Freshmen Lead GVSU to Third Place Finish at National Championship

Freshmen Lead GVSU to Third Place Finish at National Championship

Provided by GVSU

Spokane, Wash. - The women's cross country wasn't able to defend their national title on Saturday (Nov. 19) at the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship, but the Lakers did place every runner in the field on the USTFCCCA All-American list as the entire team finished in the top 40.

It was a trio of true freshmen who led the way for GVSU on the day. GLIAC Freshman of the Year Rachel Clark was the top Laker, finishing 14th in the individual standings, less than a minute behind the individual champion. Clark had a time of 21:48.8. Freshman Allyson Winchester finished in 19th with a time of 21:57.0, setting off a string of three straight Lakers to cross the finish line. Freshman Callie Clarkcame across seconds later in 20th with a time of 21:58.5 while junior Monica Kinneyfinished 21st in 22:04.5.

Senior Rebecca Winchester snuck into the top 30 of the individual standings with a time of 22:17.2 to finish 30th while fellow seniors Julia Nowak (22:18.8) and Jessie Vickers (22:21.2) finished 32nd and 33rd, respectively.

It's the seventh straight year the Lakers have finished in the top three at the national championship meet.

Augustana (S.D.) claimed the national title with 75 team points, placing all five of their scored runners within the top 25. Western State was second with 79 points and their top five runners within the first 30 positions. The Lakers finished with 104 points and was the only team in the meet to place all seven runners within the top 35. Fourth place Adams State was the next closest team with their entire field finishing within the top 60. They had 120 points while the top five was rounded out by the University of Mary with 131 points.