The Lakers’ senior trailed Sutton midway through Tuesday’s Lakes Eight meet at Spring Lake, but picked up the pace over the final mile and pulled away for a 17-second win.
Beeler’s winning time of 19 minutes, 7 seconds propelled the Lakers to a convincing victory on their home course. Spring Lake finished with 29 points, followed by Fremont with 48, Ludington with 78, Fruitport with 110 and Grant with 125.
“We were in the woods, running together for a few seconds, then I don’t know how it happened, but I pulled away from her,” Beeler said.
“Last week she beat me. She’s put in a ton of time. It was really good to see her last week, but that definitely gave me a little fire. It’s not fun to lose, especially at home.”
Lakers’ coach Aaron Andres said his star senior sometimes runs with the weight of the world on her shoulders, which tends to slow her down.
“Sometimes she puts the most pressure on herself,” Andres said. “She just needs to go out and run. Last week, she just didn’t look comfortable. She looked al ot smoother today. You can tell when she’s on.”
Beeler and the Lakers were certainly ‘on’ on Tuesday as they took four of the top eight spots.
Carlyn Arteaga took third overall with a time of 19:21, and Ashley Warner was seventh at 20:16. Erin OKeefe placed eighth at 20:24, followed by Lacie Piekarski in 10th place at 20:41.
Brooke Carrier (21:28) placed 13th and Jamie Kossuth (21:42) was 14th.
Fruitport features a senior-laden team this fall, but many of their girls are new to the sport of cross country. That, and some serious depth issues — only six girls ran for Fruitport on Tuesday — left the Trojans in fourth place with 110 points.
Brianna Pekel led the way with a 16th-place finish at 21:49. Brooke Rolston was 20th at 22:37, followed by Debbie Pekel in 21st place at 22:38.
Heidi Klingler, Bailey Umstead and Morgan Glover also ran for the Trojans.
“We have a lot of seniors, but they’re all new seniors, and they’re still learning how to race,” said coach Randy Johnson. “We have a couple freshmen doing well. Hopefully we can get more girls out next season.”
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