Fall Sports Preview: Boys cross country

Nich Wolak • Jul 21, 2015 at 3:03 PM

The Grand Haven boys cross country team finished fourth at regionals last year.

Coach John Tarr said the team is focused on constantly improving — hoping that will lead to the state meet berth that comes with a third-place or better finish.

 “We want to be competitive,” said coach John Tarr. “Our goal is always to peak at regionals.

“The O-K Red is always tough. Rockford is probably top five (in the state), Grandville is top 10. We just need to be competitive with those guys to makes us better. I think by the time we get to regionals we’re going to be in the mix because these guys are committed to get to the state meet.”

Tarr said that last season’s finish motivated his runners to work hard over the summer. 

“We fell short of the state meet,” Tarr said. “We finished five points short. Those guys are really focused on correcting that problem.

“I have a core group of 12 that has been working hard this summer and putting on a lot of miles. … I think they’re going to be successful.”

The Buccaneers boast two runners who have broken the 17-minute mark in senior Nick Johnson and freshman Jack Nicholson.

Nicholson finished third at the Kenowa Hills Invitational on Wednesday, coming in at a time of 16 minutes, 50 seconds.

Grand Haven senior captain trio of Zach Duff, Brent Petersen and John Miles have all ran in the low 17’s.

Gwinnup takes over at Spring Lake

It’s a new regime in Spring Lake as Jen Gwinnup takes over for Greg Brown.

“I’m really excited to be coaching the boys. It’s definitely a shift,” said Gwinnup who is making the transition from the Laker’s coed junior high program. “I think they have a lot of potential and are really going to blossom in the next year or two. I think our girls team is going to be solid, and we’re ready to try and step up to that.”

Spring Lake will run 23-deep this season.

“We have a really great mix of grades,” Gwinnup said. “I was just looking at the roster, and we have almost equal (numbers). It’s a little bit of a young team — we only have two seniors. I’m excited because I think we have an upcoming team. They’re a really great group of guys in terms of character.”

Trojans to shoot for middle in Lakes Eight

Without a lot of experience to rely on, Fruitport is looking to finish in the middle of the Lakes Eight.

“We’ve got some young guys,” said coach Randy Johnson. “Our goal is just to start where we start and go from there. Ludington and Fremont are definitely going to be the top guys in our conference, and we’re just looking to improve ourselves. … It’s just a learning experience for your team — putting the work in and moving up the ranks, and hopefully we’ll get there.”

Fruitport expects to have at least one runner at the Division 2 state meet though — Aaron King. The junior has made the finals in both of his varsity seasons.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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