Calvin Women's Cross Country Takes Second at MIAA Championships

Calvin Women's Cross Country Takes Second at MIAA Championships

ADRIAN, Mich. - The Calvin women's cross country team took second at the MIAA Cross Country Championships hosted by Adrian College at the Raisin Valley Golf Club Saturday afternoon.

The Knights posted a team score of 66 points. It marked the third consecutive year Calvin has finished as conference runners-up.

Calvin's top finisher was senior Kate McLain (Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian HS) who placed seventh with a time of 22:26 on the 6K course.

Senior Marissa McGahan (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) was 11th (22:35) and senior Hope Gaffner (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) 15th (22:41).

Sophomore Michelle Koetje (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian HS) was 16th (22:42) and sophomore Sarah Ball (Lynden, Wash./Lynden Christian HS) 17th (22:51).

Rounding out Calvin's top seven were junior Katie Diekema (Kenmore, Wash./Ingelmoor HS) in 20th (22:56) and junior Breanna Kooiman (Tinley Park, Il./Chicago Christian HS) in 21st (22:51).

Hope captured the MIAA title with a team score of 20 points. Alex Guttilla of Hope took first place individually on Saturday with a time of 21:58.

Kate McLain earned a spot on the All-MIAA first team. McGahan, Diekema and Koetje landed spots on the All-MIAA second team.

"I though Kate McLain might have had her finest cross country race," said Calvin head cross country coach Brian Diemer. "She ran free and confidently. There was a lot of joy in the way she performed which was wonderful to see. We have fought through some injuries this year and that hurt us a bit today but at the same time I want to congratulate Hope on a fine performance. They had a strong game plan, executed it well and finished strong. They are worthy champions and I congratulate them on their race."

Diemer said the team will now focus on the upcoming NCAA III Great Lakes Regional race in two weeks. "We have some time to regroup and refocus," said Diemer. "It's up to the team to decide where they want the next few weeks of the season to go. We have the ability to do some good things yet this season. We just have to prepare and be ready to go for it when our next race arrives."

Calvin will compete at the Great Lakes Regional meet on November 11 with Ohio Wesleyan University serving as host.