GVSU Women Finish Second at National Championships

GVSU Women Finish Second at National Championships

Provided by GVSU

Nick Kapatos - Sports Information Graduate Assistant

JOPLIN, Mo. - The quest for a fourth straight national title for the Grand Valley State women's cross country team has been denied as the Lakers finished second at the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championships at the Tom Rutledge Cross Country Course, hosted by Missouri Southern State University.

In search of their fourth consecutive title and fifth overall as a program, the Laker women placed second with 97 points, finishing 14 points behind national champion Adams State with 83 points. The Grizzlies finished fourth at the 2014 National Championships and second at the 2013 National Championships.

GVSU was led in today's race by Kendra Foley, as the junior and defending individual national champion completed the 6k course in 20:03.7 to finish second, just .3 seconds behind Alexis Zeis of University of Mary for the 2015 individual title. A first-place finish today would have made Foley the first back-to-back individual champion since Neely Spence of Shippensburg accomplished the feat in 2010 and 2011. The razor-close finish is also the first time a Division II women's race had been determined by fewer than three seconds.

The next finisher for Grand Valley State was freshman Gina Patterson. The 2015 GLIAC Women's Freshman of the Year finished her first national championship race in ninth with a time of 20:20.1, giving the Lakers two runners inside the Top 10. It has been a fantastic year for the true freshman, having finished as the highest-placing runner for GVSU at all five meets prior to today's race and earning USTFCCCA All-Region and All-GLIAC First Team honors.

Jordan Chester was the next Laker to cross the finish line at 20:59.5, placing her 18th and giving her three USTFCCCA All-America finishes in three tries. Following her across the line was Jessica Janecke, placing 40th with a time of 21:27.1 to make it four runners to earn All-America honors for placing inside the Top 40. This makes it four All-America finishes for the senior Janecke in her final race as a Laker.

Also running and finishing for Grand Valley State in today's race were Amy Creutz, Alison Work, and Kelly Haubert. The junior Creutz just missed out on her second All-America plaudit by placing 41st with a time of 21:30.6, while Work placed 72nd with a time of 21:55.8, and Haubert finished with a time of 22:14.4 to place 105th.

Following Grand Valley State in the Top 5 were Hillsdale in third (140 pts.), Chico State in fourth (212 pts.) and Western State in fifth (247 pts.). Alaska-Anchorage (6th, 292 pts.), Western Washington (7th, 307 pts.), Minnesota-Duluth (8th, 315 pts.), Northern Michigan (319 pts.), and Southern Indiana (10th, 332 pts.) round out the Top 10.

The USTFCCCA will announce the national award recipients throughout the week, and the honors will be posted here on gvsulakers.com when they become public.