Grand Valley State Prepped for National Title Defense in Louisville

Grand Valley State Prepped for National Title Defense in Louisville

Provided by GVSU

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Grand Valley State cross country teams are prepped and ready to go for the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship this weekend. The women's team, ranked #1 in Division II, is looking to take home their fourth national championship in five years, while the top-ranked men are looking for their first national title in program history.

The women's team has been ranked first in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II national poll all season long, while the men found themselves atop the polls for the first time in the most recent national poll. Both teams had been at the top of the Midwest Regional polls for the entirety of the season.

Leading the way for the Laker women will be their five returning USTFCCCA All-Americans, with Allyson Winchester (third), Jessica Janecke (ninth), Kendra Foley (11th), Hannah Osborn (31st), and Jordan Chester (40th) at the E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville. Winchester is aiming for her fourth All-America honor, while Osborn and Janecke are looking for the third honors, and Foley and Chester are gunning for their second All-American finishes.

Joining the five on the course will be Amy Creutz and Kelly Haubert. At the 2014 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional meet, the Lakers placed four runners in the top 10, with Janecke at the front of the pack. The junior finished the race in third, and she was followed by Winchester in fourth, Osborn in sixth, and Chester in 10th. Creutz crossed the finish line in 19th, while Haubert placed 31st. Foley last raced at the 2014 GLIAC Championships in Tiffin, Ohio, where she was named the GLIAC Women's Runner of the Year with a first place finish in the race, leading the Lakers to their 14th consecutive conference crown.

One the men's side of the competition, GVSU has improved their finishes at the last two national championships, placing third in 2012 and second in 2013, and aims to capture their first national championship in the history of the program.

Looking to lead the men to their first national title will be returning All-Americans Alan Peterson (16th) and Chad Cini (22nd). Chris May, who finished 56th at last year's national championship race, will also be running again in this year's field.Also running for the men in Louisville will be Kyle Flores, Brady Selner, Bryce Bradley, and Wuoi Mach.

At the Midwest Regional in Evansville, Indiana, GVSU placed all seven of their runners inside the top 25 to earn their 13thstraight regional championship. Peterson led the way with a second-place finish, while May (eighth), Cini (10th), Selner (11th), Bradley (12th) and Flores (18th) followed.Mach last competed at the 2014 GLIAC Championships, where he placed 17thto earn GLIAC Men's Freshman of the Year honors as the Lakers won their 13thconsecutive GLIAC title.

Ranked just behind the GVSU women in the latest USTFCCCA poll are Adams State (194 points) in second, Minnesota Duluth (183 points) in third, Augstana (S.D.) (169 points) in fourth, and Hillsdale (167 points) in fifth.

Trailing Grand Valley State in the men's Pre-National Championship USTFCCCA poll are Adams State (193 points) at #2, Colorado Mines (182 points) at #3, Chico State (180 points) at #4, and Augustana (S.D.) (167 points) at #5.

The men's 10k race will begin at 11:00 a.m., while the women's 6k race is scheduled for a 12:15 p.m. start time.