aquinas college and naia great lakes challenge cross country meet

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, — The 15th annual NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Cross Country meet, the country’s largest NAIA-only event, is set to take place on Saturday, October 21, at Riverside Park. Hosted by Aquinas College, this meet is a pivotal point on the annual NAIA Cross Country calendar.

Fans can watch the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Cross Country meet live broadcast on the AQ Sports Network. For live streaming coverage, please Watch – Live Stream (Weather Pending), while live results and updates are also available. Meet Information 

NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Packed Field, High Stakes

This year’s competition promises an intense matchup, featuring 40 NAIA institutions from 10 different conferences.

Read more news: How to watch the 2023 Gulf South Conference Cross Country Championships?

The men’s field will be particularly competitive, with 15 schools currently ranked or receiving votes in the latest NAIA Coaches Poll. Notable teams battling again the host and No. 12 Aquinas include No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan, and No. 7 Cumberlands (Ky.).

Women’s Race: A Clash of the Titans

Similarly, the women’s field will not lack competition, with 11 schools in the top 25 rankings and one additional school receiving votes. The field is highlighted by No. 10 Cumberlands (Ky.) No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 15 St. Francis (Ill.) among others.

Event Format and Awards

The event is structured into four races — two for each gender. The Maroon Division races kick off at 10:00 am for men and 11:00 am for women. Following this, the White Division races are scheduled for 11:45 am (men) and 12:45 pm (women).

Team awards will be presented to the top two teams in each division, and individual athletes in the top 20 of each division will receive backpacks provided by the host, Aquinas College.

NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Cross Country Pre-event Activities

Approximately 1,000 runners are expected to compete in Riverside Park on the day of the event. In anticipation of the meet, an all-you-can-eat pasta dinner will be held at Aquinas College on Friday night, providing food and fellowship for 500 student-athletes and coaches.

This year’s NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Cross Country once again boast a field of top-ranked teams and athletes that will be aiming to deliver another strong performance before the conference championships begin in a couple of weeks.

Information from Aquinas College


  • 10:00 am Maroon Division – Men
  • 11:00 am Maroon Division – Women
  • 11:45pm White Division – Men
  • 12:00 pm Awards Available – Maroon
  • Races 12:45pm White Division – Women
  • 1:30pm Awards Available – White Races

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