October 29, 2018 GAYLORD — After sweeping their Division 4 regional a year ago, there was a lot of belief around the East Jordan cross country program that the same could be in store for the 2018 season, especially with what was back to both rosters.
That belief became a reality for the Red Devils on Saturday, when both the boys and girls East Jordan teams put in dominating performances for Division 4 regional titles.
The East Jordan boys placed five runners inside the top 10 to earn a runaway 26-point finish, while the girls’ team put three in the top 10 for a 50-point total at Michaywe Pines Golf Course in Gaylord.
“Both squads did a great job,” East Jordan coach Matt Peterson said. “To be regional champs two years in a row is quite an accomplishment and is a testament to their effort and commitment.”
The Division 4 state finals will next take place at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday, Nov. 3.
In the boys side of the race on Saturday, Ellsworth qualified for the state finals with 82 points, good for second, while JoBurg also made the state finals with a third place finish and 99 points.smacc1
Petoskey St. Michael Academy came up just shy of a state trip as a team as well, finishing in fourth with 110 points in their very first year of having a program.
The top three teams and any individual with a top 15 finish advance to the state championships.
St. Michael Academy’s Adam Paga did qualify as an individual with a ninth place finish in 18 minutes, 19.03 seconds.
Pellston’s Colin Robbins also qualified as an individual, taking 12th in 18:25.34.
Carlos Gascho of JoBurg placed first overall in 16:45.96, while Isaiah Romeyn of Ellsworth took second in 17:03.31.
Leading for East Jordan was junior Ethan Nachazel who placed third in 17:03.70, just off of a second place finish.
Ben Hardy of East Jordan placed fourth in 17:24.06, Caleb Carson took fifth in 17:40.38 and Aaron Nachazel took sixth in 17:49.88.
Also for the Red Devils, Gus Scheier took 16th in 18:36.90 and Philip Nemecek took 28th in 19:24.13.
Following Paga for St. Michael was Deacon Mitchell in 25th in 19:00.86; Sam Paga, 29th, 19:25.82; Hammond Law, 31st, 19:27.55; Mac Moore, 36th, 19:41.73; and Seamus Nolan, 44th, 20:02.6.
Inland Lakes had two runners qualify for the state finals as well, in Charlie Kennedy and Hunter Bishop.
Kennedy placed seventh in 17:51.80 and Bishop took 13th in 18:32.58. Inland Lakes’ Austin Brege also turned in a respectable time of 18:56.37, good for 22nd.
Tyler Gellis of Boyne Falls led the Loggers and just missed out on a state finals trip, as he placed 17th in 18:39.69.
In the girls race, the Red Devils’ 50 points came followed by Ellsworth in second with 63 and JoBurg in third with 106. Inland Lakes took fourth with 108, Rogers City placed fifth with 122 and Mackinaw City took sixth with 135.
Leading the girls race was Rogers City’s Morgan Baller with a time of 20:26.11, followed by JoBurg’s Sydney Townsend in second with a time of 20:37.77.
East Jordan’s Molly Kitson led the Red Devils with a fourth place finish in 20:50.74, while teammates Alie Pennington and Tia Spence also placed inside the top 10.
Pennington ran a time of 21:29.21, good for eighth and Spence finished in ninth in 21:34.86.
East Jordan’s Taylor Sheridan took 14th place in 22:00.73, Christina Kooistra took 15th in 22:09.08, Emily Zmikly also took 18th in 22:29.37 and Lily Black took 19th in 22:34.93.
Inland Lakes had two individual qualifiers on the day, with Abigail Kline placing 11th in 21:49.09 and Falyn Mansfield taking 12th in 21:51.78.
Boyne Falls’ Zosia Wasylewski came a place away from earning a state finals trip, as she took 16th in 22:24.57.
For Mackinaw City, Larissa Huffman led in 22nd with a time of 22:49.39 and came followed by Gabi Bell, 23rd, 23:02.56; Caroline Somers, 25th, 23:03.79; and Jillian Lidy, 31st, 23:39.98.
Pellston’s young team was led by Vivian Dryer in 55th with a time of 27:10.79. Sabrina Kline and Natalie Schmit of Pellston also took 61st and 62nd, respectively.