GVSU XC teams finish first at Notre Dame

GVL/ Archive
Jessica Janecke


GVL/ Archive Jessica Janecke

Kate Nuyen

The members of Grand Valley State University’s cross country teams know a thing or two about being the best: the women’s team is currently the No. 1 team in the USTFCCCA poll, while the men’s team is sitting in second place.

Both GVSU teams performed just as two winning programs would be expected to on Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The Laker women took home first place in the 27-team 5K by scoring 53 points, while the GVSU men outpaced 22 other schools with 71 points in a 5-mile race.

Senior Allyson Winchester finished third in the 5K by crossing the line with a time of 16:52.0, and was less than six seconds behind the first-place finisher. The next Laker in was Kendra Foley, who finished fifth with a time of 16:58.3. Junior Jessica Janecke came in ninth.

The women ran a shorter race than usual by running a 5K course, but Osborn said the only thing different with running a shorter race is that she goes out a little quicker and maintains a quicker pace throughout the run. Osborn, who said she started off on the wrong foot, still managed to come away with 17th place.

“The first 400 meters girls just engulfed me, so for the rest of the race I was just focused on picking off girls one by one,” she said.

On the men’s side, senior Alan Peterson placed second in the invite with a time of 23:59.8. Junior Chad Cini came across the finish line next for the Lakers in 11th place with a time of 24:31.0, before sophomore Chris May crossed third for GVSU with a 29th-place finish.

“Coming off the race the week before, we were really just working on performing well when we may not have felt good,” May said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel on the days of really important races like conferences, regionals and nationals.

“On the squad we have eight or nine guys that could be in the top five that scores at a meet on any day.”

GVSU has earned the reputation of being a school with a solid running program, and competing schools have taken notice. Osborn said other schools are aware of what comes along with the GVSU name.

“If you’re in the top then of course schools are going to want to come get you,” she said. “It’s like having a target on your back.”

Coach Jerry Baltes isn’t trying to focus on the rankings, but is trying to make sure the team is ready when it comes down to it in December.

GVSU will return to the course next week at Muskegon Community College’s Jayhawk Invitational.