GVSU standout senior Wuoi Mach looks to finish cross country career strong

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
Wuoi Mach

GVL/Kevin Sielaff Wuoi Mach

D'Angelo Starks

One of the most storied runners in Grand Valley State history is looking for a storybook ending to his career. 

The GVSU men’s cross country team is coming off a big weekend at the GLIAC Championships. They won the GLIAC Championship as a team, and the standout individual was senior runner Wuoi Mach. Mach finished second in the men’s division with a time of 24:40.4 in the 8K.

This is just the latest of many stellar performances for Mach this season, as he consistently has been the best performer for the Lakers. Mach finished the 2015-16 season with many accolades, including All-GLIAC First Team and U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-region. 

This hasn’t stopped Mach from working hard and improving as a runner this season. To begin the season, Mach finished first overall for all Division II runners and ninth overall at the Greater Louisville Classic, a field which is made up of both Division I and Division II schools. This performance led to Mach winning the GLIAC Athlete of the Week the week of Tuesday, Oct. 3. 

Mach began his illustrious cross country and track and field career during his freshman year of high school. After running the mile in his gym class, he was then approached by the school’s track coach. From there on out, Mach found his passion as a competitive runner. 

Mach said he chose GVSU to continue his running career because of “the fit.” 

“It just felt like the right fit for me,” he said. “They made me feel comfortable being around here.”

Mach is now in his senior year at GVSU. He will be graduating in April with a degree in sociology. He talked about what he has loved the most in his time running at GVSU. 

“Probably the teammates,” Mach said. “Being able to hang out with all of the guys, have fun and enjoy the process. We’ve run a lot of miles together, so you really get to know people when you run that much with them.” 

With this being his last season on the team, Mach reflected on his favorite memory from his running career at GVSU. 

“I would say my first time running at nationals my redshirt freshman year,” he said. “It was a festival year, so there were three Grand Valley teams there. The other two were volleyball and soccer. So when we were done, we got to watch those other teams play and watch them compete to win Grand Valley a national championship.” 

Looking back from the beginning of his career until now, Mach remembered the goals he initially set for himself coming into college. 

“I really just wanted to push myself to see what I can do,” he said. “I wasn’t really specific about the times or things like that. I just wanted to see how well I could do and help my team as much as I can.”  

After his final cross country season, Mach will have one final track season in the spring. But right now, all of his focus is on the regional meet and Nationals. 

“We still have two races left for cross country,” Mach said. “We will see how the season goes, and we will go from there. Right now, I haven’t thought about track yet.”  

Mach and the rest of the Lakers will be traveling to Cedarville, Ohio, for the NCAA Regional Tournament Saturday, Nov. 4. At the meet, the Lakers will compete for the opportunity to move on and participate in Nationals. 

“The big goal is to hopefully qualify as a team and come out healthy, deal with no injuries, and then have a good week of training going into nationals,” Mach said. “For me, I want to just run like I have been and do as well as I can for the team.”