Grand Haven cross country team finishes second at Early Bird Invite

Tribune Staff • Aug 18, 2017 at 11:57 PM

With only a week of practice to prepare for the upcoming fall season, the Grand Haven boys and girls cross country teams took on the challenge of the Portage Early Bird Invitational hosted by Portage Central High School on Friday.

The Grand Haven boys squad took second-place honors out of 19 yeams with 82 points, while Hudsonville took top honors with 63 points.

The Buccaneers had four medalists in the top 25 with Jack Nicholson taking third overall with a time of 16 minutes, 25 seconds, while running against two of the best runners in the state.

Andrew Ireland was eighth (16:54), Dominic Weatherwax was 18th (17:27), and in his first varsity meet, freshman Cole Rowden took 21st (17:32). Aidan Martin finished off the varsity scoring in 32nd (17:45), while Nathan Wolffis (18:32) and Kyle Eveland (18:37) were sixth and seventh for the varsity team.

“Our top five guys were all better than their times at this point last year, and we had a few guys who were a minute better than their first meet last year, including Jack Reus, Jared Franke and Max Sepeshy,” said Grand Haven head coach John Tarr. “All three of those guys ran very tough races.”

In addition, the Bucs had some great performance from several freshmen.

Besides Rowden, the Bucs had four other freshmen run under 21 minutes with Zach Boersen, Rowan Henderson, Christian Colvin and Zach Fraser eclipsing that mark. 

“Those are great first race times for freshmen boys,” Tarr added. “Anytime those young guys are under or around 21 in their first race, they have a great deal of potential, so I’m excited about them.”


The Grand Haven girls team scored 95 points to finish third overall, behind O-K Red Conference foes Rockford (72) and Hudsonville (76).

Junior standout Gabby Hentemann finished second overall with a time of 18:59, while senior Emily Mattson finished 19th (20:49), junior Abby Buitenhuis finished 20th (20:58), junior Kelsie Bovee finished 26th (21:14) and junior Kelsie McManus closed out the varsity scoring with a 28th-place finish (21:19).

Junior Giovana Maracek (21:22), senior Julia Drabczuk (21:33), junior Brianna Jhamb (21:50), sophomore Meadow White (22:21) and sophomore Eden Traub (23:26) closed out the Top 10 times for the Buccaneers.

“We had some really nice times for this early in the season,” said Grand Haven head coach Scott Przystas. “It shows that the girls put in a lot of miles this summer and without any speed work in the training, are ready to improve each race.”

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