by Alan Babbitt
The Hope College men's cross country team ran together in a tight pack on Saturday at the Gil Dodds Invitational hosted by Wheaton College (Illinois).
The Flying Dutchmen's top seven runners all crossed the finish line within 40 seconds of each other as Hope finished sixth out of 12 teams with 183 points.
Sophomore Evan Bleitz of Saline, Michigan (Saline HS), pictured, led Hope with a 59th-place, 8K effort of 27 .27.9.
Sophomore Nick Hoffman of Holland, Michigan (Holland) took 69th with a run of 27:37.8.
Freshman Max Gutwein of Westfield, Indiana (Westfield) placed 70th at 27:39.6.
Junior Drew Schmitz of Westfield, Indiana (Westfield) came in 79th by clocking a time of 27.47.8.
Junior Zackary Murphy of Coldwater, MIchigan (Coldwater) concluded Hope's scoring with a 85th-place run of 27.59.1.
The Flying Dutchmen's final runners in their top seven were freshman Luke Shoemaker of Elkhart, Indiana (Concord) in 94th at 28:11.1 and junior Jacob Kelley of Rockford, Michigan (Rockford) in 95th at 28:13.6.
Hope's next meet is the Lansing Community College Invitational on Friday, October 4 at 3 p.m.