Nationally ranked GRCC women’s cross country team looks to continue successful run in upcoming season

The Grand Rapids Community College women’s cross country team starts its 2022 season on Aug. 8, looking to build on a successful run that includes back-to-back finishes in the national top 10 and two All-American performances.

The team, led by coach Sharon Becker, kicks off its season with a scrimmage at Aquinas College, then will run a team marathon in Beulah, and spend three days at a team camp.

GRCC will race on Sept. 2 at the Central Michigan Jeff Drenth Invitational in Mt. Pleasant, followed by the annual Calvin Knight Invitational on Sept. 10 at the university’s Gainey Athletic Complex.

The Raider Invitational on Sept. 17 kicks off Michigan Community College Athletic Association conference competition, which continues through Oct. 15 with stops in Grayling, Auburn Hills and Muskegon.

GRCC will host the MCCAA & Region XII Championships on Oct. 29, a first for the program.

Should the Raiders qualify for the NJCAA National Championships, that meet will be Nov. 12 in Tallahassee, Fla.

GRCC has three runners returning from the 2021 team, which finished seventh in the NJCAA National Tournament. Returning are two-time NJCAA All-American Audrey Meyering from Middleville, All-American Kaylee Scott of Grandville; and Rose Meyer, from Standale, who recently earned NJCAA All-Academic honors.

The team has three incoming freshmen. Chloe Jones graduated from Ogemaw Heights High School, Samantha Sixberry studied at Saugatuck High School and Mariana Zaragoza is coming from St. Ignace High School.  Zaragoza also plans to play basketball this year.

Becker said there is still time for students who are interested in running to join the team.

“I am optimistic that, together, these six women have what it takes to not only compete as a top team at our conference and regional meet but will also earn a spot and qualify to travel to Tallahassee, Florida for the 2022 NJCAA D2 XC Nationals on Nov. 12,” Becker said.

“But no matter the ability of our runners, to put it simply, what I would like even more from each person on our team, is a commitment to each other, the team and a dedication to always give their best effort each day.”

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