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College Showcase: Former Lakers' runners renew acquaintances

Nate Thompson • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:46 AM

A total of four former Lakers competed at the event, with 2009 graduate Blake Rottschafer representing Hope College’s men’s team; 2010 grad Hannah Nyboer and 2012 grad Cory Cook running for Hope’s women’s team; and 2011 graduate Sammie Chittenden competing for St. Mary’s (Ind.) College’s women’s squad.

Nyboer and Cook weren’t among the top seven finishers on Hope’s squad, although the Flying Dutch took second at the meet, trailing only champion Calvin College. Grand Haven graduate Julia Stock had a strong showing for the Dutch, as she was their third-fastest finisher and placed 14th overall with a time of 23:10.

St. Mary’s took sixth at the meet, as Chittenden was the Belle’s sixth finisher, crossing the line in 25:03.

Rottschafer, a senior captain at Hope, couldn’t propel the Dutch past rival Calvin in the team standings, but he was Hope’s top finisher, clocking in at 26:11 on the 8K course and placing ninth overall.

More recently, Rottschafer ran an impressive race at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic, hosted by the University of Louisville on Sept. 29. He finished 43rd overall in a field of runners comprised of many Division 1 and 2 competitors.


Former Grand Haven standout Joe Duff has become a key runner on the Grand Valley State men’s cross country team, a squad that is currently ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Division 2 rankings.

The Lakers crushed the competition at the Michigan Intercollegiate Championship on Friday, with GVSU placing four runners in the top five. The Lakers’ Spencer Pageau won the event in 24 minutes, 35 seconds, while Duff was close behind in second-place at 24:37.

As a team, GVSU totaled 20 points, which easily beat out runner-up Calvin College (73), and third-place Saginaw Valley State (138). A total of 24 teams competed at the meet that was hosted by Calvin.

Duff and the Lakers will look to clinch the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title on Oct. 20 in Midland.


Western Michigan Christian graduate Nate Bruinsma scored his first goal of the season during a Sept. 22 game for Western Illinois University, but the Leathernecks settled for a 1-1 tie with Nebraska-Omaha.

WIU’s record currently stands at a disappointing 2-7-3.

Bruinsma, a senior forward, has started 11 games for the Leathernecks this season, and has tallied two assists and 13 shots on goal.

Western Illinois, a Division 1 program located in Macomb, Ill., also suffered a 5-1 loss on Sept. 29 to Oakland University, which features reserve defender Jacob VanderLaan of Grand Haven.


Three days after winning the Rim Rock Farm Classic in Lawrence, Kan., University of Michigan senior Becca Addison was named the Big Ten Conference’s Athlete of the Week.

Addison, a Grand Haven graduate, not only lifted U-M to the team title at the event, but also ran her season-best 6,000-meter time of 20:29.20.

The Big 10 honor is Addison’s first in cross country and the first Michigan runner to earn the award since Sept. 20, 2011.

U-M’s performance in Kansas lifted the Wolverines to a No. 8 ranking in the most recent Division 1 coaches poll.

Addison will be back on the trails on Saturday at the NCAA Pre-Nationals, hosted by the University of Louisville.

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