Photos by Alexis Mercer
In one of the more unique races of the season, teams raced not just their normal 5 kilometers, but also had to climb and jump over bales of hay in order to make it to the finish line. Fremont High School hosts the Hill and Bale race each year on the first Saturday in September. Twenty two schools sent participants to the race, splitting into large and small school divisions. Middle schools also participated in their own, shorter distance race to finish the day.
Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo and White Cloud teams all attended the meet.
All race results for the day can be found here:
Coach Somers of Fremont:
After losing a large portion of the team to graduation last year we had some questions as to where we would stack up. In our first race of the year girls answers some of those questions. They ran great to win the meet on a tie-breaker (best 6th runner) with Whitehall. The started at an intelligent pace. They then moved up throughout the race. Taylor Mater (So) did a great job hunting down the leaders in the 2nd mile and then running away from them to win. Leah Converse (Jr) also moved up well to be our 2nd finisher. We saw nice pack running from Morgan Best (Fr), Taava Johnson (So), and Erin Norton (Jr) as they moved up through the field as a group. Annika Tuls (Sr) chased that group and finished strong to give us 6 runners in the top 15, and to seal our win as she beat Whitehall’s 6th runner by 12 places. Alyssa Gustman (Sr) had a solid showing as our 7th runner, running over a minute faster than she did last year.
Sophie Frisbie (9th) was the first Lion across the finish line with a time of 22:33 with Liza Nausadis (20th), Elizabeth Chaffee (21st)and Jennafer Lavette(23rd) also in the top 25 finishers.
Elizabeth Gates led the Tiger team finishing 7th overall with a time of 22:05 with Gracie Bearup the next Grant Harrier to cross the line placing 26th and Paige Devos 31st.
Becci Castillo ran an outstanding race for the Panthers, coming in 4th with a time of 23:07. Sydney Hasted was the next runner to cross the line in 28th.
White Cloud was led by Alexus Richmond (20th) with a time of 25:01 and followed by Courtney LaClair (29th).
Coach Somers: The boys had a dominant showing placing 4 in the top 5, 6 in the top 10 , and all 7 in the top 15. Nathan Walker (Jr) lead the way from start to finish in a course record 16:19. Conor Somers (So), Josh Zerfas (Jr), and Ben Paige (Jr) worked well together for the first half of the race. Adam Ward (Jr) battled hard to give us a sweep of the top 5 places but faded just a little over the last 800 to come in 6th. Gavin Orcutt (Sr) started his senior year off with a bang running over a minute faster than he did last year. Seven LaRoue (Sr) moved up well to round out the placing for us finishing 12th. This was a good start for the boy as they were eager for a race after a summer of training.
The Lions were led by Mallaci Mayle who ran to 17th place with a time of 19:30 with Tim Dosch landing in the 22nd spot and Michael Murray finishing 35th.
Reece Welsh paced the Grant runners coming in 13th with a time of 18:54 while Kyle Brege placed 23rd and Jaxon Gragg finished 25th.
Chris Stapel (10th) led for the Panthers with a time of 19:37 and Mack Baird placed 26th.
Reginald Richmond flew to lead the White Cloud team and also win the small school division with a time of 17:29 with Nathan Ciolk (9th), Kobe Canning (16th), Terry Trendel (27th) and Malachi Graves (38th) rounding out the scoring positions for the Indians.