Two weekends ago the Hope College men and women X-C teams ran at the MIAA Championship meet in Kalamazoo. The women’s team took their fourth consecutive MIAA title, breaking the school record, while the men’s team placed fourth with their top five finishers keeping in a tight pack. The women’s team won the MIAA championship with an impressive score of 32 points, 25 points ahead of runner-up Calvin College with all five of their top runners coming in within the top ten finishers. Senior Emily Hamilton led the pack, taking second place overall with a time of 22:17.
Hamilton was followed by junior Chelsea Miskelly who came in fifth with a time of 22:54, junior Kelly Peregrine who came in seventh with a time of 23:04 and junior Anna Frazee who took seventh with a time of 23:12. The scoring pack was rounded off with senior Avery Lowe who came in tenth with a time of 23:21. Two more Hope runners, senior Sarah Neumar and freshman Julia Robleski, came in under the top 20 line. Head coach Mark Northuis commented on the team’s strong win, crediting it to “Our depth. You look at some of the runners in our top seven, and they’re not the usual names. They were all big for us today, along with our usual suspects. Our depth made the difference. When you have that depth, everyone pushing each other in practice, everyone gets better every single day.” The team runs again this weekend at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, aiming to take a repeat regional title and qualify for the national meet the following week. “We try to focus on what we do best,” Northuis commented. “You cannot have a down meet. We have to be strong to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
The men’s team took fourth place with a score of 127 points, all of the men coming in within a range of six places in 29 seconds. Leading the pack was senior Nathan Schloff at 22nd place with a time of 26:49 for the 8k course. He was followed by freshman Nick Hoffman at 24th, junior Brett Slayton at 26th, sophomore Zackary Murphy at 27th and sophomore Drew Schmitz at 28th to round off the men with a time of 27:18. The Flying Dutchmen’s next two runners, senior Nicholai Shaw and junior Ty Hergenreder, finished in the next sixteen seconds. “We tried to get out fast. It was a very fast start. We closed together very well,” Northuis commented. “We needed to close sooner. We’re a young group with a couple of seniors. We’re going to build on that success. The guys gave a very good effort for a tight pack.” The men will also be racing in the regional meet this weekend. Wish the runners luck!