The Grand Haven boys cross country team out-distanced the field with 37 points, followed by Spring Lake in second place with 76 and Sparta in third with 139.
The Bucs were lead by individual meet champion Jack Nicholson, who finished in 16 minutes, 31 seconds; third-place finisher Quentin Couvelaire at 17:00; and fourth-place runner Eric Johnson at 17:05. The varsity seven was rounded out by Dominic Hentemann (17:31), Tom Stock (17:43), Aidan Marin (17:57) and Dominic Weatherwax (17:59).
"That was a great start to the season,” said head coach John Tarr. “We ran well up front, but we have some gaps to fill. This could be a great team. Across the top 10 runners, we were 10-30 seconds faster than we were at this time last year. And we had a great year last year."
The Bucs walked off the course with nine medalists out of the top 30 runners.
Next week, Grand Haven will have it a little tougher at the Kenowa Hills Invite at Gracewill Golf Course on Aug. 29 at 5 p.m.
GH girls run wild
The Grand Haven girls cross country team began their 2016 season by taking 10 of the top 30 places to score 57 points and win the Cardinal Invitational out of a field of 13 teams. Whitehall finished second at the event with 67 points.
Sophomore Gabby Hentemann took third overall with a time of 19 minutes, 52 seconds to lead the Bucs, while senior Eliza Lowe took seventh with a 20:21. Sophomore Abby Buitenhuis was 12th with a 20:44, junior Julia Drabczyk was the No. 4 runner and came in 17th overall, while freshman Jenna Ray, in her first high school cross country race, crossed the line in 18th place and was the Bucs’ No. 5 runner.
“Whitehall was a top 10 team last season and is very well coached, so to beat them tells me we are on the right track,” said Grand Haven girls cross country coach Scott Przystas. “We had 12 girls within two minutes of Gabby, so we are pretty deep. I think we have 15 girls who could vie for the top seven varsity spots later on this season.
“Eliza ran a great race today. She came from the middle of the pack early on and ran smart the second half of the race to come in seventh. This was Julia’s first time scoring for us on varsity. She is coming along very well and has a real solid summer training season under her belt. Jenna's first race couldn't have gone much better. She looked strong and confident throughout the race and showed she belonged out there. I look forward to watching her continue to contribute to the varsity team this season. Overall, I was very pleased with how the girls competed today and excited to get back to work to continue to improve.”
Fruitport soccer blanks Coopersville
The Fruitport boys soccer team scored 19 seconds into its match with Coopersville on Monday and never let up, blanking the host Brocnos, 3-0.
Junior forward Zack Shane record a hat trick to lead the Trojans, while senior midfielder Liam Parker and junior midfielder Logan Fielding each added one assist.
“Coopersville continues to improve and gave the us a good battle,” said Fruitport coach Greg Kobylak. “The best part of the game was the quality shutout. Connor Werschem officially only made five saves, but handled the ball off his line a dozen times to perfection to stop attacks. The entire defense played well, but Caleb Yager, Mason Belasco and Kaleb Krueger stood out as top performers. Zack Shane got a hat trick today, so his impressive scoring run continues.
“Thursday, the season really gets started as we host Spring Lake. It will be a great measuring stick for how we shape up early in the season.”
SL divers take first at invite
The Spring Lake diving team took first place with a combined score of 377.10 at a weekend invitational on Saturday. Audra Bialik led the way for the Lakers with a score of 195.25, while Ellie Higgs (181.85) and Ronnie Russell (177.75) added quality scores in the team’s first competition of the season.