In the boys’ race, the Bucs totaled 93 points, which was bested by first-place Rockford’s 42, Hudsonville’s 53 and Grandville’s 68.
The Bucs were led by Justin Pippel, who finished second overall individually, behind Rockford’s Drew Woznick. Pippel crossed the finish line in 16 minutes, 28.2 seconds.
“Justin did just what we asked him to do,” said Grand Haven coach John Tarr. “We told him he had to go after the leaders and hang on. I told him he had the mileage and training to run with the best, and today he believed. The scary thing about Justin is that he’s even better than what he did today.”
Tarr also raved about the improvement of Will Swain (17:31.2), who moved up 10 spots from the first league jamboree. He finished 15th overall on Tuesday.
Other strong finishes for the Bucs included Nick Johnson (17:59) and Christian Winters (18:00.7).
Grand Haven’s girls had a pair of runners finish in the top 10, but the Bucs couldn’t catch a trio of teams that are currently ranked in the top 10 in the state in Grandville, Rockford and Hudsonville.
“It is very competitive,” said Bucs’ coach Scott Przystas. “We are right there with those schools if we get a couple more girls running consistently in the 19 (minute range). We will get there, though. This is a young, hard working group. We will see these teams again this weekend at the Portage Invitational.”
Przystas saw improvement in his team’s ability to finish strong down the stretch on Tuesday, including Claire Borchers (19:20), who passed five girls in the last quarter mile to finish fifth overall; and Roxy Glasser, who passed three in the closing sprint to the finish line. Glasser finished 10th in a season-best time of 19:39.
Lindy Vallier was 13th for the Bucs with a time of 19:52, while freshmen Malea Teerman placed 18th (20:14), and Hannah Kenny was 23rd (20:45).