GVSU men’s and women’s cross country compete at Spartan Invitational

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Chris May participates in the 2014 Cross Country Championships in Louisville, KY.

GVL/Kevin Sielaff - Chris May participates in the 2014 Cross Country Championships in Louisville, KY.

Jake Carroll

The Grand Valley State men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State Friday, Sept. 15.  

Competing in a large meet like this one may seem intimidating, since there are runners from a Big Ten school, but senior competitor Wuoi Mach was not intimidated in the slightest. 

“At the end of the day, we’re all distance runners,” Mach said. “I just go out there, and I run my race.”

Mach ran his race, and it happened to be the fourth best one there. Mach crossed the finish line in the 8,000-meter race with a final time of 24:57.8. 

Mach’s teammate, freshman Enael Woldenmichael, crossed the line in sixth place with a final time of 25:10.9. Also finishing in the top 15 was senior Brady Selner, crossing the line in 11th with a time of 25:29.8.

Getting the lakers on the scoreboard with some more points was Sean Fontana, finishing 23rd with a time of 25:56.8. The last one to finish in scoring territory for GVSU was Jacob Domagalski, finishing with a time of 26:02.0.

Also running for the men and finishing in the top 100 was Joe Renner, who finished 51st (26:38.9); Abe Visser, who finished 61st (26:55.6); and David Jones, who finished 91st (27:35.8).

Runners who did not place in the top 100 include Colin Hermann (29:06.9) and Bryan Flannery (31:23.0).

The men’s team has had trouble with sickness and injuries recently, so for the Lakers to finish five players in the top 30 is impressive given the circumstances.

“We had a mixed bag of results out there today, dealing with the conditions of the heat and a few with sickness,” head coach Jerry Baltes said. “We thought Wuoi, Enael and Brady did a great job of staying focused and competing throughout.”

As for the women, they ran the 6,000-meter race, where five runners also placed within the top 30. Leading the women’s team was Gina Patterson, crossing the finish line after 22:08.0 in the 11th spot. 

Following up behind Patterson was sophomore Stacey Metzger, placing 17th and running a time of 22:20.8. Right behind Metzger, GVSU had freshman Madison Goen, who finished in 19th place with a final time of 22:29.4.

Also finishing within scoring range was senior Kelly Haubert, who logged a time of 22:35.7, giving her a placement of 26th. The final Laker to score in the top 30 was sophomore Jessica Gockley, with a final time of 22:39.8 and placing 28th.

Women to finish in the top 50 were Theresa Mueller finishing 33rd (22:44.5), Rachel Bendewald coming in at 34th (22:48.0), Jenna Klynstra crossing the line at 38th (22:56.5) and Megan Caltagirone finishing 50th.

Other women to compete were Abby Crouch (23:25.9), Jordan Storer (25:52.9) and Sabrina Williams (27:00.3).

“I think it was a good start to the season,” Metzger said. “We got out well, and we had a good pack out front for the first part of the race. It’s always encouraging to be surrounded by teammates and know that we’re running for each other.”

The GVSU cross country team will be taking a trip to Louisville, Kentucky Saturday, Sept. 30, to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic at the University of Louisville.