Pine River seniors eager to lead cross country attack

LEROY — Elliott VanDreumel is in his senior season of cross country at Pine River and is looking for this one to be his best.

VanDreumel has had three varsity cross country seasons.

“My freshman year I PRed high for what I was running normally,” he recalled. “I started the season around 25 and got it to a 21 something. My sophomore year I slacked off and was running 22s all year. Last year, I finally kicked it into gear and beat my brother consistently all year.”

VanDreumel got some miles in this summer although not as many as he had hoped. He’s looking to get into the 17-minute range consistently, perhaps the high 16s. His hopes are to help his entire team get to state finals.

“My last mile is always my best,” he said. “I pick it up the last mile and the last half mile I really pick up. I just need to get into shape.

“Our team looks strong this year. We have a bunch of sophomores that are juniors. That makes up almost our whole varsity team,” he said. “We definitely have a chance (for team state).”

Also in her senior season is Devyn Powell who hopes to be healthy for the entire season. In the past, she hasn’t been able to get her desired times. She struggled with the flu last year. She looks back and realizes her freshman year might have been her best.

“My times have went down,” she said. “My freshman year, I went to state. The competition has gone up in my region which has made it more difficult.”

This season, Powell hopes to get into the 19s and make it to the state finals. Her all-time best has been a 19:30.

“I need to run a lot more miles and work on my endurance,” he said. “The team looks good. We have a lot of new faces, which is nice and always great to see. We can have a strong team if we put forth the work.”

She anticipates that her finish will be the strongest part of her race. But Powell wants to work on her middle mile.