Stars capture XC conference, regional
Olivia Vanderwey earned first place in the Conference and Regional Championship race on Oct. 29 at Calvin University. Photo by Julie Newell
By Julie Newell
Editor in Chief
The LCC men’s and women’s cross country teams both conquered the NJCAA Conference and Regional Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids.
“It’s a combined conference and regional championship,” LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said. “We just run one race and they split the scoring, so if you win the race then you are both conference and regional champion.”
The men and the women placed first with scores of 29 for the men’s 8K and 17 for the women’s 5K, respectively.
“It’s still nice to win, (but) it wasn’t a big surprise because most of the strong schools are a part of our conference and we’d already run against them,” Robinson said. “We were expecting to do well; we ran well and performed well … we had a good day.”
For the LCC men’s team, freshman Michael Dennis placed second overall, registering a time of 26:10. Freshman teammate Liam Elder placed third with a time of 26:17. Sophomore Jacob Dennis placed seventh at 26:44 for the Stars.
“On the men’s side our top two finishers are both freshmen,” Robinson said. “The men’s race was a very competitive race for the top dozen spots, so they both ran exceptionally well.”
On the women’s side, LCC freshman Olivia Vanderwey placed first in 19:10. Sophomore teammate Haley Ellis placed second with a time of 19:28. Sophomore Gabrielle Metzger placed third for LCC at 19:28.
“Gabby, that’s the highest she’s placed and having her run that well at our national meet will definitely help our women’s team,” Robinson said. “Obviously, Olivia Vanderwey was regional champ and she’s been first for our team before, so it wasn’t a surprise.”
Robinson commented on the upcoming national championship race.
“We’re excited for it,” Robinson said. “(Nationals) has been the goal since we had our preseason meeting back in June … to be in position to contend for a championship at the end of the year.
“Finally after a long preseason of preparation and a season of competition, it’s a week and a half away and I think we’re ready.”
The Stars are scheduled to compete in the NJCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla.