The Grand Haven boys cross country team won their home invitational Tuesday, on the backs of a pack of runners with top-10 finishes. The Buccaneers took spots 4-10 at the invite.
Head coach John Tarr said he was happy to get the victory, but that he was looking for some alpha dogs to emerge.
“This is a pack team — we’re a pack, but one of us is going to have to break off and be a superstar,” Tarr said. “… We need a few guys to really be up there in front the entire race, and bring everybody else forward. You get those two guys in front, and they’re going to pull the rest of the team forward.
“I liked their assertiveness today, I liked their aggressiveness today. We just need to run a little bit smarter.”
Joe Sherman was the top runner for the Bucs with a time of 18 minutes, 3 seconds. He was immediately followed by Brent Petersen (18:06), Andrew Tafelski (18:09), Jordan Diephouse (18:18), John Miles (18:25), Austin Bessinger (18: 42) and Kyle Funk (18:44).
Grand Haven had 13 other groupings of runners who finished right behind each other, although none were as large as the initial pack.
Tarr said his team would run faster times than Tuesday, which was their first competition of the season. He acknowledged that the hot and humid conditions did likely impact his squad, but said that they had a lot to work on.
“I think we got out a little too fast today, and then they suffered in the second-mile. … We’ve got to work on some technique stuff, getting out a little bit slower and being patient.”
GH girls finish second
The Grand Haven girls cross country team finished second at their home Don Anderson Invitational on Tuesday.
“Today with the muggy conditions I can’t really look a whole lot at times,” said varsity coach Scott Przystas. “It says a little bit, but I think the real story is where they finished. It was more of a mental toughness day — which is a hard way to start the season. You can’t really practice running in the hot muggy weather — it doesn’t get thrown at you too often.”
The Buccaneers had seven of the invite’s top 20 runners, and 11 of the top 30.
They were lead by Claire Borchers, whose time of 20 minutes, 21 seconds was good for second-place.
“I’m happy where Claire was at second, that’s smart for her at this time of the year,” Przystas said.” She looked comfortable and relaxed. She understands that it’s a two-month season. She’s a four-year varsity, potentially four-year all-state runner. She understands the process. You can’t win a state championship in August, but you can definitely lose one.”
Next for Grand Haven was Malea Teerman, who finished fifth with a time of 20 minutes, 59 seconds.
The Buccaneers also took spots 13-17, beginning with Alanna Kenny who finished in 23 minutes, 14 seconds.
Right behind Alanna were Hannah Kenny (23:42), Courtney Hylock (23:48), McKenna Mahacek (23:54) and Mikayla Rowden (23:55).