Reed City runners compete in state tournament

BROOKLYN -- It was cold with temperatures only in the 30s for the Saturday morning races at the cross country state finals at the Michigan International Speedway.

Reed City had three runners. Nora Smoes was 86th in 20:43.97, Paige Lofquist was 187th (22:14.69), and Clare Smoes 188th in 22:15.47.

Elizabeth Rigling of Pine River was 135th in 21:27.90.

In the boys Division 3 race, Reed City’s Ryan Allen was 37th (17:05.39), Gus Rohde 62nd (17:21.71) and Anthony Kiaunis 66th (17:22.63).

“Our kids ran great,” Reed City coach Rich Saladin said. “I was really happy with the times. Ryan Allen set a personal record with a 37th-place finish. Anthony and Gus both finished in the top 25 percent of boys.

“The girls ran well too. Nora beat her time from last year here and it was an awesome experience for Paige and Clara. We had a lot of support from our teammates and fans and have a strong foundation for 2022.

The top 30 in each division earned All-State honors.

Amelia Thompson of Crossroads was 17th in Division 4 girls with a time of 20:05.21. There were 242 runners in the race.

“I was happy with my place,” Thompson said. “Last year I took 19th. My time was 44 seconds faster.”

The colder weather “help me a lot,” Thompson added. “My last mile, I passed six people.”

Thompson said she had a stronger race at Shepherd earlier in the season.

Next year, Thompson obviously wants to return and finisher higher.

“That’s my plan,” she smiled.

“Amelia Thompson is a strong and naturally talented runner,” Crossroads coach Debe Mitchell said. “She is a running machine, with determination and passion to do her best at everything she does, as she has clearly shown her abilities throughout the season.

“Amelia will be running in the Meet of Champions on Saturday  at Shepherd High School.

Morley Stanwood’s Miranda McNeil was 22nd in the Division 3 girls race in 19:13.61.

“It was chilly,” McNeil said after the race. “I perform it a little warmer.”

McNeil does feel the cold weather affected her time.

She was happy with her 22nd-place finish.

“I had a good start,” McNeil. “The course conditions were pretty good. It was pretty flat.”

A sophomore, McNeil placed 26th at state a year ago.

“Miranda ran a great race,” Morley Stanwood coach Shelli McNeil said. “The weather was chilly but made for a nice race day. Her score was just under a minute less than last year showing great improvement over the year.  She did what she needed to, she got a fast start, settled into a good race pace and had a strong finish.

“Her splits were right where she needed to be for a qualifying status. It was a fast race and she competed. I am  very proud of her.”

The area had two boys in the Division 2 race.

Jake O’Neil of Chippewa Hills was 55th (16:49.19).

“Jake ran well,” Chippewa Hills coach Zach Hatfield said. “In the second half, he passed a lot of guys. He’s hungry to get back there next year.”

Ryan Ososki of Big Rapids was 62nd (16:44.71).

“Ryan had a great race to finish his high school cross country career,” Big Rapids coach Giselle Tauriainen said. “Ryan got caught in a pack during the first mile, but was able to break out of the pack and had a fantastic last mile.

“Ryan's time today was a career best time for him. He's been a joy to coach and will definitely be missed next year.”