GVSU - Women's Cross Country Captures National Championship

GVSU - Women's Cross Country Captures National Championship

Provided by GVSU

JOPLIN, Mo. - The third-ranked Grand Valley State women's cross country team captured its second Division II National Championship, earning the team trophy on Saturday afternoon at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex on the campus of Missouri Southern State.

Three Lakers placed in the Top 40 to earn USTFCCCA (United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) All-American honors to lead the team to its second national title in three years. The first-place finish marks the eighth straight year the Lakers have placed in the top three.

"This was an amazing victory for our program," said head coach Jerry Baltes. "There are so many people that committed so much to this championship. I am thankful for everyone's hard work. I am so proud of this team and how they committed to each other and the common goal of becoming the best team on the day when it mattered most."

The GVSU squad scored 101 points, just four points ahead of the 2011 National Champions, Augustana (S.D.) (105), and eight points ahead of second-ranked Adams State (109). Western State (172) and Chico State (200) rounded out the top five teams.

Leading the way for GVSU was freshman Jessica Janecke (Scales Mound, Ill.), running in her first-ever national meet, with a fourth-place finish in a time of 20:23.2 in the 6K race. Janecke's fourth-place finish ties for the program's third highest individual finish.

Sophomore Allyson Winchester (Wayland, Mich.) placed sixth, crossing the finish line at 20:29.0. Winchester, who won the 2012 GLIAC Tournament meet, earned All-American honors last season and is the second-highest finisher for the Lakers for the second straight season.

Sophomore Hannah Osborn (Fort Wayne, Ind.) finished in 26th with career-fastest time of 21:08.7, while classmate Madie Rodts (Niles, Mich.) ran a time of 21:25.8 to place 42nd. Junior Courtney Brewis (Dearborn, Mich.) capped off the top five runners for the Lakers with a time of 21:36.5, finishing just out of the Top 50 in 51st.

GVSU had two other runners not record points, but turned in strong performances. Senior Monica Kinney (Walker, Mich.), who has not run in a cross country meet since her All-American performance at last year's NCAA Division II National Championship, closed out her career with a time of 22:03.9, while Kelcie Severson (Rockford, Mich.) finished at 22:20.5.

Check out our 2012 NCAA Cross Country Finals Coverage Page