Reed City runners survive heat and competition at Helsing Invitational

Coyotes boys and girls teams take first, Westerkamp and Smoes are medalists

BIG RAPIDS – Runners survived hot temperatures at the Ray Helsing Invitational on Saturday at Katke Golf Course with Reed City coming out on top in both races.

Reed City won the boys (26) followed by Big Rapids (35), Muskegon Oakridge (86) and Tri County (88).

For Reed City, Gus Rohde was second (17:38.65), Ryan Allen third (17:43.69) Anthony Kiaunis fourth (17:44.79), Ty Kailing seventh (19:06.64), Paul Saladin 10th (19:38.93) and Aaron Allen 13th  (20:09.01).

“It went pretty good,” Rohde said. “The first mile was faster than we wanted it to be.”

Big Rapids’ Owen Westerkamp was first (17:33.49) while Ben Knuth was fifth (17:48.68) Hayden Gould eighth (19:31.66), Kyan Deam ninth (19:32.78) and Austin Dalman (20:07.53) 12th .

“The boys competed well as a team,” Cardinal boys coach Branden Bennett said. “Our top five runners all met their expectations. We had a handful of runners who finished for the first time this season today. We looked pretty good.”

“I thought I did pretty good,” Westerkamp said. “We came out of the first mile pretty quick. It felt good to come out in first place.”

Westerkamp also is Big Rapids’ No. 1 singles player and said time management and work ethic is the key in getting all of his sports work in.

“I want to make it to state and do the best I can there,” he said. “It’s still early but I feel pretty good. We have a long season ahead of us.”

Knuth said the weather prevented him from finishing as strong as he wanted to.”

Reed City won the girls (47), followed by Tri County (48), Oakridge (58) and Big Rapids (63).

Nora Smoes was medalist for Reed City (22:20.1) and overall while Clara Smoes was fourth (23:50.36), Carly Carlson was 12th (25:46.33), Caelynn London 13th (25:50.86) and Makayla Watkins 17th (27:49.29).

“I was really happy,” coach Rich Saladin said. “Today was a hot day so it was about racing not necessarily running for best times. I like how our kids finished. We had some strong kicks at the end. Those were the difference makers for points. I’m thankful for Ferris to host this and have a nice local race.

“Ryan Allen had been under the weather for awhile, came back today and was among our lead runners. We have a deep seven. The girls are young. Nora had a good finish. We have sophomores and freshmen are our next runners.”

For Big Rapids, Olivia Malloy was fifth (24:098.75), Olivia Beauchamp was ninth (25:02.18), Summer Adams 14th (25:52.47), Gwen Rickard 16th (26:43.47) and Isabella Caserta 19th (27:57.60).

“We had a real good race with our top two finishers,” Big Rapids coach Sharon Schumann said. “They were both happy with how they did. All the girls have been working hard.”

“It was really hot and definitely felt different than running three miles,” Malloy said. “It’s a flat course and no shade.”