Reed City cross country wraps up historic season

Gus Rohde finishes his regional race at Chippewa Hills on Oct. 28.

Gus Rohde finishes his regional race at Chippewa Hills on Oct. 28.

File Photo

REED CITY—It was one of the best seasons ever for the Reed City cross country program this year, culminating in the first conference championship since 1983.

The boys team reach new heights this season, bringing home a conference championship for the first time since 1983 for the program. The entire team qualified for states finals for the first time since 1984, where it placed sixth in Division 3 at Michigan International Speedway.

"The boys had very high expectations and goals going into the season with the No. 1 goal being winning conference," seventh year head coach Rich Saladin said. "They also had a goal to qualify for the state meet as a team which no Reed City team had done since 1984. They met both of those goals and finished sixth in the state in Division 3. Over the course of the season, the boys won seven invitationals and finished second twice."

The Coyotes saw Gus Rohde, Ty Kailing, Anthony Kiaunis and Ryan Allen were all named to the CSAA Gold all-conference team. Aaron Allen was named as an honorable mention. Gus Rohde, Ryan Allen and Ty Kailing were all regional medalists this season as well.

"The boys have some exceptional talent led by sophomore Gus Rohde," Saladin said. "He really took a big step this year. Juniors Ryan Allen and Anthony Kiaunis and senior Ty Kailing were very steady as well. That top four put up some low numbers that were hard for other teams to compete with."

The team will be losing two runners to graduation heading into next season in Ty Kailing and Mason Dozier. Five of the top six runners return to make a run again next year.

On the girls side, they finished fifth in the conference this season behind strong efforts by the Smoes sisters of Nora and Clara.

"The girls are a young team and the goal was to improve throughout the season," Saladin said. "They achieved success early by winning the Ferris State Helsing Invite and finished second at both Evart and Pine River. They also finished fifth at regionals with a very strong showing."

All-conference runners were Nora and Clara Smoes, while Carly Carlson was named as an all-conference honorable mention. Nora Smoes also was a regional medalist and a state finalist. Nora Smoes is set to be one of two departures for the program, joining Murr Huodges in graduation.

"The boys team should be very strong again next year," Saladin said. "The girls should also be very competitive with the experience coming back."