By Shane Madden
The Grand Rapids Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams participated in the annual Calvin Knight Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 10, at Calvin University’s Gainey Complex.
For the second week in a row, the Raiders were the only community college in the field.
The women’s team faced tough competition, running against nine four-year schools in the 6K and finishing in eighth place, defeating Alma and Adrian College.
“I was very happy with the effort from all seven of my runners on Saturday,” said women’s head coach Sharon Becker. “Freshmen who run the 6K for the first time have the most trouble, mental or physical, getting through this race. The course at Calvin is a good one, but not an easy one, the hill located at the 2K (marker) can be daunting for many. The Raider women pushed through their challenges and ran as well as they could.”
All-American Sophomore Kaylee Scott took the lead for the Raiders, finishing her run in 24:56 and placing 37th out of 108 runners.
Close behind, Sophomore Rose Meyer ran an impressive race, finishing in 25:32 and defeating teammate and two-time All-American Audrey Meyering (25:39) for the first time.
“I learned how fast and strong Rose is today,” Meyering said post-race. “I am excited to know that Rose will be able to help push us in practices and races. It’s good news that we get to run and race together now.”
Meyer’s 6K time crushes her previous record by a minute and a half, and coach Becker has high hopes.
“Meyer’s incredible race indicates she did the work this past summer,” Becker said. “Her performance also indicates that she will be an incredible asset to the team and will be able to help Scott and Meyering lead the way from the front of the pack in the MCCAA and the NJCAA Region XII.”
Despite the competition and in the absence of 2021 All-American Coleman Clark, the GRCC men’s team still ran a solid race, finishing sixth out of 10 teams. They finished ahead of four-year-institutions Albion College, Alma College, Kalamazoo College, and Cleary University.
Freshman Mason Kolkoff led the way for the Raiders, placing 34th out of 123 runners with a time of 27:28. Freshman Dan Kehoe and sophomore Andrew Periard both hustled their way to the finish line in under 29 minutes, finishing in 28:46 and 28:42. Sophomore Lucas Schneider would follow close behind crossing the finish line with a time of 29:37.
“I was happy with our performance. Last week our first race was a 5K. This week was 8K – 8K is tough,” said men’s head coach Rob Hyde. “Three of my guys had never run an 8k before yesterday but they ran smart. Most of the guys ran faster through the 5K mark (than last week). They will learn and get better every race.”
GRCC is set to host the Raider Invite, Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Gainey Athletic Complex. The men will be running an 8K and the women a 5K. This will be the Raiders first home meet of the season and the starting gun is scheduled for 9 a.m. for the men and 10 a.m. for the women.