Distance runners set to provide Wildcats with key spark this season

EVART — Logan Hammer and David Zinger were two of the top runners for an Evart cross country team that won the Highland Conference title last fall.

Both are now hoping to help the Wildcats be competitive in the Highland Conference boys track season.

Hammer, a sophomore, will be in the 1,600-meter run, 3,200-meter run and the 3,200-meter relay. He focused in the same events last year.

“It went really well,” he recalled. “I saw a lot of improvement and I’m hoping to see more this year.”

Hammer said he had a “spectacular performance” at Grand Valley. At an indoor meet in late March, the relay team of Hammer, Zinger, Antonio Militello and Alex Newton medaled in the 4 by 600 relay for fifth place.

For this season, “I want to break the fives for the mile,” Hammer said. “I want to break below 11 for the two mile. I think we have a magnificent distance team.”

In the Highland, “there’s a lot of teams that have one or two good runners,” Hammer added.

Zinger, a sophomore, placed seventh last November at the state cross country meet. For the track season, he’s slated to see action in the 3,200-meter run, the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter relay “and maybe in the open 800, it depends on where they need me,” Zinger said.

In his freshman track season, Zinger said his high school debut “went exceptionally well. I almost made it to state in the two-mile and I ran a pretty good mile. I hope to improve in all of my events.”

Despite poor weather conditions, Zinger said he’s been able to maintain a good schedule.

“We’ve been running every day,” he said. “I think I’ll make it to state in the two mile. I ran a 10:09 last year. The state qualifying time is a 10:02. It would be fun to bring the two-mile relay with me.”

The first outdoor meet will be home on April 12 against Morley Stanwood.

‘We have a lot of potential,” Zinger said of his distance team’s potential. “It comes down to working hard in practice and hopefully staying injury free.”