Calvin College Sets Sports Record

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Six of seven fall sports teams at Calvin College finished in first place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) this year, setting a record.

The Calvin women’s soccer team was one of six to win an MIAA title.

The Grand Rapids, Mich., college, which is owned by the Christian Reformed church, competes against eight other colleges in Division III, including long-time rival Hope College.

It was the first time in MIAA’s 125-year history that one school claimed six titles. Winning teams included men’s and women’s soccer, men and women’s cross-country, women’s volleyball, and men’s golf. The women’s golf team also qualified for national competition.

“We are traditionally strong in the fall sports,” said women’s athletic director Nancy Meyer, “but this was a banner year for us.”

“I attribute the success to unbelievably dedicated student athletes and coaches who are committed to pursuing excellence in the academics and athletics,” said men’s athletic director James Timmer. Calvin College does not give out athletics scholarships but coaches do some recruiting.

“Having a great facility also helps,” Meyer said. The 365,000 square-foot Spoelhof Athletic Complex was completed in early 2009.

Will the winning streak continue in upcoming years? According to Meyer, there will be some rebuilding of talent. Men’s cross-country, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball teams included a majority of seniors this fall. But the women’s soccer team has nine freshmen.

All the success this fall meant a lot of work for the college’s two athletic directors. “It’s fun—there’s a lot of positive energy—but we are really busy,” said Meyer.

Competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III, the men’s cross-country team finished in second place and the women’s cross-country team finished 18th. Women’s volleyball took second place. Men’s and women’s soccer teams were eliminated in early NCAA matches. Golf nationals will take place in the spring.

About the Author

Roxanne Van Farowe is a freelance writer living in North Carolina. She has reported on synod, the annual decision-making gathering of the CRC, for many years.

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