Hodges leads Evart to league jamboree victory

EVART — The Evart boys continued to lead the way in the Highland Conference by winning the league’s second jamboree on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The Wildcats are at Montabella Friday and have their third jamboree Oct. 15 at Beal City.

The race was at Evart’s new home course at Spring Hill Camp, and the Wildcats had 27 points compared to 54 for Pine River, 61 for Beal City, 89 for Manton, 112 for McBain 169 for Lake City, 222 for Marion and 223 for McBain NMC.

Max Hodges and Santana Scott led Evart by coming in first and second in 16:57 and 17:45.

“I went out fast for my first mile,” Hodges said. “I ran a 5:08, I pulled away as I went along. It was a hard race. This course isn’t very easy. I had a good finish. I felt well at the end.”

Hodges won the race by 48 seconds.

Also for Evart, Zach Douglas was sixth in 18:13, Josh Woods eighth in 18:33 and Ryan Tuttle 10th in 18:48.

“Santana came in second, he’s starting to feel better,” Hodges said. “We’re starting to get our top five back to where it should be. Everyone is healthy right now. We’ll try to keep it that way.”

Pine River was led by Ben Rigling who was third in 17:49. Also for the Bucks, Chris TerBurgh was seventh in 18:19, Tony Moore 12th in 19:06, Derek Hartline 14th in 19:12 and Elliot VanDreumel 18th in 19:19.

“The boys ran well and their places were decent,” Pine River coach Ross Vrieze said. “Some of them were a little upset because they set too high of a goal. But overall I think they did well. They had their sights on Evart and Beal City. But Evart, having the home course advantage, this is the first time we’ve run here.”

Beal City won the girls race with 31 points and was led by medalist Hannah Steffke, who won it in 20:24.3.

Devyn Powell of Pine River was second in 20:37.2.

“I actually ran very well today,” Powell said. “I personally have not ran here so that was a challenge. And it’s very curvy, but overall it was a flat, fast course and the wind played a factor. It’s very very windy.

Powell has been happy with her season as she’s been working to get though it completely healthy.

“It’s went so well,” she said. “I ran a personal best of any time I’ve ever ran. I couldn’t be happier. I feel stronger than I have in previous years.”

In the remaining portion of her senior season “I’m probably to where I’m peaking,” Powell said. “But my goal is to knock off 20 more seconds off my time.”

The Bucks were third as a team while Evart was seventh.

“For girls, our goal was to drop into double digit scoring,” said Vrieze. “We were 101 at the first conference meet and managed to get 95 this meet. A lot of girls increased their places.”

Cheyanna Rizor was ninth in 22:12 for the Bucks while Alyssa Geer was 28th in 24:19, Holly Bailor 29th in 24:24, Jasmine Blackrick 32nd in 24:39, Julia Lucas 33rd in 24:40 and Brooke Pennington 47th in 27:36.

Grace Hamilton was sixth for Evart in 20:58, Clairese Clark was 19th in 23:26, Brooke Belleville 48th in 27:55 Stevie Duey 54th in 29:05 and Rachel Galley 67th in 34:45.