Rising to the Occasion
Fall sports season marked by stand-out team and individual performances
On a challenging course, the Hope College women’s cross country team rose to the occasion again.
The Flying Dutch provided one of many highlights during the 2023 fall season by rising eight spots from the pre-national rankings to place 17th at the NCAA Division III Championships on November 18 in Newville, Pennsylvania. Hope finished ahead of both teams that topped the Flying Dutch at the regional week one week earlier: DePauw (Indiana) and Calvin.
Senior Rebecca Markham led the cross country team at nationals by recording an All-America, 6K run of 21 minutes, 36.0 seconds. The MIAA co-champion was one of four fall All-Americans, joined by football sophomore Nick Flegler, volleyball junior Addie VanderWeide and volleyball junior Lauren Lee. Volleyball’s Alison DeWeerd was an Honorable Mention All-American (pages 10–11).
Women’s soccer teammates Jenna Mustapha and Carley Wagasky earned all-region honors from the United Soccer Coaches.
Women’s cross country and volleyball claimed MIAA team titles. Men’s golf earned a 16-stroke lead after the conclusion of 72 holes of fall play. This is the first season the MIAA men’s and women’s golf championships are determined by play during the fall and spring. Women’s golf is in fourth.
A total of 35 Hope student-athletes received All-MIAA honors: nine in football, seven in men’s soccer, six in women’s cross country, five in women’s soccer, four in men’s cross country and four in volleyball.
With an 8-2 record, football posted its fifth season with at least eight wins in the past six years. Junior defensive lineman Derik Smith, who plays with a prosthetic leg, was featured nationwide on television on Courage in Sports: Gridiron Greatness on CBS in November.
Football, women’s soccer and women’s soccer all finished runner-up in the MIAA standings.