CENTRAL LAKE — The Harbor Springs High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were the favorites heading into Friday’s Division IV regional.
The Rams then didn’t disappoint.
The Harbor girls, who are ranked No. 1 along with North Muskegon in the MichiganCrossCountry.com rankings, and the Harbor boys, ranked No. 6, swept the 12-team regional to advance to the Division IV state finals Saturday, Nov. 3, at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
The Harbor girls finished first with 32 points, while Mancelona was second, 84; and Johannesburg-Lewiston was third, 85. Boyne Falls finished fourth with 99 points, followed by Rogers City, 131; Inland Lakes, 142; Gaylord St. Mary, 144; and Ellsworth, 196
On the boys side, Harbor Springs placed first with 31 points, while Mancelona was second, 64; followed by Rogers City, 134. Inland Lakes finished fourth with 136 points, followed by Boyne Falls, 141; Pellston, 170; Gaylord St. Mary, 187; Fairview, 199; Alba, 211; Wolverine, 234; Johannesburg-Lewiston, 252; and Mackinaw City, 270.
The top three teams and runners finishing within the top 15 all advance to the state finals.
The Harbor girls placed six runners within the top 15 led by individual regional winner and senior Rhi Cullip who finished in 19 minutes, 32.6 seconds, while the Harbor boys had four runners finish within the top 15.
Troy Clovis of Bellaire won the boys race in 17:06.20; while Harbor Springs sophomore Marcus Garrow was second in 17:13.60.
Boyne Falls senior Erica Westbrook was runner-up in the girls race as she finished in 20:28.7.
“We were both pretty happy with the result,” Harbor Springs coach Emily Kloss said of both Ram teams coached by her and her husband, Mike Kloss. “I thought both teams ran really solid and they were all clicking one-by-one.”
Also for the Harbor girls, Jessica Worm was fourth, 20:51.5; while Kaitlyn Alessi was ninth, 21:07.8; Claire Fleming, 10th, 21:11.20; Betsey Simons, 11th, 21:17.10; and Autumn Kihnke, 12th, 21:18.00.
Also for the Rams, Salix Sampson was 16th, 21:41.30.
“That was Rhi’s second best time of the year and it was nice to have Betsey (Simons) back,” Emily Kloss said. “Rhi started out strong from the beginning and she held it and overall, I thought we ran very well. We knew we had to have a good race and get out strong and we put six in the top 15 and almost made it seven.
“We had about an 11 second gap between out No. 3 and No. 6,” Kloss added. “That will be very helpful next weekend and having depth of seven is key going into the finals.”
For the Harbor boys, Garrow led the way with his runner-up finish, while Michael Gorman was fifth, 17:38.50; followed by Trevor Rohrer, eighth, 17:54.70; Jeffrey Howard, ninth, 18:06.00; and Andrew Furstenberg, 13th, 18:16.10.
Other Harbor boys runners included Kurtis Alessi, 30th, 19:08.90; and Jacob Nethercott, 38th, 19:41.20.
“The boys were pretty happy as well,” Kloss said. “They were happy to qualify as a team and Michael (Gorman) adn Trevor (Rohrer) both ran really solid races. This was Marcus’ first regional and it was a good experience for him.
“We had a nice gap between our No. 2 and No. 5, around 30 seconds, and it’s nice to have a pack in there.”
For the Boyne Falls girls, Westbrook qualified for the state finals as an individual, while other Logger runners included Natalie Aikens, 20th, 22:21.90; Kaylee Wilson, 32nd, 23:43.80; Madison Skop, 33rd, 23:45.10; Katelyn Wilson, 39th, 24:02.40; Megan Byrne, 56th, 25:44.50; and Kurstin Wilson, 68th, 26:42.30.
For the Logger boys, Marcus Matelski was a team-best 20th in 18:44.10; followed by Hunter Williams, 24th, 18:56.70; Kory Skop, 25th, 19:00.30; Max Reed, 41st, 19:48.50; Andrew Stevens, 43rd, 19:53.70; Brendon Matelski, 20:00.00; and Truman Crego, 55th, 20:28.00.
Duane Vizina of Inland Lakes finished sixth in 17:41.20 to qualify for the state finals as an individual. Other Inland Lakes boys runners included Jacob Drogowski, 21st, 18:51.20; Jacob Major, 34th, 19:26.70; Nathan Pritchett, 39th, 19:43.30; Zach Florek, 50th, 20:19.10; Duncan Dickinson, 57th, 20:41.90; and Andrew Dufek, 69th, 21:35.20.
Hannah Passino of Inland Lakes qualified in the girls race as she finished seventh in 21:05.50. Other Inland Lakes girls runners were 29-Taylor Fletcher, 23:19.50; 40-Rebekah Drogowski, 24:03.10; 50-Lindsay Smeltzer, 24:52.90; 67-Sadee LaLonde, 26:37.70; 75-Ashley Northrop, 28:19.70; 82-Sarah Griffore, 30:43.70.
“Duane and Hannah ran really strong races and are going to the state finals,” Inland Lakes coach Brandon Beltz said.
“The boys missed taking the whole team by two heartbreaking points. It was a strong season and they will be back and ready for next year.”
For the Pellston boys, both Connor Kintz and Hunter Kilpatrick qualified for the state finals as Kintz was seventh, 17:42.00; while Kilpatrick was 12th, 18:15.30. Other Pellston boys runners were: 40-Garrett Robinson, 19:44.00; 60-Zach Prell, 21:04.90; 68-Tanner Keller, 21:34.30; 82-Andrew Dankert, 22:53.10.
For the Pellston girls, Ainsley MacLean was a team-best 37th in 24:00.06, followed by Olivia Heimforth, 41st, 24:16.00; Kayla Baker, 55th, 25:33.20;
For the Ellsworth girls, Larissa Fisher was a team-best 31st in 23:25.00, followed by 35-Taryn Rozema, 23:56.40; 64-Crissa Karavas, 26:31.40; 80-Lexi Lambert, 29:39.20. The Ellsworth boys were led by Zachary Wynkoop who was 66th, 21:20.50; while Nate Veldboom was 74th, 22:09.50.
For the Wolverine boys, Mike McNiel was a team-best 16th in 18:26.50, and was followed by 33-Robert Reese, 19:22.70; 53-Wayne Goddard, 20:21.20; 75-Tommy Moore, 22:21.50; 88-Brandon McCauley, 24:11.70; 91-Eddie Florenski, 28:14.10; 92-Zach DeMoines, 29:03.50.
For the Wolverine girls, Courtney Whittaker qualfied for the state finals as an individual as she placed 13th in 21:19.00, while Tori Forster was 78th, 29:23.40.
The Mackinaw City boys were led by Noah Morse who was 27th in 19:02.20, followed by 61-Jacob Bell, 21:11.30; 65-Carson Hartman, 21:20.50; 67-Matt Rivera, 21:24.80; 78-Zach Smith, 22:37.70; 87-Jonah Robbins, 23:32.80.
For the Mackinaw girls, Katrine Kendall-Thompson was 46th, 24:46.00, while Brianna Becker was 49th, 24:49.50; Katherine Watchorn, 63rd, 26:28.80; and 83-Heidi Mercer, 35:55.40.
Cross Country: Ram tough: Harbor Springs sweeps Division IV regional titles
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