This Friday, both of Grand Valley State’s cross country teams made headway in East Lansing for the MSU race, placing second in the Women’s 6k and the Men’s 8k. This brought the team to a great place so close to the beginning of the season, and a promising outlook for the Inter Regional XC Meet at Ohio State on Sept. 28th. With two weeks to prepare, it is looking like the GVSU team will have no problems beating their results this week.
Starting with the Women’s race, the GVSU runners fell close behind MSU. Leading the way was Allie Ludge finishing in seventh place with a time of 21.37.8, followed by Hanna Groeber at 22.01.3 and Jessica Gockley at 22.07.3. All three of the girls are seniors this year with a lot of experience under their belts, so it is no surprise they stole the spotlight this time around. The team took second place overall with 68 points, right behind Michigan State.
The Men’s 8k went just as well, still a second place overall but with 72 points. Tanner Chada, a sophomore this year, finished with an outstanding time of 24.51.2, placing second right behind MSU. Following not too far behind was Colin Herrmann at 25.33.6 and Ben Zaremba at 25.38.6. The guys ran a great race overall, concluding the meet on a positive note for GVSU.
Looking ahead, the team runs at Ohio State in just a few weeks, so the Spartan Invite was a good gauge on the teams ability so far. Coach Baltes said that there is definitely room for some improvement before Sept. 28th.
“I think our ladies are in a really good spot, and our upperclassmen ran really, really well,” Baltes said. “I think they’re where we need to be. We need some second and third year ladies to progress a little bit and fill in some holes which I’m confident we will.”
After losing some of the seniors from last season it is all about rebuilding a great team of runners back up, and all the younger women are showing really promising results thus far.
For the guys, the results showed some room for improvement and they have no doubt that the guys will be running with more confidence and energy at Ohio State.
“Our men are really young, we gotta get better in a lot of spots, so I thought Tanner Chada did a really nice job up front,” Baltes said. “Noah Steffen and Colin Herrmann moved pretty well together, and we had a couple true freshman race unattached that looked strong. I think the pieces are there we just got a long way to go to be a good team by the end of the year.”
As far as this weekend went, the team showed lots of energy and determination, now it’s just a matter of working on fitness and maintaining a steady pace throughout the entire run.
“We want to try to run a total race from start to finish and not have any spots that we lose focus,” Baltes said on goals for the next meet. “That’s probably the biggest thing, and then working on tightening our gaps, so more people racing together and moving together within the race.”
The GVSU Men’s and Women’s teams will be stronger and more comfortable by their next meet in two weeks, as they travel to Columbus, OH. for the Inter Regional XC meet. The race at Ohio State University’s golf course is set to start at 9 a.m.