Local Teams Run Through The Mud At Falcon Invitational
Story and photos by N3 Contributor Alexis Mercer
Nothing says fall to a cross country runner like racing 3.1 miles in the pouring rain with mud caked on your legs and up your back. Believe it or not, this kind of weather is actually fun for the die-hard racers.
The 2016 Allendale Falcon Invitational, held on October 1, provided just this environment for the Newaygo Lions, Fremont Packers, and Hesperia Panthers Cross Country teams.
The invitational is split into two divisions: Scarlet for...
...those schools with an enrollment of 700 students or more, and Falcon for those with less than 700. Fremont, Newaygo and Hesperia all raced in the Falcon division. This invitational is unique in that it also provides a separate race for only freshmen.
Individual medals are awarded to the top 15 finishers in each race and top 2 teams overall in each division.
Here are the summaries of each of the Newaygo County teams.
Fremont boys took 2nd place overall as a team, coming in next to Saugatuck. Matthew Zerfas (15:53), Ben Schmidt (16:12), Sam Stitt (16:27) and Sam Kaastra (16:36) all placed in the top 15, and all ran season best times. To round out their point scorers was Carter Moon (18:02, PR).
The Fremont girls team was just out of team overall contention with a 3rd place finish. The top five runners for the Packers were Samantha Schmidt (19:55, PR), Riley Sweet (20:32, SR), Breanna Harris (20:38, PR), Hannah Hamilton (20:43, SR), and Kendra Fowler (21:23).
Hesperia’s boys varsity team was led by Kyle Venne (17:33, SR) and Zach Young (18:09, PR). Their team was rounded out by Connor Baird (19:12 SR), Chris Stapel (19:44 PR) and Luke Krupp (19:45 SR).
Hesperia girls did not have 5 runners to qualify for a team score. Their individual runners were led by Brianna Bremer (25:56). Junior Darby VanAbry (26:31 SR) was close behind and Camryn Johnson (32:09 PR) rounded out the field for the Panthers.
Newaygo boys varsity team stepped up to the challenge of the weather, with all 7 runners earning personal record times (PR). The Lions were led by sophomore Ryan Brummel (17:38) and followed by Gabe Smith (19:36), Nolan Brockway (19:42), David Grodus (19:58), and Bryant Thomas (20:48).
The Lady Lions varsity team was led by junior Ellie Nausadis (21:06 PR). The next four runners for the Lions were all within 11 seconds of each other, running in a pack. Yadira Paz (21:45), Amber Korytkowski (21:51 PR), Samantha Dosch (21:52 PR), and Liza Nausadis (21:56 PR) completed the Lions team points.