore Katie Diekema (Kenmore, Wash./Inglemoor HS) eighth (22:33), freshman Kristen Lundberg (Albuquerque, N.M./Hope Christian HS) 14th (23:05) and junior Catherine Croft (Grand Rapids, Mich./Coopersville HS) 16th (23:07) to round out Calvin's top seven.

Erin Herrmann of Hope won the race in a time of 21:21 while Kaitlyn Arnold of Alma was second (21:25). Jessica Shaw of Albion was also able to take a small bite out of Calvin's tight pack by finishing fourth in 21:52.

"I was extremely pleased and encouraged with the way we ran today," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "We were nursing a few injuries and illnesses but our women supported one another throughout the race. When people needed help we had teammates moving up or sliding back to support them. That type of investment builds trust in one another and will pay dividends when we get into the final few weeks of the season."

Diemer also commented on the high caliber of competition at the front of the MIAA pack. "I'm not sure I have ever seen so many national caliber runners in our league up front the way I did today," said Diemer. "That's exciting for our league because it pushes everyone to be better and fans are able to see some tremendous competition."

According to Diemer, momentum for Calvin's season continues to build. "The atmosphere with this team is extremely positive," he said. "The women are having fun and have built a tight bond with each other. Everything is pointed in the right direction and we looking forward to continuing this amazing journey."

Calvin returns to action next Friday when it competes at the prestigious Notre Dame Invitational.