The 2020 MHSAA Cross Country season came to an end this weekend, as runners participated in the State Finals at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Below are the highlights from West Michigan teams at the State Meet:
DIVISION 1 BOYS
Team Top 3: Romeo (124), Caledonia (156), Rockford (236)
Top 3 Individuals: Riley Hough (Hartland, 14:49.62), Hobbs Kessler (AA Skyline, 14:51.79), Patrick Byrnes (Plymouth, 15:26.66)
The Caledonia Fighting Scots had a phenomenal performance at the Division 1 Boys race on Friday. They earned 156 points, which placed them second in the State behind champion Romeo (124). Jamin Thompson (15:49.85) finished twentieth overall, Josh Oom placed twenty-fourth and Jordan Domany finished in twenty-ninth place to spearhead their runner-up performance. Caden Dixon (65th) and Brett Guzman (71st) also earned points for the Fighting Scots.
Rockford placed third as a team, a tremendous finish to their 2020 campaign. Jude Parks was able to place seventh overall with a time of 15:35.35. TJ Mellema (45th) and Alex Fahey (51st) each turned in solid performances for the Rams.
Jenison placed nineteenth in Division 1 with a team score of 442. The Wildcats were led by Connor Vachon, who placed eighth individually with a time of 15:38.69. Nick Walters (72nd) was also able to crack the top 100 racers.
Benne Anderson of Ottawa Hills (31st), Shaka Elysee of East Kentwood (35th), Carston Cole of West Ottawa (43rd), Klay Grant of Reeths-Puffer (54th), Juan David Hernandez of Ottawa Hills (57th), Corbin Hauch of Zeeland West (60th), and Corey Bowers of Cedar Springs (74th) were the West Michigan individuals who finished in the Top 75 but their teams did not qualify for the State Meet.
DIVISION 1 GIRLS
Team Top 3: Ann Arbor Pioneer (129), Traverse City Central (168), Clarkston (174)
Top 3 Individuals: Audrey Dadamio (Seaholm, 17:46.17), Rachel Forsyth (AA Pioneer, 17:55.60), Julia Flynn (TC Central, 17:59.18)
The Holland West Ottawa Panthers placed fourth in the 2020 Division 1 State Finals meet. They led by eighth place finisher Arianne Olson, who was joined by Sophie Bonnema (56th), Abby Bonnema (57th) and Megan Postma (91st) in the top 100 individually.
The Ottawa Hills Bengals were the tenth best team at the State Finals meet. Selma Anderson finished in twenty-seventh place, while Adit Dau (37th), Madison Ebright (50th) and Naomi Dykstra (89th) all turned in strong races as well.
Forest Hills Central was led by Clara-James Heer and her sixth-place finish. The Rangers placed nineteenth as a team, as Whitney Currie finished seventeenth for the team’s other top twenty finish.
The Jenison Wildcats saw a strong individual performance by Maya Guikema pace the team to their twenty-second place overall finish. Guikema was twenty-sixth overall as an individual, and she was joined by Maggie Otto (86th) in the top 100.
The Hudsonville Eagles placed twenty-fifth as a team at the State Finals. Abby Martin was the team’s best racer with an 82nd place finish.
Allison Cornell of Forest Hills Northern (16th), Allie Arnsman of Grandville (20th), Madison Rempalski of Northview (25th), and Ava Buitenhuis of Grand Haven (38th) all turned in top 50 individual performances despite their team not qualifying for the State Finals. Emily Macina of Zeeland East also had a strong day in 83rd place.
DIVISION 2 BOYS
Team Top 3: Fremont (61), St. Johns (126), Otsego (187)
Top 3 Individuals: Nathan Walker (Fremont, 15:19.39), Caleb Jarema (Pinckney, 15:42.97), Gavin White (Pinckney, 15:50.05)
The Fremont Packers capped off a historical season with the school’s tenth Boys Cross Country State Championship, the fourth under coach Cliff Somers. The Packers repeated as State Champions with a phenomenal race. All seven Packers at the State Finals placed in the top 90, a true test to the level of consistency on this team. Nathan Walker won the individual title, while Conor Somers (5th), Ben Paige (18th), Joshua Zerfas (26th), Adam Ward (27th), Brennan Schuler (81st) and Gavin Schuler (89th) all performed at a high level of excellence.
The Spring Lake Lakers placed eighth at the State Finals. They were led by Ian Hill (8th) and Callen Carrier (30th).
The Grand Rapids Christian Eagles placed ninth in the State Finals. Tinsae Nelson (36th) and Ben Zwart (44th) had strong days for the team. Jack Peterson (71st) also finished in the top 100.
The East Grand Rapids Pioneers were the eleventh-best team at MIS. They had two racers finish in the top 100, Alex Thole (62nd) and Elijah Robinson (66th).
The Allendale Falcons concluded their 2020 campaign in fifteenth place at the State Finals. Hayden Rhodea led the team with an ninth-place individual finish. Cameron Moore (86th) and Cris Perez (96th) also finished in the top 100.
The Freeland Falcons finished twenty-first as a team at the State Meet. Braydon Honsinger (16th) and Jacob Wurtzel (48th) were the two finishers in the top 100 for the team.
The Sparta Spartans placed twenty-fourth at MIS. Jackson Jones (37th) was the lone top 100 finisher for the Spartans.
Ben Clason of Forest Hills Eastern (6th), Parker Lambers of Holland Christian (14th), Aiden Sullivan of Forest Hills Eastern (38th), Carter Vandermeer of Comstock Park (45th), and Gavin VanSolkema of Unity Christian (50th) all placed in the top 50 individually despite their teams not qualifying. Maxim Reuchlein of West Michigan Aviation Academy also had a strong day in 78th place.
DIVISION 2 GIRLS
Team Top 3: Petoskey (68), East Grand Rapids (79), Grand Rapids Christian (143)
Top 3 Individuals: Emma Squires (Petoskey, 17:54.56), Meghan Ford (Mason, 18:18.08), Madelyn Frens (GR Christian, 18:22.07)
The East Grand Rapids Pioneers reached the podium at the State Meet with a second-place team finish. They were eleven points behind State Champion Petoskey. Drew Muller (5th) and Ainsley Workman (6th) led the team, while Hannah Bodine (14th), Camryn Bodine (24th), Reese Workman (56th), Katie Edison (63rd) and Sophia Lado (78th) all had tremendous days on the course as well.
The Grand Rapids Christian Eagles took third at the State Meet with a team score of 143. They were led by third-place individual Madelyn Frens. Olivia Waalkes (23rd), Natalie VanOtteren (33rd), Adia Sikkema (47th) and Lily Teitsma (99th) all placed in the top 100 for the Eagles.
The Forest Hills Eastern Hawks placed in ninth at the State Meet. Sarah Dixon (30th) and Ellory Clason (50th) led the way for the team as the two finishers within the top 100.
The Freeland Falcons placed twelfth at MIS with 340 points. Kiera Hansen (7th), and Mara Longenecker (10th) helped the Falcons to be one of just three teams (East Grand Rapids and Petoskey) to have a pair of top-ten finishes.
The Sparta Spartans placed eighteenth as a team at the State Meet. Madyson Oudbier (64th) and Kennedi Wood (69th) both placed in the top 100.
The South Christian Sailors finished twenty-third at the State Meet with 528 points. Moriah Lanning (126th) was the team’s top racer.
The Spring Lake Lakers finished twenty-fourth at the meet with 536 points. Lily Parker (32nd) turned in a strong individual performance.
Emily Tomes of GR Catholic Central (8th), Taylor Mater-Gerth of Fremont (19th), Jamie Lipecky of Coopersville (34th), Emelia MacDonald of Middleville (41st), Ava Makowski of Wayland (42nd), Olivia Barabas of Wayland (51st), Jessica Durkee of Middleville (66th), Julia Finley of Belding (70th) and Emma DeVries of West Michigan Aviation Academy (74th) all finished in the top 75 individually despite their team failing to reach the State Meet.
DIVISION 3 BOYS
Team Top 3: St. Louis (103), Hart (116), Traverse City St. Francis (182)
Top 3 Individuals: Hunter Jones (Benzie Central, 15:28.96), Nick McCardle (Cass City, 15:58.90), Braxton Lamey (Ithaca, 16:10.84)
The Hart Pirates had a strong performance at MIS, reaching the podium with a second-place performance. The runner-ups were just thirteen points behind State Champion St. Louis. Alex Enns (6th), Spencer Vander (22nd), Clayton Ackley (44th), Wyatt Dean (45th), Noah Bosley (51st), Seth Ackley (85th) and Michael Tubbs (91st) all finished in the top 100 as individuals.
The Calvin Christian Squires placed fourth at the State Meet. Logan Manion (20th), Luke Witvliet (24th), Nathan Jenkins (36th) and Dan Kehoe (80th) all placed in the top 100 individually.
The Covenant Christian Chargers finished in eleventh place this weekend. Tyler Vandermuelen (75th), Zach Schwarz (92nd) and Mason Schimmel (94th) were their three individuals in the top 100.
Andrew Hardy of Central Montcalm (32nd) and Ryan Allen of Reed City (78th) were the two individuals from our coverage area that placed in the top 100 but did not have their team qualify for the Finals.
DIVISION 3 GIRLS
Team Top 3: Hart (59), Ithaca (114), Calvin Christian (121)
Top 3 Individuals: Abby Vanderkooi (Western Michigan Christian, 17:12.47), Alyson Enns (Hart, 18:05.97), Savannah Ackley (Hart, 18:31.89)
The Hart Pirates won the Division 3 Girls State Cross Country Championship by nearly doubling up second-place Ithaca. Alyson Enns, a freshman, led the way with a second-place finish, while juniors Savannah Ackley (3rd) and Audrianna Enns (5th) and senior Lynae Ackley (10th) all earned top-10 honors. Lauren Vanderlaan (68th) and Layla Creed (87th) also finished in the top 100.
The Calvin Christian Squires placed third at the State Meet this weekend. Catherine Kortman (17th), Leanne Krombeen (25th), Kate Witvliet (36th), Jonathah Bouwman (40th), Hannah Kroeze (53rd) and Chloe Hoekstra (90th) all finished in the top 100.
The Covenant Christian Chargers finished in eighth place with 275 points. Meghan Beute (18th), Lydia Vandenberg (77th) and Ashley Spronk (91st) all placed in the top 100.
The Kent City Eagles were the twelfth-best team at the State Meet. Layla Martini (11th) and Alyeska Linsley (28th) led the team on Saturday.
Abby Vanderkooi, a junior at Western Michigan Christian, dominated the competition with an incredible time of 17:12.47. This is the ninth fastest time in the modern history of the MHSAA finals regardless of division, and it becomes the new Division 3 record (previously held by Adelyn Ackley of Hart, 17:40.6). Gabriella Wingard of North Muskegon (30th), Emma Soelberg of Shelby (56th), Isabelle Auch of Montague (69th) and Sarah Alferink of Holland Black River turned in strong individual performances.
DIVISION 4 BOYS
Team Top 3: Carson City-Crystal (157), Breckenridge (162), Concord (166)
Top 3 Individuals: Coleman Clark (Carson City-Crystal, 15:58.55), Max Sharnas (Saugatuck, 16:06.51), Mason Sumner (Breckenridge, 16:31.27)
The Potter’s House Pumas placed eleventh at the State Meet on Saturday. Logan Swiney (13th), Andrew Blum (32nd) and Ian Palacios (80th) all placed in the top 100 individually.
Carsen Young of Martin (16th), Graham Resterhouse of Holton (63rd) and Gabe Wirebaugh of Holland Calvary Christian (71st) all finished in the top 100 individually. Ethan Cammenga of Fruitport Calvary Christian (105th) and Jonathan Baribeau of Libertas Christian (120th) also had strong individual efforts.
DIVISION 4 GIRLS
Team Top 3: Lansing Christian (93), Kalamazoo Christian (142), Beal City (143)
Top 3 Individuals: Makenna Scott (Maple City Glen Lake, 19:30.20), Sara Spalding (Webberville, 19:44.53), Maze Gusa (Ubly, 19:55.74)
The Hudsonville Libertas Christian Phoenix placed sixteenth at the State Meet with 422 points. Aliz Pusztai (55th) was the lone top 100 finisher for the team. Elise Mason (131st) and Abby Kunkle (143rd) rounded out their top three.
The Holton Red Devils finished in twenty-first place at the Division 4 State Finals. Vanessa Peltoniemi was the team’s top finisher in 122nd place.
Tatum Dysktra of Fruitport Calvary Christian (17th), Amelia Thompson of Big Rapids Crossroads Academy (19th), Erika Verbeek of Potter’s House (63rd), M. Esther Cole of Potter’s House (88th), and Ava Wilson of Fruitport Calvary Christian (93rd) all finished in the top 100 individually.