The Bucs were led by junior Jack Nicholson, who was the individual champion, winning a hard fought race by sprinting the last 300 meters against Holland state qualifier Sam Martens. Nicholson finished with a time of 16 minutes, 32 seconds to close out Martens by five seconds.
Quentin Couvelaire finished in fifth place with a time of 16:56, Eric Johnson added an eighth-place finish at 17:10, Dominic Weatherwax added a 16th-place finish with 17:33, and Dominic Hentemann finalizing the team scoring in 19th with a 17:43.
“That’s a strong win for Jack, because Sam is a great runner and probably the best runner Jack has faced all season,” said Grand Haven coach John Tarr. “Weatherwax ran an outstanding race on Saturday, too. I challenged him to stay close to the varsity five, and he pulled himself into a scoring position for us. That’s what we need our five through ten guys to do if we’re going to be successful this year.”
Bucs girls finish second
The Grand Haven girls cross country team took second overall at the West Ottawa Bredeweg Invitational on Saturday out of 13 teams. Host West Ottawa took top honors with 24 points and Grand Haven wrapped up with 67.
Winning the race was sophomore Gabby Hentemann with a season best time of 19 minutes, 24 seconds. Eliza Lowe (seventh place, 20:16), Kirsten Prelesnik (18th, 20:58), Emily Mattson (19th, 21:02) and Julia Drabczyk (22nd, 21:20) rounded out the scoring for the Bucs.
“I was a little disappointed that we didn't compete with West Ottawa at the beginning of the race,” said Grand Haven coach Scott Przystas. “They sent their top seven girls out right at the gun to run with Gabby, and we just sort of watched them and never gained much ground on thier pack of runners. We need to learn to be more aggressive at the start of races and it will pay off. We are running strong, but there's definitely room for improvement.”
SL boys XC finish second
The Spring Lake boys cross country team finished second at the West Ottawa Bredeweg Invitational on Saturday.
Sophomore Andrew Hylen finished third overall with a time of 16 minutes, 43 seconds for a new season personal best. His twin brother, Ben Hylen, finished 10th overall with a time of 17:21. Also adding scoring times for the Lakers were: Cam Thalhammer (17:27, 13th place), Matt Schmidt (17:59, 29th), and Henok Ghirmay (18:06, 35th).
"I'm very proud of how our team performed today,” said Spring Lake coach Jennifer Gwinnup. “The majority of our runners ran their fastest time of the season so far with half of them being career personal records. This group of boys knows how to dig deep when it's race day and go all out for their team. We have come home from all three invitationals this season with a trophy because of their grit when it counts."
Fruitport boys XC finish third ay Hill and Bale
The Fruitport boys cross country team raced at the Fremont Hill and Bale race on Saturday morning. The boys placed third, getting edged out by defending state champion Fremont and Division 1 powerhouse East Kentwood.
Senior Aaron Simot, who placed second overall, led the Trojans, while Cameron Oleen placed 10th, Mitch Johnson 12th, Brendan Deneen 16th and Peyton Sharlow 26th.
Fruitport girls finish fourth
The Fruitport girls team ran against a strong crowd of runners as well on Saturday. The team placed fourth with Kendra Johnson leading the team with a time of 24:13. Kendra was followed by teammates Caitlynn Christiansen, Katana Daniely, Kallie Fehler and Analiza Sanchez.
WMC cross country competes at Christian School Invite
The Western Michigan Christian cross country teams competed at the Christian Schools Invitational hosted by Grand Rapids South Christian on Saturday. In a field of teams consisting mostly of bigger schools from the Division 2 and 3 levels, the Division 4 Warriors were facing a steep challenge.
The WMC boys team raced first, finishing with 193 points to take eighth out of nine teams. Grand Rapids Christian (21) finished first overall, while Grandville Calvin Christian (89) took second and Hudsonville Unity Christian (95) finished third.
Sophomore Eli Rotman finished 20th overall with a time of 18 minutes, 23.4 seconds, while sophomore Jack Zuidema (19:23.3), junior Andrew Plaisier (19:34.9), sophomore Kyle Morris (19:59.0) and junior Brandyn Gould (20:11.6) rounded out the scoring times for the Warriors.
WMC girls finish sixth
The Western Michigan Christian girls tallied 155 points to finish sixth out of eight teams.
Senior Logan Williams finished third overall with a time of 20 minutes, 9.9 seconds, while sophomore Sarah Vanderkooi (21:22.5), senior Chanaiya Richards (23:08.9), sophomore Josie Aardema (23:48.3) and freshman Emma Visker (26:37.7) rounded out the scoring for the Warriors.
Both Warrior squads will return to competition on Saturday at the Ludington Invitational at Ludington High School.