Sept. 11, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College cross country teams are ranked among the best in the nation after victories in the first meet of the season.
The GRCC women’s team was ranked third in the nation in the 2020 National Junior College Athletic Associations Division II coaches’ poll, with the men’s team ranked No. 7. Both are the highest rankings in the teams’ histories.
“We are incredibly proud of our student-athletes, and the coaches and staff supporting them,” Athletic Director David Selmon said. “They’ve been working hard and preparing for their meets and studies, and also following strict safety protocols. This season has many obstacles, but the teams are focused on success in both athletics and academics.”
Both GRCC teams victorious in their first meet of the season along the St. Clair River at Marysville Park on Sept. 4.
The women’s team won by 9 points while the men had a convincing 58 points victory at the St. Clair County Invite. Individually, Kiah Becker and Joshua Kipkoech dominated the course and earned first-place overall finishes.
The cross country squads are the only GRCC Athletics teams competing this fall, with players and coaches following strict protocols to promote wellness during the coronavirus crisis.
"The coaches were so proud of both teams following their gameplan to near perfection," head coach Matt Sicilia said. "They were asked to run in certain groups and support each other for the first mile and they did just that. Once the going got tough mid race, the groups started splitting apart but several mini groups stayed together until nearly the end.
"We ask that the runners be selfless and support each other at al times, which is sometimes hard if one has an 'off' race. There was no pouting and the runners truly reveled in the success of the team and those that had great races. We look forward to continuing our hard work in the coming weeks before our next race on September 26. The team runs its “Michigan” workout this Wednesday- it’s hardest workout of the entire season."
The Raiders will have a few weeks of preparation before their next meet on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Jackson College. The men are scheduled to run at 1 p.m. with the women at 2 p.m.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.