The Flying Dutchmen face a rebuilding task from a squad that finished second in the 2008 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings.
The Flying Dutchmen have a long history of competitiveness in the MIAA and NCAA Division III Great Lakes Region. Under coach Mark Northuis the past 21 seasons, the team has finished third or higher every year in the conference standings.
The 2008 team had five All-MIAA honorees, but four of them were seniors. The only returning all-league is senior Matt Wiersum of Minnetonka, Minn. (Minnetonka HS).
This year's squad returns 12 letterwinners. The pre-season roster of 35 athletes includes 18 freshmen, six sophomores, six juniors and six seniors.
Joining Wiersum as co-captains are seniors Ryan Jara of Commerce Township (Walled Lake North HS) and Kent Reschke of Naperville, Ill. (Naperville Central HS).
Other returning letterwinners include senior Eric Anderson of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS), junior Kyle Arndt of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS), junior Carl Dunker of Bloomfield Hills (Seaholm HS), sophomore Ben Fineout of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS), junior Kevin Hagan of Okemos (Okemos HS), sophomore Brian Hernandez of Saline (Saline HS), senior Collin Kooy of Metamora (Flint Power Catholic HS), sophomore Bruce Kraay of Zeeland (Zeeland East HS), sophomore Nathan Love of Midland (Midland HS), junior Chris Mauney of South Lyon (South Lyon HS), sophomore Andrew McKeachie of Milford (Milford HS), junior Jordan Richardson of Reading (Reading HS), and senior Lucas Wolthuis of Vicksburg (Vicksburg HS).
The Flying Dutchmen also excelled in the classroom in 2008-09 receiving Team Academic All-America honors from the College Cross Country Coaches Association for the 18th time over 19 years and the MIAA Team GPA award.
Hope will host two meets this fall, the season-opening Hope Invitational on September 5 and the MIAA Jamboree on September 26.