Local Sports

Blue Water Area Cross Country Round-Up

by Calli Newberry

Marysville Invitational (Thursday, Oct. 7) 

The Marysville cross country teams took home a pair of victories on their own course Thursday afternoon. 

On the girl’s side, Vikings were led by the dynamic senior duo, Reese Powers and Hannah Fisher, who finished first and second in 19:53.48 and 20:18.29, respectively. Marysville won the meet with 56 points, Croswell-Lexington finished second with 66, and North Branch took third with 77.

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While Marysville already won its league title at the Macomb Area Conference championship last Tuesday, the battle for the BWAC title ensues between Cros-Lex and North Branch. The Pioneers won the first BWAC Jamboree, but North Branch won the second. Outside of conference competition, Cros-Lex has now defeated North Branch at three of the four invitationals they’ve both competed in. It will all come down to next Tuesday’s final conference jamboree on the Broncos’ home course. 

North Branch senior Haileigh Bissett finished third at the Marysville Invite, finishing in 20:21.76. Imlay City senior Elizabeth Sliman took fifth overall with a season-best time of 20:32.98. 

A pair of young Pioneers finished next in the top 10, as freshman Eva Thompson captured sixth in 20:47.26 and sophomore Morgan Newton was 10th in 21:05.29. 

Brianna Albers, a sophomore from Richmond finished eighth in 21:18.34 and North Branch sophomore Grace Clemens was 10th in 21:31.12. 

The boy’s team won with 92 points, beating St. Clair and Macomb Lutheran North who finished second and third with 104.

Senior Brock DenUyl won the race in 16:40.7, just four seconds off of his personal best. He was coming off of a tough race at the MAC championship just two days earlier in which he won the MAC-Blue division. With just a month left in the season, DenUyl is finishing his senior year strong as one of the top runners in the area. 

Croswell-Lexington Pioneers placed three runners in the top 10, most of anyone in the area, despite their sixth-place finish as a team. Seniors James Elling and Ethan McCombs finished second and third in 16:56.75 and 17:38.49, and fellow senior Nick Knust was ninth with a time of 18:12.39. 

North Branch senior Gabriel Hutchins finished fifth in 18:01.94 and his senior teammate David Hadden was eighth with a time of 18:11.66. Rounding out the area for the top 10 was Cardinal Mooney sophomore Tyler Lenn in sixth with a time of 18:03.93 and Richmond senior Connor Germain in 10th in 18:16.47. 

The tiebreaker between St. Clair and Macomb Lutheran North came down to junior Brandon Wayburn of St. Clair in 19:46.36 for 42nd and sophomore Josh Brown of Lutheran North who finished 55th in 20:48.26.

While St. Clair didn’t place any runners in the top 10, the Saints managed their second-place team finish with a close pack of runners who all crossed the line within one minute of one another, demonstrating the strength and depth of their team. 

Portage Cross Country Invitational (Saturday, Oct. 9)

More than 100 high school cross country teams met up on the course at Portage West Middle School on Saturday morning for one of the biggest meets in the state. 

In the Division I boys race, Port Huron Northern finished 18th out of 38 schools. The Huskies were led by junior Glen Davis who ran a new personal-best time of 16:51.6 to take 67th overall in a highly competitive race of 262 runners. Fellow junior Matt LaFreniere ran right behind him to take 72nd, also with a personal-best of 16:54.4. This was LaFreniere’s first time breaking the 17-minute barrier, an exciting accomplishment in a big race.

St. Clair and Yale ran in the Division 2 race, finishing third and ninth out of 46 schools. Yale junior Lukas Kriesch led the area with a time of 16:35.3 to take 20th out of 320 athletes. 

Three Saints finished in a pack to lead their team: juniors David Harris (16:54.7) and Carter Boullard (16:54.8), who took 34th and 35th, and senior Sam Vitale (16:58.4) who finished in 40th. These were season’s best times for Boullard and Vitale as they’re starting to peak at the right time just before the regional meet. 

Yale sophomore Acer Campbell also cracked into the top 50 as he placed 42nd in a personal-best time of 17:00.8. He beat his previous best by 24 seconds, a major improvement. 

On the girl’s side, Port Huron Northern had two runners compete in a field of 239 runners in the Division 1 race. Junior Dylan Pasia earned a 22-second improvement in her best time as she finished in 20:48 to take 113th. Her junior teammate Therese Georgia was 160th in 21:38.4.

And in the Division 2 girls race, St. Clair’s Ava Pergitone, a junior, finished 55th out of 306 runners in 20:48.2. Her team took 23rd out of 45 runners. 

This week teams will travel to a variety of meets around the Thumb and beyond on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The final BWAC jamboree will be next Tuesday, Oct. 19 in North Branch, and following that will be the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 30. 

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