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Strong Finish to Track & Field Season 


The Cornerstone University men's track & field team finished its season on May 26 at the NAIA DII National Championships hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. Out of 63 scoring teams, Cornerstone tied for 19th place with 14 points. In spite of high heat and humidity, the Cornerstone men's team had four individuals earn All-America honors.


Louis Falland, a sophomore from Australia, took 8th place in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Grand Rapids native Ryan Versen (picture left), also a sophomore, finished the 400 meter hurdles in 4th place. The 5,000 meter race walk brought two All-America honors for Cornerstone. Freshman Nathan Vanderwall (Marne, Mich.) took 8th place while junior Cody Risch (Mason, Mich., pictured right) finished in 2nd place.


The Cornerstone women's track & field team also finished its season on May 26 at the NAIA National Championships. Just like the men's team, the women's team had four athletes earn All-America honors.


Julie OosterhouseFreshman Julie Oosterhouse (Byron Center, Mich., pictured left) finished the 800 meters in 6th place. Brittany Green, a freshman from Monclova, Ohio, took 6th place in the heptathlon. Sophomore Monica Lawrence (Schoolcraft, Mich.) finished the 5,000 meter race walk in 4th place. Senior Janelle Brown (Bay City, Mich.) finished the 5,000 meter race walk in 2nd place. The National Championship meet wrapped up a stellar career for Brown. Head coach Rod Wortley said, "I'm proud of Janelle for earning All-America honors for the third time outdoors to go with her four times indoors. She's been one of the best in the NAIA for five years."


After another successful year in track & field, the women's and men's teams have very bright futures. Of the eight athletes who earned All-America honors during the 2012 outdoor season, seven will be back competing for Cornerstone next year. In addition to the returning All-Americans, the coaching staff is putting together a strong recruiting class to continue the outstanding track & field tradition at Cornerstone University.


2012 Champions of Character All-Star Game


The top senior basketball players, both men and women, from the Greater Grand Rapids area high schools and local colleges and universities will come together June 20-21 for the 2012 Champions of Character All-Star Games at Cornerstone University, presented by Meijer.


On Wednesday, June 20, the top college seniors from the NAIA, NCCAA and NCAA Division I, II and III will team up in the college all-star game. The men's college all-star team will play against returning professionals from overseas and the NBA. The college team will be coached by Gary Bailey, head coach of NCCAA II National Champions Grace Bible College, and Burt Paddock, Davenport University men's basketball head coach. Two players from CU's 2011-12 team--Ronald Bates and Justin Yoder--will compete for the college All-Stars. 


The women's all-stars are split into two teams who will face each other and will be coached by Cornerstone's Carla Fles (retiring), Davenport's Mike Williams and Calvin College's John Ross. Three Cornerstone seniors--Melissa Veltkamp, Samantha Flietstra and Ashley Moon--will play for the Eagle All-Stars team.


Tip off for the women's game is at 5:30 pm, with the men's game starting at 7:30 pm in the Hansen Athletic Center.


On Thursday, June 21, top senior players from area high schools will face each other in the high school East-West all-star games. Cornerstone recruits Teigan Mitcham and Jill Stenwyk will play for the girls' teams.


The girls' game begins at 5:30 pm, with the boys' game tipping off at 7:30 pm in the Hansen Athletic Center.


Full rosters for the games are listed below*.


Tickets for all games are $5 at the door. Family packs will be available for $15. Net proceeds go to the Champions of Character program, which strives to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official, and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.



2012 Champions of Character College All-Stars Men's Roster


(Name, Position, Height, College, High School)                                              

Ronald Bates, G, 5'9, Cornerstone , GR Central

Peter Bunn, G, 6'3, Hope , Lansing Christian

James Humphrey, F, 6'8, Davenport , Paul Harding (Ind.)

David Krombeen, G, 6'2, Hope , Grandville

Ryan Krombeen, F, 6'6, Grace Bible , Calvin Christian

Matt Kurtz, G, 5'11, Grace Bible , Lowell

Logan Neil, G, 6'4, Hope , West Ottawa

James Nelson, G, 6'2, Davenport , Detroit Country Day

John Oostema, G, 6'1, Grace Bible , GR Christian

James Thomas, G, 6'2, GVSU , GR Christian

Austin Thornton (poss.), G, 6'5, MSU , Cedar Springs

Damacious White, F, 6'0, Davenport , Berkley (Detroit)

Justin Yoder, G, 6'1, Cornerstone , Westview (Ind.)


Coaches (college, seasons, noteworthy)

Gary Bailey, Grace Bible , 7, 4 National Championships

Burt Paddock, Davenport , 4, 104-32 overall



2012 Champions of Character College All-Stars Women's Roster-Eagle All-Stars


(Name, Position, Height, College, High School)  

Melissa Veltkamp, G/F, 5'8, Cornerstone, Hudsonville
Samantha Fliestra, F, 5'11, Cornerstone, GR Christian
Ashley Moon, G, 5'5, Cornerstone, Fremont

Jennifer Brink, F, 5'10, Trinity Christian (Ill.), GR Christian

Maddie Burnett, G, 5'9, Hope, Northview

Anne Marie Shumaker, G, 5'8, Aquinas, Grand Haven

Karlee Despres, F, 5'11, Davenport, Comstock Park

 Jamillya Hardley, G/F, 5'9, U of M, GR Christian


Coaches (college, seasons, noteworthy)

Mike Williams, Davenport, 1, 30-5 overall

Carla Fles (retiring), Cornerstone, 13, 3x WHAC Coach of the Year, 301-129 overall



2012 Champions of Character College All-Stars Women's Roster-Champions All-Stars


(Name, Position, Height, College, High School)  

Jill Thomas, G, 5'6, Calvin, West Catholic 

Courtney Kurncz, G, 5'11, Calvin, St. Johns

Leah Mattson, G, 5'7, Calvin, Cadillac

Lindsey Pettit, G/F, 5'9, Ferris State, Portland  

Tricia Principe, G/F, 5'9, Ferris State, Okemos

Chelsea Harrison, G, 5'9, Hillsdale, Lowell 

Katie Bildner, G, 5'11, Hillsdale, West Catholic

Jessica Sikorski, F, 6'0, Grace Bible, Wyoming Park


Coach (college, seasons, noteworthy)

John Ross, Calvin, 9, 207-48 overall



2012 Champions of Character High School All-Stars Boy's Roster-East Team


(Player, height, high school, college)  

Mike Carey, 5'11, Coopersville, undecided 

Jordan Dailey, 6'3, GR Christian, Calvin College
Torrey Davis, 6'2, Greenville, Lake Forest College
Greg Hamilton, 6'1, Middleville, Spring Arbor
Darren Kapustka, 5'11, Northview, Grand Valley
Zach Leach, 5'7, Sparta, undecided
Luke Marble, 6'3, Sparta, Albion College
Chris Mickey, 6'2, Greenville, GRCC
Kevin Rich, 6'5, Northview, Davenport
Andy Slomski, 5'10, West Catholic, Olivet College
Austin Somerfield, 6'6, Greenville, GVSU

Miles Robinson, 5'11, East Kentwood, Lansing Community College


Coaches (name, school)

Mark Haist, Greenville

Trevor Chalmers, Northview



2012 Champions of Character High School All-Stars Boy's Roster-West Team


(Player, height, high school, college)  

Kevin Badger, 6'0, Godwin Heights, undecided
Alex Edison, 6'2, Grand Haven, Hope
Eric Evans, 6'1, Jenison, Albion College
Blake Hibbitts, 6'6, Hudsonville, Samford University
Ivy Johnson, 6'5, Rockford, Alma College
Casey Mott, 6'5, Wyoming Park, undecided
Jon Osantowski, 6'9, Tri-Unity Christian, Lawrence Tech
Zac VanBeek, 6'4, Zeeland East, Aquinas College
B.J. VanLoo, 6'6, Hudsonville, Grace Bible
Doug Venema, 6'5, Tri-Unity Christian, GRCC
Trent Windemuller, 6'1, Holland, Muskegon Community College
Eric Zudweg, 6'0, Tri-Unity Christian, GRCC


Coaches (name, school)

Mark Keeler, Tri-Unity Christian

Nick Allen, Rockford



2012 Champions of Character High School All-Stars Girl's Roster-East Team


(Player, height, high school, college)  

Shar'Rae Davis, 5'9, Grand Haven, Youngstown State
Emily Devries, 5'11, Caledonia, Davenport
Reyni Harvey, 5'9, Caledonia, Southwest Missouri State
Jenna Jaimeson, 5'8, Wayland, Spring Arbor
Molly Lameyer, 6'2, Wayland, Davenport (volleyball)
Alex Law, 5'11, Grand Haven, Findlay University
Alexis Miller, 5'11, Caledonia, Valparaiso University
Teigan Mitcham, 5'8, Forest Hills Northern, Cornerstone
Mackenzy Nichols, 5'5, Greenville, undecided
Asia Slagter, 5'9, Caledonia, Davenport
Kim Weston, 5'9, Rockford, Davenport


Coaches (name, school)

Katie Kowalczyk, Grand Haven

Martin Howard, Wayland



2012 Champions of Character High School All-Stars Girl's Roster-West Team


(Player, height, high school, college)  

Rashawn Calvert, 5'8, East Grand Rapids, Siena Heights University
Kara Carlson, 5'9, Kent City, Concordia University
Chrijauan Carter, 5'8, East Kentwood, Davenport
Lily Clifford, 5'8, East Grand Rapids, University of Michigan (track)
Mycah Hulst, 6'2, South Christian, Dordt College
Shaina Johnson, 5'9, East Kentwood, Davenport
Mertzie Klein, 5'5, West Catholic, Urbana University
Sonnie Kurnat, 5'9, Kent City, Muskegon Community College
April LaCross, 5'10, Forest Hills Central, Ferris State University
Jill Stenwyk, 6'1, Sparta, Cornerstone
Tiesha Stokes, 6'1, Catholic Central, Davenport


Coaches (name, school)

Lindsay Lieffers, East Grand Rapids

John Beadling, West Catholic

*At the time of this writing, the men's pro rosters had yet to be finalized.

CU Summer Youth Sports Camps are Here!


It's that time of the year again, and Cornerstone University is offering a variety of sports camps during the summer for your kids. Camp dates and age groups are below.


Boys Basketball:

June 18 - 21          Grades 7-10                        Overnight/Commuter*

June 25 - 28          Grades 3-6                           Day


Girls Basketball:

June 18 - 21          Grades 5-7                           Day

July 9 - 12             Grades 7-10                         Overnight/Commuter*



July 16 - 19           Grades 5-12                        Day

July 23 - 26           Grades 5-12                        Day


*The commuter campers follow the same daily schedule as the overnight campers. They are free to leave after league play (around 9:00pm).



Overnight Camp: $299.00 ($75.00 non-refundable registration fee, $224.00 instruction, meals, lodging, t-shirt)


Day/Commuter Camp: $230.00 ($75.00 non-refundable registration fee, $155.00 instruction, lunch, t-shirt)


Registration remains open until camp begins or the sessions are full. 


For more information please visit our website at cugoldeneagles.com or call Mike Riemersma, Assistant Athletics Director, at 616-254-1671.


We are running a special Talon Newsletter discount through the end of June. Don't delay; register today to receive this $70 discount. To receive the discount enter the coupon code "talon" at checkout.


We look forward to seeing you and your kids soon! 

WHAC Expands for 2012-13 Season


The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) is expanding to 12 teams in July. Two schools located in the heart of Michigan, Lawrence Technological University and Marygrove College, have been approved for membership. Both athletic programs will play a full conference schedule for 2012-13 season. The WHAC and its teams compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


A private university located in Southfield, Lawrence Tech is committed to preparing students to not just compete in their field of study, but to lead it. The university offers more than 60 programs in four colleges - architecture and design, arts and sciences, engineering, and management - and has an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students.


"The level of competition in the WHAC will be good for Lawrence Tech's students as they prepare to be innovative leaders," said Lawrence Tech president Lewis N. Walker. "Lawrence Tech has a long legacy of athletics and we are happy to return competition that provides an enriched experience."


Lawrence Tech will compete in basketball, cross country, and soccer for both the men and women, and women's volleyball. Non-conference sports include men's bowling and men's hockey. The school joined the NAIA this fall and is competing as an independent for the 2011-12 athletic season.


"Everyone in the WHAC has been very helpful throughout the process," noted Scott Trudeau, Lawrence Tech athletics director. "We look forward to competing in a strong conference as we continue to build our programs."


Marygroveis an independent Catholic liberal arts college sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with an enrollment of 950. The college prides itself on fostering Christian values, educating students from diverse backgrounds, and serving the people of Metropolitan Detroit and beyond.


"This is an important milestone for Marygrove's growing athletics program," said Dr. David J. Fike, Marygrove president. "It is a testament to the dedication, determination, and impact of embracing the Champions of Character tenants of our student-athletes and coaches."


Marygrove's athletic program fosters the benefits of physical and spiritual wellness, academic commitment, and leadership development and instills the theory that participating in athletics is a privilege. The Mustangs will compete in 13 varsity sports - five for the men and six for the women. Both genders will field teams in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and track & field while the women will also compete in volleyball.


"The entire Marygrove athletics department is excited to be a part of the WHAC," commented Dave Sichterman, director of athletics, wellness & recreation. "Membership in the WHAC will provide new opportunities for our student-athletes and is an additional source of pride for the entire Marygrove community."


The WHAC recently expanded from eight institutions to 10 after the addition of the University of Northwestern Ohio in 2010 and Lourdes University (Ohio) in 2011. Aquinas College (Mich.), Concordia University (Mich.), Cornerstone University (Mich.), Davenport University (Mich.), Indiana Institute of Technology, Madonna University (Mich.), University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Siena Heights University (Mich.) have been members since 2005.


"This is an exciting time to be part of the WHAC and the NAIA," said WHAC commissioner Rob Miller. "Lawrence Tech and Marygrove fit nicely with the conference's commitment to provide members a high-quality student-athlete experience."


School Information


Lawrence Tech

Southfield, Mich.

President: Lewis N. Walker

Founded: 1932
AD: Scott Trudeau

SID: Brad Beyer

Mascot (colors): Blue Devil (blue/white)

Men's Sports: basketball, cross country, soccer, bowling, hockey

Women's Sports: basketball, cross country, soccer, volleyball

Main Website: www.ltu.edu 

Athletics Website: www.bluedevilathletics.com 


Marygrove College

Detroit, Mich.

President: David J. Fike, Ph.D. 



AD: Dave Sichterman

SID: Tim Johnston

Mascot (colors): Mustangs (green/gold)

Men's Sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field

Women's Sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, indoor track & field, outdoor track & field, volleyball

Main Website: www.marygrove.edu 

Athletics Website: www.marygrovemustangs.com 


Local University Rounding Third with New Baseball Program and Stadium


By Peter J. Wallner


Originally published May 16, 2012, in The Grand Rapids Press and on MLive.com.


Cornerstone's Dave Mitroff longs to see his baseball team swing a bat, but until then, he'll watch construction workers wield shovels instead.


Cornerstone has a baseball program but doesn't have a team - just yet. Mitroff has players recruited, but he doesn't have a stadium or a season - just yet.


But the Golden Eagles are rounding third and headed for home.


"This has been an incredible time," Mitroff said.


Cornerstone announced in September it would revive the sport, last played in 1996, thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Jack and Mary DeWitt of Request Foods in Holland. A groundbreaking ceremony on a new stadium was held Nov. 2. It's expected to be completed in August. The first game is tentatively set for Oct. 13, a Saturday, against Judson University in a fall game before the season starts in February.


Mitroff, who has more than 800 games of coaching experience, was hired last October. Since, he has been busy throughout the season, even without playing a game.


"Probably about 90 percent of our time has been spent on recruiting," said Mitroff, 52, who, with assistants Ron Engels and Chuck Lowitzki, has signed 30 players with verbal commitments from five others. The goal is to have 40 players with 15 on a junior varsity team, he said.


"We started behind the eight ball because we got a late start after a lot of early guys had committed before October," said Mitroff, who had been the assistant varsity baseball coach at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, Ill. "So we've literally been all over the country, networking and trying to establish a connection with a lot of Christian schools, a lot of scouts and college coaches and let them know what Cornerstone is all about."


The team will be diverse, Mitroff said. The Golden Eagles have recruits from New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia, along with five from Cornerstone who survived a tryout. Mitroff will also have his son, also named Dave, who will transfer from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. and play his last season with Cornerstone.


"It's just a unique opportunity to play for my dad," said the young Mitroff, a 22-year-old catcher who will convert to pitcher. "I can save money at the same time, so it just made sense."


As the first season nears, Mitroff hopes to avoid the pitfalls of other first-year programs, such as Lourdes University, from Sylvania, Ohio. The fellow WHAC member won just one conference game and went 8-45 overall this season.


"Pitching and defense wins championships, so you have to be strong up the middle," Mitroff said. "And I'm pretty certain we have some guys who can swing it. But like any coach, I'm concerned about pitching."


When Mitroff isn't on the recruiting trail, he is on campus where construction began earlier this month on the new stadium.


"I'll be out there every day giving them doughnuts and coffee," he said.


The stadium, located in the middle of the campus and adjacent to the soccer field, will have seating for about 500, with an outfield berm where another 1,000 can watch.


The dimensions are 325 feet along the left and right field lines and 400 feet to center. It will also have lights, a clubhouse, batting cages and be covered by a Field Turf synthetic surface.


But most interesting, the stadium will be connected to two dormitories, to be built next year. Rooms will overlook the stadium - with shatterproof windows and strategic netting.


"I've been around and talked to lot of people, and no one has seen anything like it," said Dave Grube, Cornerstone's athletic director. "It will be unique to Cornerstone and certainly very beneficial to us as well as summer camps."


Mitroff has kept tabs on the competition in the WHAC this season, and watched a number of games while waiting for next season to begin.


"Oh, yeah, I've been following," he said. "Not having a team, I've been around the country but I've also had a chance to watch, and I was at the conference tournament."


The Golden Eagles' first official game is Feb. 15 in Memphis, Tenn. against Victory University. The first home game will be March 15 against Taylor University.


"I really feel honored to be in this position we're in," Mitroff said. "We have great support. We're going to get there. But it's been killing me to just watch all this baseball."


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