Area cross country runners shine at regional meets, 83 qualify for the state finals

LocalSportsJournal.com

A total of 83 local athletes, including five regional individual champions and 10 teams, qualified for the state cross country finals with strong performances at various regional meets on Saturday.

In Division 1, the Grand Haven boys team took home a regional title, with Dominic Weatherwax leading the team with a third place finish. Weatherwax finished with a time of 16:13.55, while teammate Aidan Martin finished seventh (16:31.82) and Cole Rowden took tenth (6:36.84).

In Division 2, the Spring Lake boys team took home the regional crown at Allendale while the Fremont boys team took the crown at the Gaylord regional. The Fremont girls team also qualified for state, finishing second at the Gaylord regional.

For the Spring Lake boys, Andrew Hylen (15:57.80) took second place while Ben Hylen (16:01.60) took third.

The Fremont boys were led by regional champion Nathan Walker with a time of 15:34.21. Conor Somers was fourth with a 16:10.07, and Ben Paige was seventh with a 16:19.54.

The Fremont girls team was led by Hannah Hamilton, who finished fourth with a time of 19:03.60.

In Division 3, the Hart boys and girls teams each took regional crowns at Benzie Central High School, while the Kent City boys team finished third at Allendale and the girls team took second.

Hart’s Alex Enns took home an individual regional crown with a time of 15:52.8

The Hart girls, who are defending state champions, dominated their competition, finishing with 18 points, 53 points better than second place Benzie Central. Adelyn Ackley took home the regional crown with a time of 17:00.58. Savannah Ackley (18:18.08) finished second, Lynae Ackley (18:47.75) took third, while MacKenzie Stitt (18:53.52) finished fifth.

The Kent City girls were led by regional champion Lauren Freeland, who finished with a time of 18:06.49, while Layla Martini (19:17.43) finished third and Abby Ignasiak (19:30.26) finished fifth.

Alex Russo led the Kent City boys team with a time of 17:01.71, which was good for eighth place.

In Division 4, the Western Michigan Christian boys and girls teams each finished in second at the Allendale regional.

The girls were led by regional champion Abby VanderKooi with a time of 17:32.39, while Josie Aardema (20:15.96) finished sixth, Sarah VanderKool (20:53.55) finished ninth, and Ava Rotman (20:54.37) took tenth.

The WMC boys team was led by Jack Zuidema with a fifth place finish, timing out at 17:05.88.

The state finals are Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Local state qualifiers

Boys
Division 1

Grand Haven: Dominic Weatherwax, Andrew Ireland, Cole Rowden, Aidan Martin, Kyle Eveland, Nathan Wolffis, Ben Pease.

Mona Shores: Nick Dennison.

Reeths-Puffer: Evan Hodson.

Division 2

Fremont: Nathan Walker, Conor Somers, Ben Paige, Adam Ward, Joshua Zerfas, Colton Best, Nathan Johnson.

Fruitport: Brendan Deneen, Jon Wildey.

Spring Lake: Ben Hylen, Andrew Hylen, Callen Carrier, Matthew Vanderwall, Ian Hill, Jack Leech, Tyler Munch.

Whitehall: Sam Baustert.

Division 3

Hart: Alex Enns, Andrew Whitney, Hunter Tubbs, William Schlaack, Michael Tubbs, Spencer Vander Zwaag, Zach Bitely.

Kent City: Alex Russo, Casey Carew, Nick Fiegel, Ryan Wheeler, Thomas Swanson, Jonathan Willison-Westbrook, Clark Oxford.

Mason County Central: Zech Kmiecik.

Montague: Cole Jensen, Adam Wolffis.

Division 4

Western Michigan Christian: Jack Zuidema, Eli Rotman, Ben Garretson, Pierce Newell, Daniel Plaisier, Tyler Gould, Caleb Croff.

Girls
Division 1

Grand Haven: Gabby Hentemann, Abby Buitenhuis.

Division 2

Fremont: Hannah Hamilton, Samantha Schmidt, Kendra Fowler, Leah Converse, Claire Whittle, Erin Norton, Katie Nicholas.

Spring Lake: Julia Bajt.

Whitehall: Ryann Jibson.

Division 3

Hart: Adelyn Ackley, Savannah Ackley, Lynae Ackley, MacKenzie Stitt, Audrianna Enns, Brenna Aerts, Sadie Sorensen.

Kent City: Lauren Freeland, Layla Martini, Abby Ignasiak, Emily Lantzer, Elizabeth Sible, Kierra Flegel, Carley Denhof.

Montague: Emily Unger.

Division 4

Holton: Lily Crowell.

Western Michigan Christian: Abby VanderKooi, Sarah VanderKooi, Josie Aardema, Ava Rotman, Natalie Riksen, Emma Visker.

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