NORTON SHORES–It’s been a solid month for Western Michigan Christian sophomore Grace VanderKooi.

Because of her cross cross country accomplishments, VanderKooi has been chosen the girls cross country runner of the month by the Local Sports Journal.

Most recently, VanderKook, ranked No. 20 in Division 3,  took top individual honors at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association (GMAA) meet at University Park Golf Course.

Her season best was 19:00, which was good for third place at the Shepherd BLUEJAY Invitational. 

VanderKooi has medaled in every invitational this season. She has won the Fremont Hill and Bale Invitational and has three other top-5 finishes.

Last season VanderKooi finished eighth in the Division 4 cross country state meet, helping WMC to its first  girls state title.

“Grace has competed with a lot of poise this season, finding herself near the front of all our races so far,” WMC veteran coach Greg Gould said. “We are still searching for the ‘perfect balance’ in training that will keep her healthy and injury free, yet able to chase her personal and team goals.

“She is running very close to her personal best time from last season, with several big races remaining,” Gould said.

“The big goals of having her team qualify for the Division 3 state meet and personally having an all-state finish in the state meet are big motivators this season,” said Gould.

Vanderkooi is the daughter of Ted and Dawn VanderKooi. Grace maintains a 4.0 grade-point-average.