GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Community College Cross Country teams brought home several honors and finished top ten in the nation Saturday.
The teams competed in the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships in Dodge City, Iowa Saturday. The program was restarted in 2014. This year both teams won the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and NJCAA DII, Region XII titles.
Interim Athletic Director David Selmon says this is the largest the team has ever been, calling the coaching staff enthusiastic and determined.
“This team worked hard, was prepared and very supportive of one another. We’re proud of how they performed, and also how they represented their community around the state and now across the nation.” Selmon said.
Audrey Meyering overtook 4 places to finish 8th with a time of 19:51 in the 5K, earning NJCAA and Coaches Association All-American honors while Kiah Becker took 16th with a time of 20:09 and earned Coaches Association honors. Josh Kipkoech earned First-Team All-American honors, finishing 5th in his race with a time of 25:28.
“I’m incredibly proud of our student-athletes and coaches, who showed they are among the very best in the nation,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “Their success is inspiring, showing they can thrive even while facing the challenges of a pandemic. We have a proud history of athletics at GRCC, and the cross country team just wrote a new chapter!”
Kipkoech and Audrey Meyering earned All-MCCAA Runner of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards. Matt Sicilia was named Coach of the Year by both the MCCAA and the NJCAA Region 12.
Three members of the women's team were named to the Women's All-Conference Team; Audrey Meyering, Kiah Becker, and Liz Meyering. Josh Kipkoech and Lance Jourdan were also named to the men’s All-Conference Team. Appointments to the team are made by the MCCAA.
Audrey and Liz Meyering and teammates teammates Merlington, De Leeuw, and Hoop were named to the All-Regional's Women's team by the NJCAA. Kipkoech and Jourdan were named to the men's All-Reational Team along with Sanchez and Peterson.
The school also recognized the student athletes who finished in the top 100 in the nation; Liz Meyering finishing 32nd, Jack Kehoe who finished 42nd, Carolanne Merlington taking 46th, Kate DeLeeuw finishing 48th, Gabe Sanchez finished 53rd, Allison Hoop took 65th and Alex Webster finished at 77th, Noah Peterson was 81st with Ashton Brennan just behind him and Devon Simon at 98th.