by Alan Babbitt
With one of its top runners sidelined due to injury, the Hope College men's cross country team fought its way to a third-place tie at the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at Trine University.
The Flying Dutchmen totaled 113 points to equal Albion College's total.
"We were without our No. 2 runner today. He hurt himself in practice. The other guys stepped up and ran a really solid race," head coach Mark Northuis said. "We knew that if we could get our pack in before Albion's, that would really make a difference, and that's what we did."
Sophomore Nick Hoffman of Holland, Michigan (Holland) ran the fastest for Hope with a 14th-place, 8K time of 27 minutes, 14.4 seconds.
Hoffman earned All-MIAA Second Team honors.
Sophomore Evan Bleitz of Saline, Michigan (Saline HS) finished 22nd by clocking a run of 27:56.2.
Freshman Max Gutwein of Westfield, Indiana (Westfield) took 24th with a time of 28:05.0.
Freshman Luke Shoemaker of Elkhart, Indiana (Concord) placed 25th at 25:05.6.
Senior Ty Hergenreder of Davison, Michigan (Goodrich) recorded a 28th-place time of 28:13.5 to round out Hope's scoring.
Junior Drew Schmitz of Westfield, Indiana (Westfield) took 30th with a run of 28:21.1.
Freshman Gabriel DeYoung of Saegertown, Pennsylvania (Saegertown) came in 32nd at 28:38.9.
"We ended up with a strong performance from our young guys. There are two sophomores and two freshmen in our top five," Northuis said. "That's really exciting for us. We are pleased with how the young guys have adjusted to the five-mile distances. The future looks bright."
Hope and Albion finished behind first-place Calvin University (15) and Trine (51).
The Flying Dutchmen's next meet is the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional hosted by Calvin on Saturday, November 16.