Evart boys claim Highland Conference cross country title

EVART — Evart reclaimed supremacy in the Highland Conference boys cross country standings after winning the third and final jamboree of the season Tuesday (Oct. 20) at Spring Hill Camp.

The Wildcats had won five straight league titles through 2013 before Beal City took honors last year. It was a primary goal for coach Kevin Mills and his team to get the league title back this year and they did it by winning all three jamborees.

“I saw a lot of guts and determination out there,” Mills said. “They ran hard. They deserved the finish they got.”

Evart’s Santana Scott (17:06.33) took first. The Wildcats took four of the first 10 spots. Josh Woods was second (17:34.87), Nathan Woods fifth (17:52.13), Andrew Bengry 10th (18:29.41), Alex Hamilton 15th (19:06.59), Nick Niles 28th (20:30.90), Tanner Ryan 41st (21:56.39) and David Green 43rd (22:13.37).

“It was muggy,” Bengry said. “I did more running over the summer so I started out the season in better shape.”

He also noted the Wildcats have everyone back from last season.

Evart was first both in the jamboree and overall standings. Pine River was sixth in both.

“I don’t know the last time Evart won regionals,” Mills said. “That’s our next goal.”

The Division 4 regionals are Saturday at Carson City-Crystal.

“We’re training hard and times are coming down,” Mills said.

Derek Hartline led Pine River by taking seventh (18:18.80), Mark Geer 17th (19:08.97), Robbie Steele 40th (21:50.19), Sam Pentces 45th (22:25.98) and Tyler Stonto 46th (22:26.00).

“This was one of my best races,” Geer said. “The weather wasn’t too hot and the course was amazing.”

For Evart’s girls, Sarah Nelson was 13th (23:05.97), Mara VanOrder 15th (23:09.67), Clairese Clark 22nd (24;17.97), Brooke Belleville 32nd (25:25.23) and Kimberly Wilson 53rd (43:02.95).

“Things went really well,” VanOrder said. “I went out faster, like my plan was, and it paid off. My goal was to get in the top 15 and I did. The other girls did well. We had some sicknesses on the team today.”

Evart was fourth Tuesday and third in the overall standings. Pine River was fifth in both.

Pine River’s girls were led by Kelsi Charles, who was 12th (22:42.20) followed by Rachel DePew 31st (25:12.29), Alexis Beebe 34th (25:51.50), Holly Bailor 35th (26:23.56) and Alyssa Geer 40th (2:1.76).