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2014 Division II Women’s Cross Country

Grand Valley State takes top three spots, third straight championship

Grand Valley State University cross country coach Jerry Baltes knew heading into the women’s national championship Saturday that his heavily favored team had at least three runners who could claim the individual title. Kendra Foley, Allyson Winchester and Jessica Janecke had all taken turns as frontrunner throughout the season on a team so deep that even when Foley sat out the Midwest Region championships to rest an injured foot, the Lakers still won their 14th straight regional by more than 30 points.

Baltes wasn’t shocked, then, to see sophomore Foley cross the finish line first at nationals, followed by senior Winchester in second and Janecke, a junior, in third. This on a 6K course at Louisville’s E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park that had to be shortened by 220 meters to avoid one messy turn, the result of heavy rain over the previous week. Cool temperatures, a soft, mud-soaked ground and rain puddles made for challenging conditions. Still, six Lakers runners earned All-America honors by placing in the top 40.

“I think we were tougher at the end of the day,” said Foley, “and I think we were able to come out on top because of it.”

The victory gave the Lakers their third straight national title and fourth in five years with a score of 50 points, capping a year in which the team held the top seed all season after coming off another dominant 54-point championship win in 2013.

The Results

TOP 3 TEAM SCORES
1. Grand Valley State, 50
2. Hillsdale, 115
3. Minnesota Duluth, 118

TOP 3 INDIVIDUAL SCORES
3. Kendra Foley, Grand Valley State, 21:05.8
4. Allyson Winchester, Grand Valley State, 21:11.5
3. Jessica Janecke, Grand Valley State, 21:14.7

ELITE 89 HONOREE
BethAnne Davis, Union (Tennessee)

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