Girls cross team show depth, bring home second place from MSU invite
by Head Coach Mike Snyder
The boys and girls cross country teams traveled to Forest Acres Golf Course in East Lansing on Friday to compete in one of the largest cross country meets in Michigan hosted by Michigan State University. The girl’s team came home with a second place trophy and four individual medals. This is the first time a team from Frankenmuth scored high enough to earn one of the top three positions in our division. Coach Fitch and I are very happy with how the teams performed today and we are glad they get an opportunity to compete in what we think is one of the best cross country venues in the State. There are thousands of runners that come to compete against others in their sport.
The boys reserve team competed first with approximately 650 runners from 47 schools lined up to race against the clock and one another. The reserve race includes an unlimited number of runners from each school that are not running in the varsity race (top seven). Freshman Nicholas Hyslop led the team setting a personal record of 21:38 for the 5K distance. We have several athletes vying for the top seven spots on the varsity team and Nicholas is one of them. As a freshman, he is certainly heading in the right direction. Junior Anthony Harris is another team member looking to make the top seven and stay there. Anthony clocked a 22:51 today. Senior Hunter Duehring ran a good race as he was 30 seconds faster than he was last year at this same meet. This shows us that he is ahead of his pace from last season and is poised to begin setting personal records. Rounding off the reserve runners were Juniors Eric Hayes and Austin Notter who finished with times of 24:05 and 25:01 respectively.
Next, the girls reserve race was up where 450 runners from 40 schools competed. The girls placed 11th overall and set several personal and season best marks. Sophomore Lulu Karney was the first lady eagle to land as she was one of our medalist earning a 20th place clocking a personal best time of 22:51. Lulu is looking strong and was very excited to finish in the medals with so many other runners. She was an impressive six minutes faster this year than she was last year at this race. Next across the line for the lady eagles was freshman Bailey Stainforth with a time of 23:54 just 10 seconds shy of her personal best. Sophomore Gabby Harris is back after working hard to heal from an injury. Gabby set a season best time of 23:59 and ran pain free for the first time in months. We are glad to have her running again. Senior Abby Struble set a personal record with a 24:11 clocking followed by sophomore Adyson Bryce who also ran a great race and set a personal best time of 25:05. Both Abby and Adyson are just scratching the surface on how much faster they can be. Next over the line was freshman Hayleigh Atkin with a time of 25:21. Junior Dana Williams set a season best as she clocked a 26:04. Sophomore Malerie Young looked good today as she set a personal mark of 26:31. Sophomore Nissia Young just missed her personal record by three seconds as she clocked a 27:33. Freshman Tara Keller and Heather Atkin came across at 27:49 for Tara and in a personal best time for Heather at 28:03. Coming in next were juniors Olivia Schmitt, Kaitlyn Pierce, and Abbey Kerkau with times of 28:18, 28:44, and 29:11 respectfully. Cleaning up for the girls reserve race was Mackenzie Miller who set a season best time of 29:37.
The boys’ varsity squad had a good showing today as they set three personal records and three season best marks placing 16th out of 31 schools. Freshman Wesley Beck once again led the way as he had a little more foot speed at the end and edged out senior Isaak Biddle. Wesley’s 35th place time (just 5 places out of the medals) was a personal best 18:09 while Isaak placed 38th setting a season best mark of 18:17. It was good to see Isaak in the low 18’s as he is almost a full minute faster than he was at this race last season. Senior Sam Stahlbaum set a personal record today with a time of 19:55 followed by sophomore Sam Piper who set a season best time of 20:05. Sophomore Scott Nedoff was next with a time of 20:12 followed by sophomore Michael Valone who set a season best time of 21:01. Junior Sam Neirink rounded off the varsity runners setting a personal best time of 21:24.
The final high school race of the day was the girls’ varsity race where 200 runners from 28 schools (all divisions) competed for the top three spots. Our girls really showed their depth as one of our top runners, senior Carissa Schurr had ankle problems half way through the race and ran through the pain to finish in 23:59 but was nowhere near where she would have finished if she did not have an ankle problem. We are hoping it is nothing serious and she will be back racing very soon. The teams depth came into play as our 6th runner all of a sudden was in scoring position (the top five runners score). Leading the way was junior Hannah Loucks who placed in the medals in 9th with a time of 20:25. Next we had freshmen Samantha Rapson and Kallie Lindow setting personal records with times of 21:02 and 21:21. Both girls are looking great and continue to impress Coach Fitch and me with their work ethic as freshmen. Junior Sarah Richmond set a season best mark with a 22:15 clocking. Sarah is looking stronger every race and she will be a key to future races at the end of the season. Senior Autumn Gentner ran a very tough race setting a season best mark of 22:30 and became our fifth scoring runner today. Sophomore Zoe Neirink also ran a good race with a season best time of 22:32.