EVART – David Zinger is hoping to save his best for last.

That’s what all cross country runners look at in October as conference, state and regional races draw near.

His best time so far this season has been a 16:28. Before the season and his high school career ends, Zinger, a senior, is hoping to break a 15:40.

“I haven’t had the best year so far. It’s getting better,” he said.

He had an impressive race Saturday at Pine River, winning with a first-place time of 16:53.4.

Zinger has been running closely with teammates Logan Hammer and Max Hodges this season. They have taken turns in the order they finish.

“It’s helpful as a team,” Zinger said. “It’s helped me with my competitive side a lot. It’s always fun to race against your own teammates. You know them so well that you don’t mind who wins. It’s a good race, no matter where you go.”

Zinger said the first mile is the strongest part of his race but he’s working to improve his second mile. His second mile at Pine River “was still kind of weak for me,” Zinger said. “But, no complaint with a (16:52.3) on a tough course.”

Zinger said he’s trying to get to the point where he’s running at the very best in his career.

“It will take hard work at practice, sleeping well and eating a balanced diet,” he said.

Evart won the Pine River Invitational on Saturday and also is in first place in the Highland Conference. The Wildcats seem on pace to win another league crown, go after a regional title and do well at the state meet.

“They’re all running pretty good so far,” Zinger said. “I’m hoping it’s going to be a good year.”

The Wildcats will gear up for the Division 4 regional at the end of the month, followed by the state final Nov. 3 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

“I think if we have a good day at state, we could win the state championship,” Zinger said “Every team has to have a good day to win state.”