Evart boys take title at Chip Hills Invitational

EVART  — Evart’s boys cross country team took the gold division title at Chippewa HIlls at the Warrior Invitational on Saturday.

Max Hodges for Evart was first overall in 16:44.58 while Santana Scott was fourth in 17:28.44, Zach Douglas 12th in 18:05.04, Josh Woods 22nd in 18:19.06. Micah Wetters 46th in 19:24.54 and Andrew Bengry 72nd in 20:23.78.

“It was good day, nice and cold,” Hodges said. “I held back for the first mile and a half and I took it from there. I tried a different tactic in the race and it worked really well.”

Hodges decided to go out very fast.

“For me usually, I go out real fast,” he said. “Then I don’t feel good for he rest of the race today. I held back for the first mile and ended up feeling really good when I finished.”

“We’re all PRing at the right time and are all getting up to where we’ll start peaking at the end of the season,” Hodges said.

“The guys did awesome today,” said Evart coach Kevin Mills. “A lot of guys were doing close to their season’s best. The seventh and eighth guys were getting PRs. It’s great for the team. Everyone is feeling good about themselves.”

The Wildcats are coming off winning their sixth straight Highland Conference title.

“From last year we surprised a lot of people,” Mills said. “Our top five did a lot work over the summer. Winning conference six years in a row says a lot about what (former) coach Eich (Andy Eichenburg) did over those years and the dedication of those top five guys over the summer.”

Grace Hamilton led Evart with 11th place in 21;22.17. Also for Evart, Clairese Clark was 35th in 23:30.30, Brooke Belleville 54th in 24:15.78 and Stevie Duey 115th in 28:35.68. The Wildcats didn’t have enough runners to qualify as a team.

“It was OK,” Hamilton said. “It felt good but I think everyone was a little slow Saturday.”

Evart’s regional will be at Carson City-Crystal.

For regionals, Hamilton wants to qualify for the state finals at Brooklyn’s Michigan International Speedway on Nov. 2.

“I would love to run  20,” she said

Her all-time best is 20:33 so far.

“It has to be a good day,” Hamilton said, and “as long as it’s not too windyy.”

CONFERENCE CHAMPS

Evart’s boys cross country team won the third and final Highland Conference jamboree Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Beal City to wrap up the league title. Evart was first in the eight-team field with 29, followed by Beal City with 50 and Pine River with 67.

For Evart, Max Hodges was first in 16:43.4, Santana Scott fourth in 1:31.59, Zach Douglas sixth in 17:51.4, Josh Woods eighth in 18:01, Ryan Tuttle 10th in 18:16.7, Micah Wetters 21st in 18;50.2 and Andrew Bengry 36th in 20;27.4.

In the girls race, Beal City was first at 27, Pine River third at 97 and Evart seventh at 156.

Manton was second at 91.

For Evart, Hamilton was sixth in 21:04.5, Clairese Clark 18th in 22:46.4, Brooke Belleville 37th in 25;15.5 and Stevie Duey 54th in 28;47.8.