MIAA Marks 125th Anniversary

MIAA Marks 125th Anniversary

The MIAA this year will mark its 125th anniversary of athletic competition. During this season, we will remember the outstanding student-athletes, coaches and teams that have made the MIAA one of the nation's premiere athletic conferences.

The MIAA's rich history includes several individuals who have been involved in the Olympic Games. 

Lee Bartlett, a 1929 Albion graduate, competed in the javelin in three Olympiads. Bartlett was a senior at Albion in 1928 when he competed in the Olympics at Amsterdam. Four years later in Los Angeles, Bartlett came close to winning a medal, finishing fifth as the highest American finisher in the event. 

At the 1936 Games in Berlin, he became the first American athlete to act in a dual role as coach and participant in Olympic competition. 

Bartlett was the MIAA javelin champion all four years he competed at Albion. His toss of 203 feet, 11 inches in his junior year stood as the MIAA record in that event for an amazing 41 years, and as Albion's school record for even longer, an incredible 59 years.

In August 1984, Brian Diemer won the bronze medal for the United States in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Summer Games in Los Angeles, overcoming teammate Henry Marsh over the final 300 meters to claim the medal in a time of 8:14.06.

Diemer (pictured right on the medal stand) went on to compete in two more Olympics, in Seoul in 1988 and again at Barcelona in 1992, finishing seventh at Barcelona. He is the last American to win a medal in the steeplechase.

Diemer has gone on to be one of the most successful coaches in MIAA history, leading Calvin to 30 total championships in cross country, including 25 consecutive men's championships through last year. He has coached the Knights to four men's NCAA Division III national championships - 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006.