GV cross country secures NCAA Midwest Regional title ahead of national championship


Courtesy / GVSU Athletics

Brian Bloom, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s men’s and women’s cross country competed in the 2022 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship as both sides finished first overall to secure the title.

The men’s team captured its 20th-consecutive regional championship in dominating fashion with a final score of 58 points in the Men’s 10k – the second closest team being Saginaw Valley State with a score of 113. The women’s team won its 21st-consecutive regional championship by a sizable margin as well (31 points) as the second-place finisher, Cedarville University tallied a score of 73.

“We ran smart and controlled,” said assistant coach Alan Peterson. “Tanner (Chada) and Caleb (Futter) got out in front early and led the pack (for the men’s). On the women’s side, the three runners going top-three was very impressive. They looked really strong and controlled the pace.”

In the men’s race, five of the top-20 finishes were occupied by GVSU runners. Leading the group was Chada (senior), who placed second-overall individually with a time of 30:48. 

“It was a good race,” Chada said. “We try to take regionals a little conservative (in order) to use this meet to prepare for the national championship.”

Futter (sophomore) was not far behind Chada, finishing third with a time of 30:53 as sophomore Sam Martens crossed the finish line in 14th with a running time of 31:34.

Rounding out the top-20 runners were redshirt freshman Brock Wooderson (19th) and sophomore Daniel Lambert (20th) as Lambert would finish a hair behind his teammate with times of 31:44 and 31:45, respectively.

The Women’s 6k saw a trio of Lakers claim the top spots in the individual leaderboards as junior Klaudia O’Malley (21:19), freshman Lauren Kiley (21:28) and junior Natalie Graber (21:29) made a strong push to lead their team to the regional title. 

“Coach (Peterson) told me to go out with Klaudia and Natalie and do what I’ve been doing all season,” Kiley said. “I’m proud of myself for the way I ran today, but we don’t try as hard to do well at this meet, we use it to prepare for nationals.”

Finishing just outside the top-10 runners was redshirt freshman Madison Ebright (11th) with a time of 21:50, as junior Kayce Rypma snagged 14th place with a running a time of 21:57 and senior Grace Pagone crossed the finish line in 29th overall (22:30).

Looking ahead to the NCAA DII National Championships out West, the men’s team will look to defend its defending championship crown while the women’s team will hope to redeem its second-place finish from last season and secure their first national title since the 2018 season. 

With these goals in mind, Peterson believes both sides of the program are primed to do just that.

“Both teams are in a great spot,” Peterson said. “You have to grind day in and day out to win the title. We’ll try to be as competitive as we possibly can be, and hopefully that will result in a national championship.”

The teams will travel to Seattle, Washington to compete for the opportunity to etch their names in GVSU history on Friday, Dec. 2.

“We have a great chance of winning nationals,” Kiley said. “I know it’ll take all of us to have a great race. I want to lay everything out on the course to help our team win the meet.”