The Grand Valley State women are looking to win their 17th straight GLIAC title. Despite there being four other GLIAC schools win the top 10 of the Midwest region, I don’t foresee the Lakers being knocked off the top spot.
At the MSU Spartan Invitational, they finished 2nd behind Michigan State as a team and were only 28 points back.
Sarah Berger and Gina Patterson ran as the Lakers’ 1-2 while finishing in 5th and 6th place overall with times of 21:41 and 21:44. Allie Ludge was 12th, Madison Goen was 14th, and Hanna Groeber was 17th to give the Lakers 50 points. The spread time for them was 45 seconds and shows us the strength the Lakers have as a team. At their most recent race. we saw the Lakers finish 4th at the Bradley Pink Classic with 161 points.
This time around, it was Allie Ludge who led the team with a 7th place finish. Sarah Berger was four seconds back in 10th place.
Gina Patterson was back in 17th giving the Lakers their top three inside the top 20. Madison Goen and Hannah Groeber were scorers number four and five in 33rd and 98th. The Lakers scored the same five and would have placed second place with any upgraded performance from Groeber during the meet.
We should expect Groeber to bounce back for this weekend while helping the Lakers to conference title number 17.
Another team to keep an eye on is Michigan Tech who competed at Roy Griak and Lewis Crossover this year where they saw solid performances in both races.
At Griak, the Huskies were led by Emily Byrd and Liz Bloch who were inside the top 20 and 11 seconds apart from each other. They saw their last three scorers finish within six spots of each other in 38th, 40th, and 42nd. Between that trio, they were a mere three seconds apart from each other. As a team, their 1-5 spread was 48 seconds which is a good indicator of strong team racing.
At the Lewis Crossover, Michigan Tech finished in 9th place as a team with Byrd pacing the way in 6th. Bloch didn’t have as good of a day as she did at Griak, placing 35th. We saw another close finish for their 3-5.
If they can revert to how they ran at Griak, Michigan Tech should be in a good place after the meet on Saturday.
Saginaw Valley State comes in right behind Michigan Tech in the rankings. As we look at the MSU Spartan Invitational, the Cardinals were led by Allison Dorr in 28th. Morgan Fuerst was the second scorer for Saginaw in 59th. 20 seconds back of her was Dominique Adams in 71st. Rebecca Estep and Jenna Keiser were runners four and five in 77th and 79th.
Their 219 points saw them finish five points behind Michigan Tech. However, they would make up for that at the Lewis Crossover where they beat Tech by 28 points. Dorr was 5th overall. Sophia Bradley served as the number two at 52nd with Fuerst right behind her in 53rd and Keiser two spots back in 55th. Maggie Pawelczyk was 76th and help solidify the win over Michigan Tech.
If the Cardinals could get a strong second scorer in the top third of the race, they could easily see a 2nd place finish this weekend.
Wayne State finished 11th at the Lewis Crossover and saw their top runner Ashley Defrain finish in the top ten. Their second runner was Jacqueline Faust in 38th. They’ll need to see some improvements from their final three scorers though as 75th, 77th, and 87th won’t cut it to be competitive.
Ferris State has a strong contender in Kathryn Etelamaki, but don’t have much support around her to be competitive. She should definitely be towards the top in the GLIAC this weekend, but as a team they’ll need great improvement in order to vie for a podium spot.
1. Grand Valley State Lakers
2. Saginaw Valley State Cardinals
3. Michigan Tech Huskies
1. Sarah Berger (Grand Valley State)
2. Gina Patterson (Grand Valley State)
3. Allie Ludge (Grand Valley State)
4. Kathryn Etelamaki (Ferris State)
5. Allison Dorr (Saginaw Valley State)