Reed City boys take first at cross country opener

Morley Stanwood girl runner is fifth overall

REMUS – Reed City won for the boys and Shepherd for the girls in the Early Season Chippewa Hills Warrior Invitational on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

There were 14 teams for the boys and 16 for the girls.

For the boys Reed City had 80 for first place and Cedar Springs 103 for second. Big Rapids was fourth at 146 and Chippewa Hills 10th with 249. Chippewa Hills was eighth for the Warrior girls. Big Rapids was 10th and Morley Stanwood 13th.

For the RC boys, Anthony Kiaunis was second (16:47.23), August Rohde fourth (17:12.56), Ryan Allen 13th (18:09.92), Ty Kailing 19th (19:04.47) and Paul Saladin 31st (10:52.12.)

"The boys ran exceptionally well today against some really good competition,” Reed City coach Rich Saladin said. “Anthony Kiaunis and Gus Rohde were stellar, along with Ryan Allen, Ty Kailing, Paul Saladin, and Aaron Allen. We had six boys in the top 43 overall.

“Mason Dozier ran well at the seven spot and pushed down other teams' scoring runners. We've had two great weeks of practice and the boys knocked it out of the park. It was fun to win the invite and I am very proud of the effort.”

For Big Rapids, Owen Westerkamp was third (17:12.02), Ben Knuth sixth (17:26.26), Austin Dalman 32nd (20:01.81), Kyan Deam 42nd (20:33.58) and Brayden VanOs 45th (20:58.92).

For Chippewa Hills, Jake O’Neil was eighth (17:43.12), Matthew Brownell 14th (18:15.17), Jacob Simon 43rd (20:42.13), Raiden Sternquist 83rd (24:47.73) and Hunter Hoover 84th (25:11.07).

“Jake and Matthew had a great race,” Chippewa Hills coach Zach Hatfield said. “They both worked hard this summer. Matt PRed. His hard work is paying off.”

Morley Stanwood did not have a team score but was led by Tyler Vining 23rd (19:16.62), Shelby Hopkins 40th (20:19.20) and Kayden Kangas 89th (26:47.94).

For the Chippewa Hill girls, Quinn Hatfield was ninth (21:17.21), Ava Hollandsworth 15th (22:15.40), Leah Storey 42nd (25:15.22), Brookelynn Webster 49th (25:37.72) and Sophia Bouck 50th (25:39.28).

“Ava is running fast for this time of year,” Hatfield said. “Quinn looked good running as a freshmen. We had other freshmen step up with Leah and Sophia.”

Miranda McNeil was fifth (20:33.66) for Morley Stanwood while Claire Johnston was 33rd (24:42.95), McKenzie Houtman (26:54.31) was 66th, Grace Supanich 77th (28:04.03) and Sydnie LaPreze 78th (28:11.63).

“I think it was a great day for our first meet of the season,” MS coach Shelli McNeil said. “I think that overall my kids performed well. I have a few runners that have never been to a meet, let alone run in one. I also have some incoming freshman that have never raced a high school meet.  They were able to see how things go and I think it gave them some confidence as we go into our season.  These kids saw that they are capable and I expect great things from them as we progress in the season.

“For the rest of the team, I feel like this was a great race for them to start the season with.  I think they performed well and it helped get them mentally and physically into race mode for the season. I expect that they will continue to train hard and make great improvements this season. Miranda McNeil, Tyler Vining and  Claire Johnston earned medals at today’s meet.  They all ran a great race to get into those top positions.”  

For Big Rapids, Oliviah Malloy was 24th (23:26.27), Gwen Rickard 26th (23:48.01), Olivia Beauchamp 35th (24:46.92), Summer Adams 48th (25:37.29) and Isabella Caserta 81st (28:30.45).

“We looked solid today,” Big Rapids coach Branden Bennett said. “Almost all of the athletes performed as expected with a standout run by freshman Brayden VanOs. Owen Westerkamp and Ben Knuth both posted top ten times and showed a hunger to run faster.

“Overall we are happy where we settled in as a team and now have some good baseline runs to drive training forward. Next time we are back at Chippewa Hills to run we are confident we will have some regional success.”

For Reed City, Nora Smoes was 12th (22:09.62), Clara Smoes 27th (23:55.23), Carly Carlson 45th (25:21.04), Caelynn London 68th (26.58.42),  and Sahara Davis 72nd (27.23.79).

“The girls are young overall,” Saladin said. “Senior Nora Smoes ran well and looked strong. Clara Smoes also earned a medal with a strong kick at the finish. It's a starting point and now we will work hard toward our goals. It was a great job by the three freshmen girls Caelynn London, Sahara Davis and Makayla Watkins. They were all nervous but now they've had the experience and they'll get stronger and better.

"We race again on Saturday in the Pete Moss Invite at Benzie Central. It will be another competitive race and we'll continue to build on that foundation.”