GVSU wins 13th, 14th straight GLIAC XC titles
The Grand Valley State University cross country teams claimed both GLIAC championships at Tiffin University over the weekend.
The GVSU women have now won the GLIAC crown for 14 straight years, while the men have reigned supreme for 13 years in a row. Despite the recent history of success, GVSU senior Allyson Winchester said the win wasn’t a given.
“A lot of people assume that we are going to win, but anything can happen because things change,” Winchester said. “This win is still very cherished.”
The Laker women scored 21 points, which is the lowest score since 2010. The Lakers took each of the top four places in the race, led by sophomore Kendra Foley. Foley crossed the finish line with a time of 20:31.8, and was followed closely behind by Winchester.
“My goal was to stick with my teammates during the race,” Winchester said.
Jessica Janecke took third (20:44.5) and Hannah Osborn came in fourth (20:46.4).
It was not only a big day for the No. 1 GVSU women as a team, but also individually. Foley was named the GLIAC Women’s Runner of the Year, a title that GVSU has won three times in the last four years.
“It was a huge honor to be named the GLIAC’s athlete of the year, especially coming from such a talented group of runners,” Foley said. “On top of winning the team title and sweeping the race – the whole day was just really special.”
The No. 2 GVSU men had similar results.
Alan Peterson came in first for the Lakers and second in the overall meet with an 8k time of 24:01.2.
“Placing second was kind of bitter sweet,” Peterson said. “I got second as a sophomore as well, and I was really looking to take home the individual crown this year.”
A pair of sophomores came in next for GVSU, as Chris May finished in fourth place (24:06.8) in front of Bryce Bradley in seventh (24:11.9). Junior Chad Cini came in eighth (24:13.7).
Wuoi Mach placed 17th overall in the competition on his way to being tabbed as the GLIAC Men’s Freshman of the Year.
Coach Jerry Baltes wasn’t left out when it came to individual awards.
Baltes was named the GLIAC Head Coach of the Year for both the men’s and women’s teams. He won the award for the 12th straight time on the women’s side and 11th straight time on the men’s side.
The celebration for the program, however, will be short lived.
“We have more work to get done over the coming weeks while we prepare for the NCAA Regional in two weeks,” Baltes said. “Regionals will be a little different because the men’s team will be competing in a 10k instead of an 8k."
The NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship will take place on Nov. 22 in Evansville, Ind.
“Our goal for regionals is to get accustomed to running a 10k and qualifying for nationals,” Peterson said. “Ultimately, we would like to continue the streak of wins, but as long as we qualify and get out injury free it will be a successful meet.”