By Greg Gielczyk
It’s going to be close.
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian’s girls cross country team has won both Lakes 8 Activities Conference cross country jamborees this season by the narrowest of margins.
Back on Sept. 21 the Warriors managed to nip Ludington, 32-34. It was apparently a harbinger of things to come, as the pair engaged in another tight duel when the second jamboree of the season was held in Manistee on Tuesday afternoon.
Although the Warriors managed to gain a little more separation from the Orioles in this one, it wasn’t by much. The Warriors eked out a 31-36 win.
Muskegon Catholic Central finished in third place with 79 points, while host Manistee had 91 for fourth and Muskegon Orchard View was fifth with 133.
It was a sister act leading the way for the Warriors, with senior Abby VanderKooi reaching the finish line ahead of the pack in a time of 19:17.70 while her sister, freshman Grace VanderKooi taking second in 20:47.44.
The Orioles claimed the following two places, with Summer Brower third in 21:39.40 and Nadia Grierson taking fourth in 21:47.76. After Manistee snuck in for fifth place, WMC took sixth and seventh, with Ava Rotman in 22:22.82 and Brianna Zuidema in 22:26.85, respectively. Ludington locked up the next two spots, with Olivia Anderson taking eighth place in 22:40.96 and Autumn Brower coming in ninth in 22:56.60. Grace Rennells from Muskegon Catholic Central was 10th in 23:33.24.
It sets up what promises to be an exciting finish in the Lakes 8 Championship jamboree in two weeks at West Shore Community College in Victory Township.
Manistee’s boys lost a tight race to Ludington in the first jamboree, but turned the tables on the Orioles Tuesday with a 24-41 win. West Michigan Christian finished third with 77 and Muskegon Catholic had 82 points.
The Chippewas had five of the top 10 places, including the top two places. Trey Keson managed to squeeze into third in 18:59.20, and David Reisterer placed fifth in 19:35.20. Jonathan Clausing of West Michigan Christian finished sixth in 19:41.40 and his teammate Danny Meat was eighth in 19:56.40. Evan Bennett of Ludington was ninth in 20:00.10.