posted December 18, 2013

Hope Men's, Women's Cross Country Teams Present Team Awards For 2013 Season

The Hope men’s and women’s cross country teams have presented their team awards for the 2013 season.

Senior Tom Smeltzer of Frankfort (Benzie Central HS) and freshman Erin Herrmann of Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS) both were given the Dr. Vandervelde Award.

The Vandervelde Award is named in honor of Dr. (Coach) Richard Vandervelde, a former professor of mathematics and assistant cross country coach at Hope College. It is awarded to student-athletes who most closely exhibits the servant characteristics that Vandervelde lived out: a positive and enthusiastic attitude, being a servant to others, and motivating others toward excellence.

Most Valuable Runner honors went to seniors Sheri McCormack of Holland (West Ottawa HS) and Samuel Pederson of Mt. Prospect, Ill. (Prospect HS).

McCormack posted an All-American-earning time of 21 minutes, 47.1 seconds at the NCAA Division III Championships for 17th place for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's top performance. It was the third highest finish at nationals for the Flying Dutch. McCormack also was voted MIAA MVP.

Pederson also earned All-MIAA First Team honors this season.

Three runners received Most Improved recognition — sophomores Casey Campbell of Swartz Creek (Swartz Creek HS), Frank Moen of St. Joseph (Lake Michigan Catholic HS) and Matt Rolain of Rochester (Stoney Creek HS). 

Best Newcomers honors the women’s team went to Herrmann, freshman Jessica Gaines (Unity Academy for International Studies) and freshman Emily Joosse of Chillicothe, Ohio, (Zane Trace HS), and on the men’s team went to freshman Tyler Brinks of Commerce Township (Walled Lake Northern HS).