Reed City boys take sixth place at state final

Rhode earns individual All-State honors

BROOKLYN – Reed City’s boys cross country team made the most of its first appearance as a team in the state finals in 38 years with a sixth-place performance on Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway.

Hart was first in Divsion 3 at 116 followed by Traverse City St. Francis (147), St. Louis (161), Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (226), Hanover-Horton (239), Reed City (264) and Benzie Central (266)

Sophomore Gus Rohde was 18th overall in 16 minutes, 36:06 seconds to lead the Coyotes and take All-State honors, which went to the top 30 runners. Teammate Ryan Allen just missed All-State by one place by finishing 31st (16:55.75). Also for Reed City, Anthony Kiaunis was 84th (17:40.49), Ty Kailing 108th (17:55.49), Aaron Allen 170th (18:27.73), Paul Saladin 193rd (18:50.92) and Mason Dozier 215th (19:19.48).

“We had four of our seven kids run their season best times today,” Reed City coach Rich Saladin said. “In all of Division 3, there’s only (27) teams that run. They did well. Sixth place overall for our team for the first time back in state in 38 years, we’re one of the top six teams and we’re pretty excited about that.

“You always want to win but I think that’s a pretty good showing for us.”

Places are based on all runners in the race including those running independently of a team. When team standings were determined, the places for the Coyotes were Rohde 10th, Allen 20th, Kiaunis 53rd, Kailing 69th and Allen 112th for 264 team points.

“We have a young team,” Saladin said. “We lose two seniors in Ty Kailing and Mason Dozier. Everyone else is coming back. I think we have a good group for next year. Ryan Allen missed all-state by one place which was heart-breaking for him. He’s a junior and he’s determined to come back next year. But he did PR today.”

Reed City had one girl competing and Nora Smoes was 78th (20:58.63).

“It’s her last race as a Reed City Coyote and she did great,” Saladin said. “We were happy with her time. There was a strong wind and some rain during the girls race. It was not ideal but everybody has to run in those same conditions. I think we held our own. It was a pretty strong head wind for the boys. When the girls ran it was a strong wind and rain. It was pretty difficult.”

Pine River's Elizabeth Rigling was 149th in 22:01.51.

Big Rapids boys

Big Rapids’ two runners, seniors Owen Westerkamp and Ben Knuth were 41st and 104th respectively in 16:32.46 and 17:18.33 in the Division 2 race on Saturday.

“Both Ben and Owen represented Big Rapids well today and had great end of the season performances,” Big Rapids boys coach Branden Bennett said. “The conditions made for a difficult start and end of the race but both BR athletes handled that with a great mind set and made the best of the middle part of the race, where they exceled.

“It’s great to see these two boys, who both had very different paths to being senior cross country state competitors end their MHSAA seasons and high school careers on a note of extraordinary effort and do it together representing their school and the cross country program well. I am extremely proud of them. They will finish out this fall season with some post-season races, including the Meet of Champions.”