Emily Hamilton zeroed in on where to draw her inspiration for her junior season of cross country at Hope College.
She followed quite well the footsteps of Erin Herrmann — a multi-time NCAA Division
III All-American in cross country and track & field All-American and steeplechase
Hamilton joined Herrmann as a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Runner in cross country on Saturday while helping the Flying Dutch become league champions for the ninth time overall and third in a row.
Hamilton follows Herrmann (2016), Sheri McCormack (2013), Tina Pike (2004), Marcia Vandersall Bannink (1992), Katy Conlen (1991), and Tauna Jecmen (1987-88) in earning the MIAA’s top honor.
Head coach Mark Northuis is proud of Hamilton’s performance this season.
“She’s come a long way from being the seventh runner of the team last season. She’s taken everyone else with her,” Northuis said. “She’s really been reaping the benefits of the hard work she’s put in.”
Hamilton finished second at both the MIAA Jamboree and MIAA Championships this season — the top combined performance of all MIAA runners at the two meets. Hope won both events.
Hamilton headlines an All-MIAA Women’s Cross Country Team of 15 runners.
Hamilton is joined by five teammates on the All-MIAA First Team: senior Alissa Frazee of Watervliet, Michigan (Home School), senior Alexis Guttilla of St. Charles, Illinois (Westminster Christian), senior Rachael Webb of Grandville, Michigan (Grandville), and sophomore Chelsea Miskelley of Holland, Michigan (Black River).
Junior Avery Lowe of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon HS) claimed All-MIAA Second Team honors.
Hamilton turned to her former teammate for inspiration this season.
Herrmann burst onto the national scene as a junior en route to one of the top running careers in Hope College history.
“Her junior year, she grew a lot as a runner,” Hamilton said of Herrmann. “This summer I came in and wanted to train hard — wanting to push myself to see how far I could actually go. It’s been exciting in every race to see what I can do. I’ve been proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
Hamilton is grateful for supportive teammates who have helped her race faster than she thought possible.
“It’s been great having the team behind me, pushing me every single workout and every single race,” Hamilton said. “It’s been a great journey.”