Evart runners take double dual, place second at Sparta

EVART — The coolest temperatures of the cross country season came at the right time for Evart’s cross country teams in sweeping a pair of double duals at home Wednesday, Sept. 14 against Farwell and Harrison in non-league action.

In boys action, Evart defeated both teams by 15-48 scores. For the girls, Evart beat Farwell 21-36 and had a 17-41 topping of Harrison.

The Evart boys took the top five spots with David Zinger taking first in 16:11, followed by Logan Hammer in 16:22, Max Hodges in 16:42, Antonio Militello in 17:37 and Alex Newton in 18:33. Ryan Tuttle was 10th in 19:45 and Brian Flachs 11th in 19:48.

“It was nice and cool, that’s how we like it,” Hodges said. “We want to go to state and possibly win it this year. Personally, I’d like to get in to the 16:20s for my personal best.”

Katelyne VanMourik led the Evart girls with a first-place time of 20:06.

“The weather was good, the wind wasn’t that bad,” VanMourik said, noting that a 30 degree difference compared to the team’s home meet two weeks ago “made a very big difference.”

Also for Evart, Grace Hamilton was third in 23:08, Alexis Pylman fourth in 23:15, Taylor McLachlan fifth in 23:28, Brianne Connor 10th in 24:07 and Katie Parsons 11th in 24:17.

This is the first year of cross country for Hamilton, a sophomore.

“When I did track last year, I liked it and I ran all summer,” she said. “It’s been going really good. It’s a lot more fun than I expected. This was my best (race) by far.”

“Both boys and girls teams ran well, I think, because of the weather,” said Evart coach Andy Eichenberger. “We had kind of a cold snap. We had a lot of personal bests today.”

On Saturday, the Evart boys were at the Sparta Invitational and took second in the White Division among 16 teams in the Silver Division with 81 points. Grand Rapids North Pointe Christian won with 69.

Zinger won the division in 16:20.59. Also for Evart, Logan Hammer was sixth in 17:03, Max Hodges eighth in 17:08.32, Antonio Militello 27th in 18:33 and Alex Newton of Evart in 19:06.

The Evart girls were sixth out of 14 teams. VanMourick was 11th in 21:01.21, Grace Hamilton was 31st in 22:59.59, Alex Pylman 49th in 24:15. Taylor McLachlan 54th on 24:38.80 and Brianna Conner 57th in 24:49.13.

“I have to say the girls are very much improved from last year,” said Evart’s Andy Eichelberger. “The boys were second to North Pointe Christian last year too.”

The Highland Conference season opened at home on Tuesday.

“They have three conference races and determine the accumulative score of those races to determine your Highland Conference champion,” Eichelberger said.

Evart has won the last two boys conference titles.


Reed City competed in the first Central State Activities Association race Sept. 13 at Big Rapids.

Reed City was also at the Michigan State Invitational on Tuesday. Joe Oehrli was second in the small school division in 16:04, which is a personal record.

In a CSAA meet on Sept. 13, Oehrli was second overall in 17:16. Also for Reed City, Drake Walker was 27th in 20:16 and Matt McGahey 37th in 21:33.

For the girls, Emily McIntosh was 27th in 26:07, Amanda Stieg 31st in 26:38 and Lindsey Ridderman 32nd in 26:41.

“All three girls ran very well at the CSAA,” coach Brad Smith said.

Thursday, Reed City has a dual at Manistee.


Pine River was eighth for the boys team in Saturday’s Sparta Invitational.

For the Bucks, Trevor Holmes was ninth in 17:10.83, Caleb Elkins 26th in 18:27.76, Mitchell Kelsey was 53rd in 19:33, Ben Rigling 60th in 19:44.74, Joshua Phillips 64th in 20:04.58 and Greg Schafer 76th in 20:45.46.

The girls were 11th in the Silver Division.

Devyn Powell was 16th in 21:26.62. Rachel Hartline was 41st in 23:45.89, Jamine Huback 55th in 24:45.09, Erica Loop 61st in 25:04.66 and Gabie Gilbert 74th in 26:00.

On Thursday, Pine River ran at Kingsley with the boys taking fourth and the girls eighth.

For the boys, Holmes was eighth in 17:37, Elkins was 10th in 18:38, Ben Rigling was 24th and Kelsey 25th in identical times of 19:33.

For the girls, Powell was fifth in 21:48, Hartline was at 25:08 with a personal best.

“We have quite a gap between our No. 1 and 2 runners,” said Ross Vrieze, Pine River coach.