Claire Borchers finished in 18 minutes flat when Grand Haven won the cross country state championship her freshmen year.
The senior has been back twice since, but she has not been able to break that mark.
She’ll get one more chance at it, as the Buccaneers compete in the Division 1 state meet on Saturday.
“I’ve been fighting it the past four years,” Borchers said. “And I’ve gotten close — in the low 18’s — I’ve kind of just stayed in the 18’s basically. This year I’ve been the closest since freshmen year.”
“Claire’s just a special person,” said coach Scott Przystas. “This year she was a kind of a player/coach for us. She knows what needs to happen. She had such success early on as a freshman, and the people around her groomed her to carry on the legacy of the program.
“This year, she’s made my job a lot easier. She’s knows where we need to be as a team, and has put in a lot of time this summer, and last year. To watch her mature in the program has been really amazing.”
The all-state runner is part of a strong senior class. Borchers (third, 18:04), Roxy Glasser (14th, 19:18) and Lanie Kenny (38th, 20:31) all finished in the top 40 at last Saturday’s regional meet, helping the Bucs secure a spot in the state meet with a third place finish.
The Bucs also have some new blood, as freshmen Eliza Lowe and Zoe McGregor continually cut their time throughout the season, working their way up to claim two of the teams’ seven varsity slots.
The program had 73 girls participate this year.
“They’re having a big impact — without them we probably wouldn’t be where we are,” Przystas said.
Turner Sale headed to state meet as an individual
The Grand Haven boys came up just short of making it to Saturday’s state meet, coming in fourth at regional competition this past weekend.
But senior captain Turner Sale races on, after his time of 16:33 was good for eighth at the qualifying meet.
The time was also a personal record for Sale, who has been a part of the cross-country program since sixth grade.
“He has been our competitive leader this year,” said coach John Tarr. “He is our captain and most experienced runner. He puts in a lot of miles in the summer and winter, he runs track in the spring, and he is by far our hardest worker in practice."
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