The Hart girls, under the direction of Coach Terry Tatro, will have an opportunity to do something no other high school team has done in cross country history – win six consecutive state titles.
Thanks to the 1-2 punch of sophomore Jessica Jazwinski, the No. 1 runner in Division 3, and her junior teammate, Alyson Enns, the Pirates were able to win the title with 42 points. Jazwinski and Enns finished in the top two spots.
Benzie Central came in second with 65 points while Chippewa Hills finished in third with 110 points.
Other local team scores included fourth-place Manistee with 145 points, White Cloud in 11th place with 262 points, Shelby in 12th place with 270 points and Mason County Central in 13th place with 311 points.
Following Jazwinski and Enns, for Hart, were sophomore Lexie Beth Nienhuis (12th), senior Savanna Owens (13th) and senior Abigail Pretty (14th).
Local individual runners who qualified for the state finals were Manistee junior Cecilia Postma (fifth) and her freshman teammate Georgia Haag (22nd). Shelby senior Emma Soelberg finished in sixth place and will run in the finals.
In the boys’ division, Hart continued their winning ways with four runners finishing in the top ten. The Pirates were led by senior Clayton Ackley, who finished in the runner-up position.
Hart finished with a team total of 35 points. They were followed by Reed City with 75 points and Benzie Central with 93 points.
Other local team scores included White Cloud (143/fourth), Manistee (200/sixth), Shelby (234/eighth), Hesperia (257/11th) and Mason County Central (263/12th).
Other top Hart runners included senior Wyatt Dean (fourth), senior Seth Ackley (seventh), sophomore Max Stitt (10th) and senior Caleb Bitely (12th).
Other individual local qualifiers for the state finals include Manistee junior Jack O’Donnell, who finished 15th, and White Cloud sophomore Coleson Cruzan who came in 18th.
The Division 3 state finals will be at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 5.