Calvin Men's Cross Country Uses Perfect Performance to Captured 33rd Consecutive MIAA Title

Calvin Men's Cross Country Uses Perfect Performance to Captured 33rd Consecutive MIAA Title

ANGOLA, Ind. - The Calvin men's cross country team captured its 33rd consecutive MIAA title on Saturday with a perfect score of 15 points at the MIAA Championships on the campus of Trine University.

Calvin took the top five spots individually including six of the top 10 as the Knights posted the ninth perfect score in MIAA Men's Cross Country Championships history. Calvin has posted all nine perfect scores, doing so in 1993, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2018 and 2019.

Junior Jonathan Ellis (Baltimore, Md./Towson HS) led the Knights by winning the 8K race in a time of 26:02. Ellis broke into the lead midway through the race and won by a 13-second margin.

Senior Tyler Johnson (Springfield, Il./Pleasant Plains HS) was second in 26:15 with senior Caleb Ferguson (Naperville, Il./Neuqua Valley HS) third (26:21), junior Justin Varineau (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) fourth (26:23) and sophomore Ryan Vreeke (Lakewood, Ca./Valley Christian HS) fifth (26:24).

Vreeke insured the perfect score with a late charge, passing a runner from Albion in the final 100 yards with a furious sprint.

Rounding out Calvin's top seven were senior Addison Smith (Seoul, South Korea/Seoul Foreign School) in 10th (26:58) and freshman Brandon Knepper (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg HS) in 13th (27:04).

Host Trine took second with 51 points.

Later in the afternoon, Ellis was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Runner. He also earned a spot on the All-MIAA First Team. Also named to the All-MIAA First Team from Calvin were Ferguson, Johnson, Varineau and Vreeke. Named to the All-MIAA Second Team from Calvin were Knepper and Smith.

COACHES QUOTE: "Our guys ran a great race today," said Calvin assistant cross country coach Al Hoekstra. "We are at the beginning of the peak phase of our season. A lot of guys are hitting their stride and feeling great. Jonathon Ellis ran a fabulous race. Our first five guys kept constant pressure on and one-by-one they started to pull ahead. It is very ddifuclt to get a perfect score of 15 at a league meet. I am very proud of our guys. Caleb Ferguson ran one of his best cross country races in a Calvin uniform. We competed on a very hilly and muddy course which does not play to Caleb's strength but he stayed locked in and determined and ran fabulous. He is peaking at the right time. Tyler Johnson ran a great race. As a team we feel we are peaking at the perfect time.

NEXT UP: Calvin will host the NCAA III Great Lakes Regional Meet on November 16 at the Gainey Athletic Complex.