1400 runners, 31 varsity teams, 26 middle school teams and 41 of our 45 runners on GHSXC had personal best times for the season!! What a way for the JV to end our 2016 campaign. I am so proud of all of our athletes - putting in a couple hours helping sell shirts, concessions, parking cars and just generally being helpful. Thank you to all the parents who worked to make this invitational a success. I am proud of you and extremely thankful for the great group we have!!! Well done!!
Full results - NMXCC results here
On the boys side we finish 9th of 27 teams - pretty good, but I think we have more in us at the regional meet next week. Our time gap from 1-5 man stands at 1minute 20 seconds or so and I hope for around 50-55 seconds next week. Zak Goddard cracks the 17 minute barrier at 16:59 and placing 11th overall. Ethan Huey also had a personal best at 17:28. Both of these young men have a good shot at being all-regional next weekend. Nick Green also clocked a personal best by 17 seconds and cracking the 18 minute barrier for the first time. Nick has the ability to go 1730 or 1740 at regionals next weekend and the rest we give the team this week might propel him to that time. Andrew Quaal and Justin Desloover rounded out our scoring 5 with solid performances. Andrew and Justin both had season best times but I really believe that 17's are in the cards for them next week - they continue to improve and we have trained through many of these races with fairly hard weeks of practice and little "rest" before weekend invites. This week is "rest" week - and we are hoping it leads to the peak in performance we usually see this time of the year. Jack Hervela is also back to full strength and had a solid race as 6th man.
In the JV race we had a battle for the last varsity spot. All JV boys were in the race to be the first across the line, because that person would be our last varsity runner at regionals. Kenny Smith was up to that challenge and came through with a season best 18:16, placing 4th overall in the JV race. Kenny was actually our 4th man by time today in the meet, his best of the season, just edging out Andrew and JD. Kenny definitely had the race of the day for the Blue Devil harriers. His time was a season best by 35 seconds. 8th man today was Jon Thorold - I know Jon wanted that 7th position very badly. He has worked hard all season to earn a varsity spot on the team and just missed it today. As I told the team at practice this week - "Don't let the failure to reach your goal be a negative thing - use it as fuel for the fire to prepare harder for next season." Jon WILL be a varsity runner next season as I know he'll be preparing with LOTS of summer miles. Some other JV runners of special note were Chase Henley with a season best by over a minute, Jacob Thorold season best by 1:24, and Jonathon Steele, season best by 1:19. In the JV scoring GHS placed 3rd of 30 teams!! Well done JV boys!!!
On the girls side, the return of Bri Martin and the race for varsity positions has given us a boost. The lady blue devils placed 9th of 30 teams, equalling the boys effort. Carlie Martella was again our #1, with a season best time of 19:47. Carlie is right in line with times that Katelyn Smith was running last season - Kate ended up top 5 at regionals and all-state. I believe Carlie can do the same. Bri Martin again ran a season best time by almost a minute, and actually beat her time from last year on this course by about 20 seconds, running her 2nd fastest time of her short career. If Bri can take another 20-30 seconds off this time she had today she can be all regional and earn a trip to the MHSAA state finals on November 5. Ever consistent Allison Kowatch was again our 3rd, running a season best time and continuing to improve. Rounding out our varsity scoring were solid freshman Amanda Keysor with a season best time by 40 seconds and Adrienne Edwards running a season best time by 42 seconds. Both Amanda and Adrienne have been very consistent for us this year - improving each race and scoring as a varsity runner in every meet.
In the JV race we had a battle for our last 2 varsity spots. The girls knew that whoever finished as our 1-2 runners in the JV race would be on our varsity for regionals and the double threat Massey girls pulled it off. Mikayla ran a season best time by 59 seconds to secure a spot as our #4 girl, quite a feat after battle some health issues this season. Sister Mackenzie was not far being, running a season best by 1:05!! Both girls will be tough next season with more consistent summer miles and a healthier season. Both have battled illness and knee issues ...
Other girls of note were Raija Taylor, Nicole Houghland, Laina Thomson and Cameron Martella. All four of these gals have a very good shot at our varsity next season and can be very good XC runners with some more serious summer mileage. Raija came on strong today after missing 3 meets, Nicole was in position to be 1-2-3 mid-race but faded just a bit after missing 3 meets also, and Laina had an amazing race back at Saginaw, but just couldn't duplicate it today and Cameron had been on and off the varsity all season. These girls have worked very hard and I am super proud of their effort today. Of special note were Emily Brazelton with a season best time by 1:23 and Olivia Apa with a season best by 1:13 and Jenna Monusko with a season best by 1:14.
Well done blue devils!!!