Runners getting ready for cross country


REED CITY — Cross country practices for high school teams started Aug. 13 but runners have been getting ready throughout the summer.

Pine River coach Ross Vrieze said his team’s final organized run would be this past Monday. Next week is another mandated dead period.

“We meet at the school at 7 (p.m.), pick a direction and go,” he said.

There were two runs in June and four in July. It’s usually three to five miles.

“It’s mainly our captains and then a half a dozen others that come and go,” Vrieze said. “We get anywhere from six to 12. It’s more on the boys side. Cheyanna Rizor has been our most faithful girl.”

Ben Rigling, Jordan Stone, Derek Hartline and Tony Moore are the boys captains.

“I tried this a couple of summers again and a couple of kids showed up a few times,” Vrieze said. “Our boys seem more dedicated this summer. A lot of our wrestlers are dedicated and use cross country for training.

“It’s a team bonding, and hopefully they’re running four or five times on their own other times during the week.”

Evart coach Kevin Mills said he’s had a community fun run every Tuesday evening. It starts at the Evart Elementary School and around 25 individuals have usually participated.

“Last year I had it at my house but have changed it up a bit,” Mills said.

He started having the weekly runs at the end of June.

It’s more than just high school runners. The runs involve men and women of all ages.

“I have a mile loop and we do a prediction run,” Mills said. “They can choose to do a mile, two miles or three miles. They predict how long they think it will take. The persons closest to the prediction, I give out ribbons.”

Reed City runners have been participating in workouts on their own, coach Brad Smith indicated.