Sunday, October 11, 2009

Portage Review

Portage Invite - largest XC invitational in the midwest - over 7000 runners total.

Perfect racing conditions - 53 degrees, partly sunny great competition.

All results at that link, individual and team.

Highlights - Boys were led by Jayden Hesselink's 16:50 and medal winning performance, leading his team to a 10th place finish against 8 ranked teams. At first glance a 10th place finish might not seem so great, but this firmly establishes the fact that this boys team is a threat to win our regional and finish in the top 10 at the MHSAA state finals in 3.5 weeks. The strength of the group is the miniscule 24 second time gap from our #1 to #5 runners. Joe Jones had a great race and last half mile to crack into the 16's with a 16:59, he was followed closely by Charlend Howard, Nate Fischer, and Bryan Slocum. The parity in this group is amazing. On any given day I think any of these boys can be our #1 man. A couple weeks ago at Delta Bryan was our #1, today he was #5 - he didnt have a bad day, they're just that close in ability and the pack mentality is really going to help us in the long run. Ian Callison and Jake Pasternak rounded out our team scoring with personal best times. In the JV race Sean Hope was running for a win for 2.8 miles but was nipped at the line in a sprint to the finish, still running a personal best time and placing 5th of over 300 JV runners.

Dexter and Grand Rapids Christian Boys are tied for the 8th place ranking in the STATE - Gaylord boys beat them both at Portage.

Girls - back in action and getting closer to full strength. amanda olds led the way, followed closely by Megan Borgeson. Anna Kassuba is getting back into her old racing ways, moving up to a solid 3rd position on the team. Our top 3 girls were only separated by 7 seconds, at regionals this will be a huge boost for us, with three all-regional prospects. Ever consisten Katelynn Dreyer was our 4th girl and Geen Duff rounded out varsity scoring - both these girls ran personal best times for their XC careers. Today we finally ran FAST. All season we've been on slower, tough, hilly courses with poor weather conditions - today was perfect, fast course, fast times and a step in the right direction where we need to go. I'm confident both Amanda and Anna are going to continue with huge improvements in time - they ran ok today - and be a threat for a top 5 finish individually at our regional in 3 weeks. This will be a huge boost for our team score there. Ever consistent Krystin Dreyer and Paige Hypio completed our varsity with solid times today. IN the JV girls race Gaylord stole some thunder, placing 5 girls in medal contention - Dawn Pagels (12th) and Noelle Warren (17th) led the way with times fast enough to put them on any other teams varsity top 7 group. Maria Warren, Hilary Puroll, and Nicole Wehner also earned medals for their season best performances.

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