Grand Valley State Claims Third Straight National Title
Provided by GVSU
Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the third straight year, and the fourth time in five seasons, the Grand Valley State women's cross country team found themselves on the podium receiving the championship trophy as Division II national champions at the EP Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville on Saturday afternoon.
The Lakers dominated the field, placing six runners in the Top 40, including the first three runners in the event, to take 50 points. The next closest team was Hillsdale, who scored 115 points to place second.
"It's tough to win one championship, let alone three in a row," said Laker head coach Jerry Baltes. "Our women really executed our race plan very well today by getting out front and establishing position. It's a huge credit to our entire program and the mindset that they have taken day in and day out over the course of the seasons."
In addition to the team title, sophomore Kendra Foley became the second Laker ever to win the individual title. Foley, named the 2014 GLIAC Women's Runner of the Year after a first-place finish at the 2014 GLIAC Championships, earned her first place finish with a time of 21:05.8.
Not to be alone, Foley was joined by Allyson Winchester and Jessica Janecke in the top three of the race. Winchester placed second with a time of 21:11.5, while Janecke finished with a time of 21:14.7 to place third. No women's team has ever gone 1-2-3 in a national finalsince the USTFCCCA made the switch to a 6k championship meet in 1998.
"What can I say about the front three? Simply outstanding," Baltes continued. "We felt as the season progressed that all three could make a run at the individual title."
In her final race as a Laker, senior Hannah Osborn earned All-America honors by placing 22nd with a time of 21:49.7. Joining her in the Top 40 were Jordan Chester (21:59.2) in 34th and Amy Creutz (22:03.1) in 37th, while Kelly Haubert placed 53rd with a time of 22:20.2.
The USTFCCCA will be announcing the national award recipients throughout the week, and the honors will be posted here on gvsulakers.com when they become public.