Cross country dominates Spartan Invitational
The Grand Valley State University cross country teams hit the ground running on Friday as it
opened the year in East Lansing at the Spartan Invitational. Among a field of nearly 20 squads, the
Lakers stood out from the other non-Division I schools with a strong showing to start the year.
On the men’s side, GVSU filled the leaderboard, ending the day with six runners in the top-10
finishers. The Lakers were paced by junior Alan Peterson, who posted an 8K time of 24 minutes, 34
seconds in the first official 8K of the season. Peterson finished in third place, falling short of
Southern Indiana University’s Johnnie Guy by a mere 24 seconds. Nipping on Peterson’s heels was
fellow senior Laker Larry Julson, who finished fourth, clocking in at 24:46. Seniors Josh Moskalewski
and Brent Showerman along with sophomores Chad Cini and Spencer Pageau came in at sixth,
eighth, ninth and 10th at the meet, respectively.
“For the first meet of the year, we had some really good things happen,” head coach Jerry Baltes
said. “Some kids really stepped up and performed well today.”
GVSU has high expectations for the year as it returns all but two runners to a men’s team full of
experience. As for the women’s team, the Lakers are bringing back six of seven runners from last
The women’s side outshone the men on Friday as the Lakers brought home the Olympic sweep—
finishing first, second and third in the women’s 6K meet. Sophomore Jess Janecke set the bar with a
winning time of 21:19. Senior Courtney Brewis and junior Allyson Winchester took the other two
podium spots with times of 21:25 and 21:32.
“This race just proves that we are right up there with the Division I teams,” Janecke said. “We can’t
back down from talented individuals. Today puts us in a good position to compete for the rest of
The rest of the year will have lofty expectations that come with it, but the Lakers are prepared to
take on whatever happens to step into their path. In two weeks, GVSU will make the trek to
Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational. This will be the first year that the Lakers compete in
Golden Gopher territory, but success will be expected nonetheless.
“Every week we just have to focus on getting better and improving,” Baltes said. “Hopefully we’ll be
able to keep getting better and we’ll be able to compete for some championships this year.”
The successful weekend is especially sweet for the Lakers as they were able to see all their hard
work in the off-season finally come to fruition. GVSU is ripe with experience and, with each passing
year, the runners have learned that the best way to run a race is with the team.
“You can’t really run a race by yourself,” Janecke said. “One of the biggest things in cross country is
to find a teammate and run with them. We did a good job of that today and it says a lot about our
team, the way we compete and the camaraderie we have.”