By Emma Marriott
On Saturday, Oct. 31 the Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII Championships, with both teams finishing in second place.
The men’s team was led by freshman Coleman Clark, who finished first individually, and redshirt-freshman Joshua Kipkoech who finished second. Clark ran 25:56, with Kipkoech at 25:58.
Clark was named United States Track and Field/Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Runner of the Week for NJCAA DII schools, as well as being named MCCAA Runner of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
“The team ran very well overall: we’re still a little banged up without a couple guys dealing with injuries and/or illness, but those that ran competed very well with many season-best times,” wrote GRCC men’s coach Garret Lacy in a text to The Collegiate. “We finished second to a very strong Lansing team ranked No. 4 in the country.”
“We are looking forward to getting back to training this week and making improvements before resting up a bit next week before the national championships in Richmond, Virginia,” Lacy wrote. “We hope to see some All-American performances and push to finish amongst the top five teams in the country.”
Sharon Becker, GRCC’s head women’s cross country coach, also stated she was pleased with her team’s performance.
“I was very satisfied and thrilled with their effort, racing and the outcome,” Becker wrote. “Kaylee and Audrey ran a brilliant race. They were with the two Lansing runners (2,3) and stayed composed and tough the entire race.”
The women’s team finished in second, closely behind Lansing Community College. Kaylee Scott and Audrey Meyering, finished in fourth and fifth place, both setting personal records of 19:47 with a virtual tie.
“Both Audrey and Kaylee ran a personal best time today,” Becker wrote. “Alexandria, Rose and Elizabeth were a couple seconds away from their personal best times. Liz, achieving All-Region in 11th place, and Rose, finishing in 15th place, is phenomenal. Allison and Alex gave great efforts today. I am very proud of all six of the women.”
The Raiders are now preparing to head to Virginia on Nov. 13 to compete in the NJCAA National Championship.