Rigling has strong season for Pine River

LEROY — Phil Rigling’s season is over for Pine River cross country, but it was definitely a good one.

He was only a freshman but emerged as the Bucks No. 2 runner behind Jayce Methner. His personal record was 18:11.5 which he recorded in a race on Oct. 20 at the Manistee National Invitational event. In the recent regional event at Benzie Central, Rigling clocked a 18:25.4 for 47th place. Only the top 15 moved on to the state final last weekend.

Rigling had a first-place performance at the Shepherd Invitational. His only home meet was the Cecil R. Burch Invitational on Sept. 29, and he was eighth in 19:09.5.

“It went OK,” he said after that race. “It was a little cold. It was OK as it was. About a mile of the course was very sandy.

Rigling ran junior high cross country prior to high school.

“It went pretty good,” he said of the transition to high school cross country. I think the start of the race (is his strength). The second mile (is challenging).”

Rigling said he did a fair amount of summer running to prepare for the fall season.

“I’ve improved about a minute from my first time,” he said. “We have a really good team, a really young team. In a couple of years, we’ll be really good.”