JOPLIN, Mo. – Grand Valley State, ranked third in the final USTFCCA poll, captured its second Division II National Championship, earning the team trophy on Saturday at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex on the campus of Missouri Southern State.
Three Lakers placed in the top 40, earning earn All-American honors and leading the team to its second national title in three years. The first-place finish marks the eighth consecutive year the Lakers have placed in the top three.
“This was an amazing victory for our program,” head coach Jerry Baltes said. “There are so many people that committed so much to this championship. I am thankful for everyone’s hard work. I am so proud of this team and how they committed to each other and the common goal of becoming the best team on the day when it mattered most.”
The GVSU squad scored 101 points, just four points ahead of the 2011 champion, Augustana (S.D.) (105), and eight points ahead of second-ranked Adams State (109). Western State (172) and Chico State (200) rounded out the top five teams.
|2012 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP|
Senior Alicia Nelson became Adams State University’s sixth individual national champion by finishing first with a new NCAA Division II championship record time of 20:03.3. The Grizzlies had won the previous seven team titles.
Leading the way for GVSU was freshman Jessica Janecke, running in her first national meet, with a fourth-place finish in a time of 20:23.2 in the 6k race. Janecke’s fourth-place finish ties for the program’s third-highest individual finish.
Sophomore Allyson Winchester placed sixth, crossing the finish line at 20:29.0. Winchester, who won the 2012 GLIAC meet, earned All-American honors last season and is the second-highest finisher for the Lakers for the second consecutive season.
Sophomore Hannah Osborn finished in 26th with career-fastest time of 21:08.7, while classmate Madie Rodts ran a time of 21:25.8 to place 42nd. Junior Courtney Brewis capped off the top five runners for the Lakers with a time of 21:36.5, finishing in 51st.