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GRCC cross country teams both in top five nationally in first coaches poll of the season

Sept. 12, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College cross country teams are among the very best in the nation, with both the men’s and women’s teams ranked in the top five in the first U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll of the season.

The men’s team tied for No. 3 in the nation for National Junior College Athletic Association Division II, and the women’s team was ranked No. 4, following the first meet of the season, where the Raiders competed against four-year colleges at the Calvin Knight Invitational on Sept. 4.

The rankings follow GRCC’s Coleman Clark being named Michigan Community College Athletic Association Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week, and Kaylee Scott earning Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors.

The men’s team tied with Hawkeye Community College of Iowa in the rankings. Heartland Community College in Illinois was in the top spot.

“The RedTails recently finished fourth as a team at the Corridor XC Clash hosted by Mount Mercy and put four runners in the top-25. The Raiders recently took part in the Calvin Knight Invited hosted by Calvin University and saw a young team gain valuable race experience at the collegiate level,” the association posted on its website.

Clark, a freshman, was out in front of GRCC runners from start to finish in the Calvin race, with an impressive time of 26:48 for the 8K distance.

He was followed closely by Brian Frazee in a time of 27:14, finishing in 77th place overall; Andrew Periard, at 27:47 and 94th place; Joshua Kipkoech at 28:14 and 112th place; and Christian Martinez-Ramos at 28:16 and 113th place.

Kipkoech returns to the team after being named an NJCAA DII All-American last season. All-American Audrey Meyering is returning to the women’s team.

Scott finished a solid 40th place among runners from NCAA DII, GLIAC & NAIA schools in the Calvin event, with a final 6K time of 24:32, a 6:35-per-mile pace. Meyering followed her teammate and finished in 60th place with an average pace of 6:49 per mile.

The Raiders, who finished fourth in NJCAA national tournament last season, follow Hawkeye Community College, Wallace State Community College of Alabama, and Heartland Community College in the rankings.

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