By Jackson Heiden
The Grand Rapids Community College cross country teams had their second race at the Raider-Knight Invite on Sept. 18, with the men placing second out of 10 teams and the women placing fourth out of eight.
The Raiders were one of three community colleges competing at the invite, going up against NAIA and NCAA Division III schools.
“It was a good step forward,” said men’s head coach Garrett Lacy. “We came away with eight personal best times out of the 14 people that competed.”
The top two runners for the Raiders included freshman Coleman Clark and freshman Kaylee Scott. Clark went on to place fourth with a time of 26:18 in the men’s 8K while Scott finished 11th with a time of 19:54 in the women’s 5K.
“It was almost perfect,” explained women’s head coach Sharon Becker while reflecting on how the team did on Saturday. “Elizabeth (Meyering) had the fastest mile of her life, Rose (Meyer) and Kaylee (Scott), they were one minute faster than they’ve ever been before, and Allison (Hoop) had a college personal record (21:23).”
Both coaches were able to devise a plan to help their runners improve off their last race. The results showed significantly.
“Ten of our 15 runners are new and they just finished their first college race last week,” Lacy said. “A lot of it is adjusting from the 5K distance that they were used to in high school to the 8K distance they now run in college… it’ll take some time.”
Along with Clark, the men’s team also saw drastic improvements from a couple of different runners. Redshirt-freshman Joshua Kipkoech shaved 48 seconds off his time from his previous race while posting a 27:26 (19th), while Jaydon Moleski shaved 1 minute and 30 seconds off his time from the last race, posting a 28:03 (26th).
Redshirt-sophomore Allison Hoop is reaping the benefits of the extra year of eligibility due to the NCAA extra year of eligibility rule that was implemented due to COVID-19. Hoop posted a 21:23 (32nd) at the second meet of the season while running her fastest ever college 5K. Freshman Rose Meyer also had quite the performance by posting a personal record of 21:18 (30th)
Both teams head to Grayling on Friday, Sept. 24, to compete in the first conference meet of the season at the Kirtland Firebird Invite with the women starting at 4 p.m. and the men at 4:45 p.m.