Depth will be key for Evart in bid for state cross country title
EVART — Evart’s boys cross country team will take dead aim at the Division 4 state title on Saturday.
But while the Wildcats’ top three combination of David Zinger-Logan Hammer-Max Hodges remains strong, runners 4 through 6 could hold the key to victory.
In the team’s regional championship victory at Benzie Central on Saturday, Antonio Militello was fourth in 16:56.43, Alex Newton was 14th in 17:47.27 and Ryan Tuttle 17th in 18:07.63.
Those three could hold the key to Evart’s hopes of a state title.
Militello, a senior, has been in cross country for four years. His time at the regionals was a PR.
“I was pretty confident,” he said. “I didn’t know (his time) would be that good. I had a hard first mile and it obviously helped having my three teammates ahead of me to push me.”
The Wildcats have won three straight Highland Conference titles.
“We have a good coach (Andy Eichelberger) who knows that he’s doing,” Militello said. “We bond well as a team.”
At the finals, Militello is looking at a 16:45.
Newton is a junior this season. It’s his fourth year of cross country.
“I’m a minute (better than) last year’s best time,” he said. “This year, I’ve pushed myself, it’s my first year as fifth man.”
His time at the regionals beat his personal best by 40 seconds.
“I had the drive to succeed,” he said. Id like to get below a 17:30 (this Saturday). It will take a lot of hard training this week.”
Newton is hopeful his team can take first.
“But I think we could get second easily,” he said.