EAST JORDAN — Two races into the young season, and two wins for the Harbor Springs High School girls’ cross country team.
The Harbor girls —who opened their season Saturday at the Central Lake Ryan Shay Memorial with a win — picked up a second straight meet victory under warm and sunny skies at the East Jordan Invitational Wednesday at the East Jordan Community Park.
Four Ram runners finished within the top 12 as the girls team finished first in the 11-team event with 56 points. Grand Traverse Academy was second with 76 points, while Charlevoix was third with 80 points.
“It’s nice because last year the girls took second behind Grand Traverse,” Harbor Springs coach Emily Kloss said. “I was pretty pleased with how our younger kids stepped up and we had quite a few personal bests from last year’s race too.”
The Harbor boys followed suit as they won with 40 points, placing three runners within the top 10. Charlevoix was second with 64 points, while Traverse City Central was third, 69.
“The boys were really solid and that’s a result of all the miles they’ve put in over the summer,” Kloss said. “They only had a 48 second gap between No. 1 and No. 5, which was nice to see. Overall, it was nice. It’s been quite a while since we both won that race down there.”
East Jordan junior Josh Wojan won the boys’ race as he finished in 17 minutes, 14.5 seconds, while Charlevoix’s Amber Way won the girls’ race in 18:58.4.
For the Harbor girls, Rhi Cullip finished a team-best seventh in 21:07, while Kaitlyn Alessi was ninth, 21:44; and Betsy Simons placed 10th, 22:06. Other Harbor girls’ runner were: 12-Jessica Worm, 22:16; 21-Taylor Sydow, 23:30; 31-Demi Trabucchi, 24:25; 40-Alexa Wespiser, 25:42.
The top 30 finishers in each race earned medals.
“Both Kaitlyn (Alessi) and Betsy (Simons) had personal bests from last year’s race and I thought Demi (Trabucchi), who won the Ryan Shay JV race last weekend, raced really well,” Kloss said. “We were missing a few girls, but I know some other teams were as well.”
The Harbor boys were paced by freshman Marcus Garrow who was a team-best fifth in 18:12, while Jeffrey Howard was eighth, 18:27 and Michael Gorman was 10th, 18:46. Other Harbor boys runners were: 16-Andrew Furstenberg, 18:58; 18-Trevor Rohrer, 19:01; 38-Jacob Nethercott; 50-Michael Cannon.
“It’s good for us to get our first two races in before we go to the (Charlevoix) Mud Run next Saturday,” Kloss said. “We have a rest now and some training periods up until the Mud Run.”
For the Charlevoix boys, Jackson Buday was a team-best second as he finished in 17:40, while Chris Young was seventh, 18:26. Other Charlevoix boys runners were: 12-Tristen Rudolph, 18:51; 25-CJ Rice, 19:30; 35-Noah Jeakle; 40-Lucas Vonlau; 53-Parker Skeel.
Way led the Charlevoix girls with her individual win, while teammate Olicia Certa was fourth in 19:46. Other Charlevoix girls runners included: 22-Anna Voci, 23:44; 23-Cora Taylor, 23:48; 36-Cassidy Bonar; 37-Cortney Putman; 51-Pauline Sheets.
The Inland Lakes boys placed seventh as they finished with 196 points. For the Bulldogs, Jacob Drogowski was a team-best 29th as he finished in 19:53. Other Bulldog boys’ runners were: 33-Zach Florek; 49-Jacob Major; 65-Duncan Dickinson; 69-Daniel Smeltzer; 70-Joe Walker; 72-Pablo Santos.
“Overall it was a good race for the boys,” Inland Lakes coach Brandon Beltz said. “We were missing Vizina and Pritchett both today, but Drogowski ran a good race as well as Florek.”
For the Inland Lakes girls — who placed ninth — Hannah Passino finished a team-best 18th in 23:12. Other Inland Lakes girls runners were: 38-Rebekah Drogowski; 46-Taylor Fletcher; 57-Lindsay Smeltzer; 65-Sadee LaLonde; 75-Sarah Griffore; 76-Ashley Northrop.
Kayla Keane led the East Jordan girls — who placed eighth — as she finished third overall in 19:28. Other East Jordan girls runners included 32-Holley Carson; 47-Brittanie Moses; 56-Tess McNitt; 58-Tori Goodrich; 73-Ellen Brandell.
For the East Jordan boys, Gabe Hawley was fourth overall in 17:44, followed by 43-Donvee Burks; 52-Teddy Nachazel.