Evart boys qualify for state final

CARSON CITY — Evart’s boys cross country team kept its preseason goal of finishing in the top five in the state by taking second at the Division 4 regional on Friday.

Sacred Heart posted 64 points for first, while Evart was second at 72 and Beal City third at 91 in the 12-team field.

The state finals are Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway near Brooklyn.

The Evart girls team was fifth.

“The guys, we were hoping to win regionals but didn’t quite make it,” Evart coach Kevin Mills said. “They all ran quite strong. We’re tweaking some stuff and preparing for the state meet.”

Evart senior Santana Scott took first (16:30.19) while Josh Woods was sixth (17:07.65), Nathan Woods 16th (17:39.72), Andrew Bengry 20th (17:52.55), Alex Hamilton 31st (18:34.82), Micah Wetters 53rd (20:11.15) and Austin Hamilton 76th (22:18.92).

“Andrew Bengry and Alex Hamilton both had significant personal bests and Josh Woods also,” Mills said, adding that his team hopes to finish ahead of Sacred Heart at the state meet. “Saugatuck, it looks like they’ll take it handily. Bear Lake is really strong, Mendon too.

“We’ve had our share of injuries and sicknesses,” Mills said. “We’re not as strong of a team as we were hoping at the beginning of the season. I’m still thinking top five (at state) is within our reach.”

For the Evart girls, Clairese Clark was 21st (22:27.67), Sarah Nelson 22nd (22:27.67), Mara VanOrder 30th (23:00.31), Brooke Belleville 38th (23:52.29) and Arianna Mooney 47th (24:40.25).

“Clairese had about a 30-second best personal best time,” Mills said. “She had an awesome run. I’m really proud of her.”

Crossroads Charter Academy also ran at Carson City-Crystal. The boys finished 11th at 256 while the girls did not have a full team. Tayo Fadayomi was 36th (18:57.47), Adam Curtis 43rd (19:30.69) Britton Angell 57th (20:29.11), Ethan Davis 58th (20:29.46) and Xander Wahl 74th (22:06.05).

For the Crossroads girls, Katie Donley was 39th (24:08.67), Cassie Cole 42nd (24:20.360) and Brianna Cowles 50th (24:57.87).

DIVISION 3 AT MANISTEE

Pine River was 11th (272) at the Division 3 regional Saturday in Manistee.

Pine River was led by Derek Hartline 28th (18:15.10), Mark Geer 36th (18:33.28), Ira Waters 66th (20:34.72), Robbie Steele 70th (21:06.12) and Sam Pentces 75th (21:37.96).

Reed City had two runners with Brandon Wirth 45th (18:54.15) and Brett Walker 86th (23:05.48).

In the 13-team girls race, Pine River was ninth (255) and Reed City 12th (321).

For Pine River, Kelsi Charles was 25th (22:03.37), Olivia Thompson 42nd (23:06.36), Holly Bailor 63rd (24:40.76), Rachel DePew 68th (25:24.47) and Alexis Beebe 72nd (25:56.91).

“Freshmen Kelsi Charles and Gretchen Geer (28:43.6) ran personal best times,” Pine River coach Ross Vrieze said. “The boys  team also finished their regional race well with five of the seven runners with seasonal best times. They finished one place better in the region than predicted.”

Reed City was led by Joelynn Gamble-Brown 46th (23:32.30), Catherine Kettner 65th (25:11.81), Lindsey Kienitz 71st (25:49.30), Hana Ondrus 81st (27:04.56), McKenzie Cornelius 85th (27:55.36) and Devin Willard 97th (32:11.98).