by Alan Babbitt
Another thrilling finish in the Hope-Calvin rivalry unfolded Saturday, some 650 miles away from West Michigan.
The Hope College men's track & field team edged the Knights by six one-hundredths of a second to win in the 4x800 relay at the Rhodes College Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee. The non-scoring meet was the first outdoor meet of the spring.
Junior Owen Ljung of Sonoma, California, junior Brenden Jones of Holland, Michigan (Black River), senior Collin Thomas of Novi, Michigan (Novi) and freshman Nick Hoffman of Holland, Michigan (Holland) topped a field of nine with a time of 7 minutes, 56.41 seconds. Calvin finished in 7:56.47.
The Flying Dutchmen were runner-up in two events.
Senior Ben Turner of Albion, Michigan (Olivet) took second in the pole vault after clearing 4.26 meters (14 feet).
Sophomore Jared Lowe of Cincinnati, Ohio (Wyoming) took second in the high jump after clearing 1.90 meters (6 feet, 2 ¾ inches) and winning a tiebreaker for runner-up honors. Teammates Josh Izenbart of Glenwood, Illinois (Homewood-Flossmoor) and Brandon Maurice of Howell, New Jersey (Howell) also cleared 1.90 meters to placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Hope's 4x100 relay came in third. Junior Korey Derr of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Northview), sophomore David Clark of Sterling Heights, Michigan (Stevenson), junior Adam Howard of Jacksonville, Illinois (Routt Catholic) and senior Justin Freeman of Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa) posted a time of 42.38 seconds.
Izenbart placed fourth in the 110 hurdles with a run of 15.47 seconds and the javelin with a toss of 48.92 meters (160-6).
Senior Tucker Gibbons of Fowlerville, Michigan (Fowlerville) recorded a fifth-place, 400-hurdle time of 57.22 seconds.
Hoffman clocked a seventh-place effort in the 800 meters of 1:57.20.
Hope's 4x400 relay was seventh. Freshman Drew Dow of Bridgman, Michigan (Bridgman), Ljung, sophomore Terrell Solberg of Traverse City, Michigan (T.C. Central) and Thomas combined for a run of 3:30.12.
The Flying Dutchmen's next meet is the Emory College (Georgia) Invitational on Friday-Saturday, March 22-23.