GSU student-athletes compete at national competitions
Governors State University (GSU) student-athletes participated on a national stage at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) competitions in November. There the men’s soccer team and cross-country runner Lenny Baumann saw postseason action in 24-hour span.
The team traveled to Bartlesville, Oklahoma for a first-round match November 18 against Oklahoma Wesleyan (OKWU), which was ranked second in the nation. GSU lost 3-0.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Matt Eggert had nothing but praise for his team, which finished with a 12-4-3 record.
"I couldn't be more proud of a team than I am with these guys,” Eggert said. “We gave Oklahoma Wesleyan all they could handle in the first half and the score line doesn't reflect the game we played. We have shown we can play with the top teams in the nation and will take valuable lessons away from this experience.”
“The seniors on this team have always answered the bell and raised our level of play each season,” he added. “I can't thank them enough for their hard work and for buying into the vision the coaches have for this program."
Much like his cross-country times, Baumann's career at GSU went by in a flash. The most decorated male runner in GSU’s history capped his season November 19 with a 149th-place showing (out of 330 runners) at the 66th Annual NAIA Championships. The championships were held at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Championship Course in Vancouver, Wash.
Baumann completed the eight-kilometer course in 27:09.2, edging out conference rival Josphat Chumba of Judson at the finish line by a second. Baumann finished third among the six at-large qualifiers from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
"It was a sneaky hard course but beautiful," said Baumann afterwards. "I'm not super happy with my performance but it was such a cool experience and I enjoyed every second of the race."
"It wasn't the race he wanted, but he had a great experience and a great run to the finish line," said seventh-year Head Coach Kevin Kredens. "I think the meet proves just how good NAIA cross country is everywhere. These runners are really good. Nevertheless, Lenny was great for our program this year."