GVSU cross country men, women place first at Lewis Conference Crossover
Several GVSU runners placed top times at the meet
The Grand Valley State cross country team traveled to Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, to compete in the Lewis Conference Crossover Saturday Oct. 8. Overall, it was a very successful day for the Lakers.
For the women’s 6,000 meter race, GVSU finished in first place with an average time of 22:06:29. For the men’s 8,000 meter race, GVSU finished in first place with an average time of 24:44:14.
“We competed well,” said GVSU cross country coach Jerry Baltes. “We ran a conservative race the first part and then really focused on attacking the last part of the race. We really attacked the last 2,000 meters and did what we needed to do to come home successfully.”
The women’s squad ran without two of their star runners, Kendra Foley and Gina Patterson. Both were a little banged up coming off of last week’s races, so Baltes decided to sit them out, play it safe and get them to 100 percent for the championship run.
“Our girls really needed to step up and fill those holes,” Baltes said. “Kelly Haubert and Stacy Metzger did a great job of setting the tone and leading the way for us. Also, Allie Ludge, Alison Work and a few of those other ladies did a really nice job of filling in behind.”
For the women, 10 GVSU runners finished in the top 25. Freshman Stacey Metzger came in first out of the GVSU women, finishing sixth overall out of 163 runners and posting a time of 21:51:96. Junior Kelly Haubert finished right behind her at seventh place overall, with a final time of 21:53:19.
“Going into the race we had a plan to start out more controlled and just really work together through the first half of the race,” Metzger said. “I think that really helped a lot, just having other teammates around us and working together through that.”
Metzger also believes it was important to step up with the absence of Foley and Patterson, helping the other girls along the way and doing anything she can to help the team get better times overall.
Other women’s times include Ludge finishing in 10th place with a time of 22:07:44, as well as Work finishing in 11th place with a time of 22:15:98.
For the men’s side, GVSU ran as a pack. Five GVSU runners finished in the top seven overall. Zach Panning finished first place overall with a time of 24:30:83, while Chris May finished right behind him in second place with a time of 24:34:14. Nate Orndorf finished in fifth place with a time of 24:47:77, while Bryce Bradley and Kevin Black finished in sixth and seventh place with times of 24:52:91 and 24:55:05, respectively.
“It’s great having a whole group committed to one common goal, and that’s being the best they can be,” Bradley said. “Being able to put five runners in the top seven is awesome. It really does come down to working together and knowing that you can count on the GVSU uniform next to you to pull you along and give each other encouragement.”
GVSU returns to action Friday, Oct. 14 traveling to Muskegon for the Jayhawk Invitational.