11/20/2011 – The men's and women's cross country teams returned home from a successful trip to the NAIA National Championships. The men's team came off the course in 12th place, while the women finished in 22nd. The championships brought the top 32 men's and women's teams in the country to Fort Vancouver, Washington.
The championships were highlighted by the All-American effort of Devin Lea. The senior from Grand Ledge finished in 27th place in a personal best time of 24:47. Lea becomes Aquinas' 7th All-American in the sport of men's cross country.
Lea was closely followed in by Dustin Heiler, who finished in 32nd place in a time of 24:57. The gutty performance from the senior was two spots off All-American honors. Kolin Stickney (25:50 - 111th), Dan Foley (25:53 - 117th), and Mike Gravelyn (26:15 - 164th) rounded out the scoring for the Saints. The performance was the ninth fastest team time in school history.
The women's team placed 22nd and was led by the performance of Alina Dhaseleer. The junior from Charlevoix placed 92nd in a time of 19:23. Dhaseleer was followed in by Carly Plank (137th - 19:43) and Catie Rietsema (138th - 19:45). The Saints scoring was rounded out by Megan Byrne (178th - 19:54) and Jackie Katt (224th - 20:18).
The Saints were represented on the NAIA's Champion of Character team by Alina Dhaseleer and Jim Janisse.
Aquinas also had ten cross country members receive Academic All-American honors. The Saints receiving this honor included Nick Thelen, Devin Lea, Kevin Marah, Eddie Seymour, Andrew Libs, Alina Dhaseleer, Emily Sandula, Carly Plank, Jackie Katt, and Rachel Reyna.