Brandon Crawford, ‘06
The men’s basketball program achieved three 20-win seasons with Brandon Crawford playing a significant role in the frontcourt for the Britons.
A two-time all-MIAA first team pick, he was the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player and an All-American with averages of 22.1 points and 11.3 rebounds in 2006. He scored 574 points, the most by an Albion player in a single season.
Playing alongside Hall of Fame inductees Travis DePree and Michael Thomas, Crawford averaged 14.6 points and 8.6 rebounds as the Britons achieved a 12-2 record against MIAA rivals to earn the league championship. At 26-4 overall, Albion was one of the final eight teams left standing in the NCAA Tournament.
In just three seasons, Crawford produced 1,244 points, placing him seventh all-time at Albion, and 707 rebounds.
After graduating with a degree in history, Crawford went on to an international basketball career where he played for teams in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Uruguay, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. The teams he played for in 2010 and 2015 won league championships.
Now retired from basketball, Crawford is moving to Houston, Texas, to begin a career in information technology development.
Amiee Greene Downey, ‘03
A three-time all-MIAA first team award winner, Amiee Greene Downey was a senior on the 2003 women’s tennis team that captured the MIAA championship.
Downey and her doubles partner, Emily Dumas, were the runners-up at No. 1 doubles in the 2003 MIAA Tournament.
Downey and her husband Patrick, ’00, reside in Battle Creek with children Ellery, Leah, Spencer and Carter. While working on a master’s degree in early childhood education, Downey teaches preschool and transitional kindergarten classes at St. Joseph Elementary School.
Christian Hall, ‘96
Christian Hall was a two-time all-MIAA performer on the track.
His primary individual event was the 800 meters, and Hall earned a silver medal with a runner-up finish while helping the 1994 team gain the MIAA championship.
Hall scored another silver medal in 1995 as he was nipped at the finish line by one hundredth of a second in the 800. He was an all-MIAA pick, helping Albion win the 1,600-meter relay.
Hall moved up to the top of the podium in 1996, winning the 800 with a time of 1:54.42. He also set the school record in the event and qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1996 with a time of 1:51.71.
A biology major, Hall also excelled academically at Albion. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude.
A 2000 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Hall served in the United States Navy from 2006-2011. He now practices as an orthopedic surgeon in York, Pa. Christian and his wife Caroline are the parents of Carson, Caden and Cullen.
Jim Heaslip, ‘95
Jim Heaslip was a member 1991 and 1994 football and 1994 track & field teams inducted into the Albion Athletic Hall of Fame, and tonight he receives his individual award.
A defensive lineman, Jim was an all-MIAA first team pick in football in 1992 and 1993 and he was the Britons Lineman of the Year in 1992. The Britons allowed a shade less than 72 rushing yards per game and just 49 points in the final games against MIAA rivals in 1992, and Jim was credited with two fumble recoveries as the defense surrendered 56 points against MIAA rivals in 1993.
His best performance in the MIAA Track & Field Championship was a runner-up finish in the shot put in 1995.
Jim has remained active in athletics, coaching in the Little League in Marine City since 2013 and as an assistant to the junior varsity football team at Marine City High School since 2008.
The police chief in Marine City, Jim has received the Medal of Valor as well as awards for life saving and professional excellence.
Jim and his wife Lindsay are the parents of Jaden and Jeffery.
Dustin Louwaert, ‘05
Dustin Louwaert was the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player on offense in 2004 after rushing for 932 yards and 11 touchdowns in seven games against league rivals. He added 179 yards on kick returns to finish the season averaging nearly 162 ½ all-purpose yards per game, a figure that placed him second in the MIAA that year.
In all, Dustin finished the 2004 season with 1,100 rushing yards, a figure that places him 11th in a single season at Albion.
Dustin had one of the best games in school history on Oct. 9, 2004, when he ran for 256 yards and five touchdowns. He still shares the school record for most touchdowns in a game with Virgil Petty.
Rushing for 2,308 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career, Dustin was an all-MIAA second team pick in 2002 placed on the list of honorable mention players in the MIAA in 2003.
An economics and management major at Albion, Dustin works for Northpointe Bank. He and his wife, Shelly, live in Kalamazoo and are the parents of a daughter, Raegan.
Ivan Meiring, ‘05
Ivan Meiring was a two-time All-American in the discus throw. His third place throw of 172’ 2” helped Albion finish 13th in the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Ivan achieved a seventh-place finish in 2003, throwing the discus 168’ 3”.
On the MIAA level, Ivan was a three-time all-MIAA award winner and he was a member of the Britons 2004 championship squad.
Ivan’s athletic career at Albion involved more than track & field. A defensive lineman, he was placed on the list of honorable mention players in the MIAA and was named Albion’s Defensive Lineman of the Year after wrapping up four quarterback sacks and recovering a fumble in 2004.
An economics major, Ivan is the owner of Integrated Specialty Contractors. Formerly from Quincy, Mich., Ivan resides in Bloomingdale, Ill., with his wife Hilary, ’04, and their children Piper and Berrien.
Nicholas Mockeridge, ‘04
Nick Mockeridge ran at the front of the pack, finishing his career as Albion’s first four-time all-MIAA performer in cross country and as the league’s Most Valuable Runner in track & field for the 2003 season.
His best ever finish in the MIAA Cross Country Championship came in 2002 when he completed the course at Alma in 25 minutes, 41 seconds. Nick set his best time in the MIAA Championship – 25 minutes, 39 seconds – when Albion served as host of the meet the next year.
The four-time cross country team MVP and four-time all-region performer twice advanced to the NCAA Championship. The Britons qualified as a team for the first time in 20 years in 2003, finishing 18th.
Nick’s name can still be found in Albion’s track & field leaders. He still holds the school record for the 5,000 meters indoors at 15 minutes, 12 seconds, and his outdoor performances in the 10,000 meters is second, the steeplechase is third and the 5,000 is fourth.
A physical education and sociology major at Albion, Nick completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Metro State University of Denver in 2011. A clinical coordinator at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, he currently resides in Troy with his wife Sarah, ’04, and their four children.
Katie Tornga Grostic, ‘06
Trusting the message from coach Scott Frew that hard work, passion and tenacity would deliver success on and off the court, Katie Tornga was a member of three MIAA champion women’s tennis teams at Albion.
Katie was a three-time runner-up in singles and a three-time doubles champion with Emily Stocker when the MIAA contested flight tournament at the end of the season.
A four-time all-MIAA pick, Katie was a member of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 teams that advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament. Katie and Emily Stocker achieved 57 victories in their three years as a doubles team and Katie racked up 58 singles victories in her four-year career.
An economics and management and psychology major at Albion, Katie works as the program manager for ManpowerGroup, onsite at Steelcase Inc. Katie and her husband Peter, ’06, reside in Grand Rapids with their children Avery and Maxwell.
Derek Tracy, ‘07
Whether it was as a linebacker on the football field or as the third baseman for the baseball team, Derek Tracy was known as a feared hitter.
Derek hit nine homeruns, a figure which still places him second in a season at Albion, and 10 doubles for a .672 slugging percentage as he gained the MIAA Most Valuable Player award for the 2006 season.
Derek added an all-MIAA first team award in 2007 after hitting .344 with eight doubles, seven homeruns and 35 runs batted in. One of his most dramatic hits was a three-run shot over the fence in right-center in the eighth inning as Albion walked off with an 8-7 victory over Olivet.
His football career included 37 tackles, including 9 ½ for loss and three interceptions.
Derek stayed involved in baseball after graduation as an assistant coach at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.
A history major at Albion and currently employed as a project manager with R.W. Mercer, Derek resides in Jackson with his wife, Holly, and children Scarlett and Finley.
Mike Van Houten
Mike Van Houten’s career as a faculty athletics representative started with a question from former football coach Pete Schmidt back in 1992.
“Pete made it sound really easy – you just need to sign your name (certifying the eligibility of the student-athletes) on the rosters,” Van Houten said. “But the job has developed over the years.”
In the 26 years since, the job continues to require Van Houten to certify the eligibility of rosters, but it has evolved into requesting interpretations from the NCAA on compliance rules, nominating deserving student-athletes for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, serving on numerous committees at the college and MIAA level and serving as a bridge between the academic and athletic divisions of the college and shaping the policies that impact the student-athletes on campus.
“We understand the importance of athletics, but to the FARs it’s most important that the students succeed academically.”
Van Houten is most proud of the five-year stretch of Briton football players who received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.
Van Houten’s service as faculty athletics representative is remarkable when noting seven women have served as FAR to Albion’s women’s teams.
In addition to his administrative work, Van Houten has volunteered his services to the athletic department, working in the football press box at and operating the scoreboard at men’s basketball games for many years.
Mike and his wife, Barbara, reside in Albion.
Stephen Wasil, ‘06
Stephen Wasil held the Albion football career passing records until 2015.
He still holds the school mark with 3,313 passing yards in 2005 when he quarterbacked Albion to the MIAA championship and was named the league’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. He threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns against Alma and added five touchdown passes against Tri-State.
Stephen was an all-MIAA second team pick after throwing for 1,719 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2004.
In all, Stephen threw for 6,018 yards and 62 touchdowns in his three years as the starting quarterback.
After playing in the Arena Football League, Stephen returned to Albion in 2013 as the assistant coach in charge of the Britons quarterbacks and receivers. He married the former Sarah Slamer, ’07, in 2017.
1979 Men’s Track & Field Team
Led by Dexter Davis, the unanimous pick as MIAA MVP, Albion edged Calvin by two points to capture the MIAA championship. Davis was the MIAA champion in the long jump and the 100- and 220-yard dashes and he joined Don Gmelin, Pat Kennell and Daryl Mitchell on the winning 440-yard relay and Kennell, Tom Ball and Ken Bray on the winning mile relay.
Kennell, Mitchell and Mark Smith joined Davis on the all-MIAA team. Smith was league champion in the shotput.
Other members of the team included: Phil Brewster, Jim Carr, John Christ, Jim Connelly, Kiley Dobbs, Don Durrett, Douglas Greer, Andy Harder, John Hazelroth, Mitt Hoffmeister, Steve Khoury, Ken Landini, Ron Lessard, Dave Lymburner, Steve Meads, Cameron Owens, Martin Popp, Steve Radashaw, John Schriefer, Scott Smythe and Dave VanderKooy.
Dave Egnatuk was the coach.
2003 Women’s Tennis Team
Led by all-MIAA first team picks Amiee Greene Downey and Katie Tornga Grostic, and second team pick Betsy Netherton, Albion achieved a 7-0 record against its MIAA rivals in dual matches and became the first Albion women’s tennis team to advance to NCAA Tournament competition.
Caitlin Campbell and Karen Dumas were the runners-up in their respective singles flights, while Downey and Emily Dumas and Karen Dumas and Amy Esh did likewise in doubles flights in the MIAA Tournament at the end of the season.
Other members of the team included: Kristen Chapman, Brooke Kaltz, Emily Radner and Kristy Ziech.
The late Scott Frew coached the team.