HUBBARDSTON — The climate couldn’t have been extra good for Saturday’s annual Don Baese Cross Nation Invitational at Fish Creek Sportsman’s Membership in Hubbardston.
The 45th annual Don Baese Cross Nation Invitational, hosted by Carson Metropolis-Crystal (CC-C) Excessive Faculty, welcomed in additional than 30 faculties from the surrounding space, together with Greenville, Ionia, Montabella and Vestaburg.
The annual cross nation meet is known as in honor of CC-C’s longtime cross nation and monitor coach, Don Baese, who gathered quite a few accolades in almost 20 years of teaching from 1969 to 1988.
The skies have been clear whereas the temperature stayed between 45 and 55 levels all through the day, making the climate image good for loads of private data (PRs) for the native faculties on the day.
The Yellow Jackets’ boys group entered Saturday’s race short-handed, as a couple of of their prime runners have been held out with accidents.
In want of somebody to step up and fill the footwear of the prime runners, head coach Eric Nichols was happy to see his guys reply accordingly.
“We’ve liked that kids have stepped up,” Nichols stated. “We talked about that with the injuries that we have, there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s just part of the sport. (Micah) Bouman has kind of blossomed here as we’ve got to October, Titus (Bretzke) has just been solid all year long. So it’s good to see those kids finally step up and help.”
The highest 5 Greenville boys every completed inside 30 seconds of one another, which Nichols stated confirmed the nice pack operating from his prime guys.
The boys positioned seventh out of seven groups in the giant faculty division with a group rating of 150. Hanover-Holton took first place with a rating of 30.
Two of the largest surprises for Nichols, each on Saturday and all through the season, have been sophomore Aaron Amidon and senior Matthew Jeffrey, who positioned second and third for the Jackets respectively.
“Matt Jeffrey was the biggest surprise today,” Nichols stated. “I assumed he ran a very nice again half of his race. He’s a child who’s type of been hurting a bit bit, however he actually gutted it out and he ran a PR at present.
“The other surprise has been Aaron Amidon, who’s also new to the sport,” Nichols continued. “He’s, again, another kid that works hard but races hard too. Some kids can’t do that, but he does. He realizes he can race people, so it’s fun to watch him as well.”
Together with Amidon and Jeffrey, six different boys recorded PRs on Saturday — Gavin Dykstra, Charlie Weinheimer, Derik Holmberg, Deagan Moore, Carson Tolliver and Christian Thoroee.
On the women aspect, head coach Nikki Parris couldn’t be happier about the method her women ran on Saturday.
“Today was probably the perfect weather for a cross country meet and that course is always good for us,” Parris stated. “All my girls, I can’t pick out (anyone specific) because they all did really good today and they really pushed through. All in all, being pretty much midseason for us, they’re still looking strong.”
The women completed in sixth place out of seven groups in the giant faculty division with a staff rating of 154, as Jenison took first place with a rating of 54.
In her fifth yr of teaching the Jackets, Parris has observed some midseason lulls her women in the previous, however this yr’s group continues to get higher as the season progresses.
“I think my girls are just getting stronger,” she stated. “We haven’t had a downward slide yet, we’re only getting better. I’m very proud of these girls today.”
The Jackets prime feminine runner, junior Sara Yob, has been on a tear in the previous couple of weeks, as she’s bested her PR for 3 races in a row. Parris continues to be impressed by Yob’s work ethic.
“I’ll tell you what, that girl has developed so much as a runner in the past three years and this is her strongest season yet,” Parris stated. “She has really put in the work and I can really see her being All-Conference this year.”
Parris has but to have certainly one of her runners qualify for the state meet in her earlier 4 years teaching, however she has excessive hopes that Yob can break the streak and qualify for the meet.
“She’s only getting better, she’s such a well-rounded girl and has such structure that I can see her being at states this year,” Parris stated.
The Jackets will host an O-Okay White jamboree at four:30 p.m. Wednesday.
It’s a little bit of a resurgent yr for the Bulldogs cross nation groups, and Saturday’s race was proof of simply that.
The Bulldogs’ boys workforce got here out robust in the first race of the day and put up a workforce rating of 95 in the giant faculty division, putting them third out of seven groups and incomes them a trophy.
With the prime seven runners in from every faculty in the varsity race, the JV race was reserved for all different highschool runners. Ionia seized the JV race and scored 53 factors, ending in third and including one other piece of hardware.
Ionia’s secret? There’s energy in numbers.
“Our team has just about doubled in the past few years,” stated Ionia co-coach Lisa Wandell. “We used to have approximately 20-ish (runners) and we are up to over 40 this year.”
The miniature military of boys produces loads of competitors inside the staff, creating higher runners alongside the approach.
On the women aspect, they completed fourth out of seven groups amongst giant faculties with a staff rating of 112, with 4 women ending in the prime 30 to earn a medal.
Ionia’s prime two women, Allyson Diebel and Emily Peterson, have had nice seasons to date, and Wandell has loved watching them progress.
“I think Ally and Emily are really strong this year,” she stated. “It’s going to be nice and fun to watch them as the season progresses and we’ll see what happens. Emily had a couple of tough years and she’s come back to be our No. 2 that we definitely needed.”
The Bulldogs are in search of their first particular person state qualifier in three years, however with the quantity of expertise all through each the girls and boys, she’s hopeful somebody can break the streak this season.
Ionia will journey to Charlotte for his or her subsequent convention jamboree at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The host Eagles made the most of their residence subject benefit, as the women completed third amongst the 13 small faculties with a staff rating of 121.
Mount Nice Sacred Coronary heart completed first with a workforce rating of 31, however the Eagles have been capable of stroll away with some good hardware.
The boys workforce completed with a staff rating of 124, putting them fifth amongst the 11 small faculties of their division. Mount Nice Sacred Coronary heart additionally positioned first there with a rating of 68.
Eagles head coach Grant Woodman felt nice about his groups’ performances on Saturday.
“We’re right where we want to be,” Woodman stated. “We’ve been progressing through workouts throughout the season and this race is just the next step on the ladder. We’re trying to get to regionals in peak form and we’re on target for that so we can get out and get both teams back to the state meet. That’s what we’re headed for.”
The Eagles made faculty historical past final yr by getting each the girls and boys cross nation groups certified for the state finals, the first time doing so in almost 20 years. Given what he’s seen from the groups up to now in the season, Woodman sees no cause they will’t go back-to-back.
“Right now, we’re ranked third in the region and the top three go (to the state meet),” Woodman stated. “But, as we all know, projections and rankings and all that kind of stuff, it doesn’t really matter until you actually put feet to the ground.”
After having a terrific freshman season, sophomore Coleman Clark is on a mission to greatest his earlier yr in each method attainable. Clark’s season has began off phenomenally, as he hasn’t completed under third place in any race up so far.
“Last year he was on target to get All-State, but he just had a bad state meet,” stated Woodman of Clark, who completed 41st in final yr’s state meet. “I’m going to chalk that up to him being a freshman and being there for the first time and getting all caught up in the moment. I fully expect him to be in the mix to be in the top 10 or 15 at the state meet (this year). That’s a little far out and I don’t like to jinx things, but that’s the goal is to get him and (Jamison) Ward into All-State because they’re fully capable of it.”
Woodman sees his prime woman runner, junior Allyson Stevens, in the similar mild as Ward and Clark, as he thinks she will be a part of them in the All-State dialog this yr.
“She’s finally getting over that growth spurt,” stated Woodman of Stevens. “She grew a ton between her freshman and sophomore years, so she was still trying to figure all that out. I have a goal for her to get under 20 (minutes) by the state meet or at the state meet, and that will put her close to All-State too.”
The Mustangs entered this season with a really younger staff, in line with head coach Jeff Kauffman.
“No one on my team can drive, that’s how young we are,” Kauffman laughed.
The Mustangs completed the day in eighth place amongst small faculties with a staff rating of 153.
The workforce didn’t have plenty of offseason coaching, so they’re now beginning to hit their stride as they attain the center of the season.
Their competitors up so far has been fierce, as they don’t have sufficient women to attain as a workforce. Whereas the boys are capable of subject a group, they’re confronted up towards a few of the greatest groups in the state, who additionally occur to be in the Mid State Athletic Convention (MSAC).
“It’s the best it’s ever been,” stated Kauffman of the competitors in the convention. “The boys cross. Country this year is a really, really good league. You have a lot of ranked teams in there, and then there’s us. We have an outside chance but, I mean, Carson, Breckenridge is really good, Sacred Heart is really good, they’re all good teams, it’s just super competitive.”
The Mustangs had two representatives at final yr’s state meet in the particular person state finals, Helena Snyder and Jordan Mawhirter, each of whom look to make a repeat journey. Kauffman has hopes he can add one other consultant to that record between the the rest of his prime 5 boys.
Just like their MSAC rivals, Vestaburg has low numbers for his or her group this yr as nicely, although it’s the boys they’re missing in.
With simply three boys on the group, the Wolverines are unable to attain as a staff. With the women, nevertheless, head coach Mike Breidinger stated the workforce is to the level of being aggressive.
“On the girls side, we’re just starting to really form a competitive team out of what we’ve got,” Breidinger stated. “Obviously we’ve got real tough competition in this area but I think we’re finally making a little bit of a dent in some places.”
The Wolverines’ women workforce completed with a workforce rating of 245, putting them 10th out of 13 groups amongst small faculties.
Breidinger stated their regional will certainly be robust, as it’s annually, however he’s wanting ahead to the problem.
“I think we’re always going to be the underdog but I think we’re at least going to be able to make at least a little bit of a scare in the front part of the pack that we haven’t been able to do before,” he stated. “Whether we accomplish what we want this year and our goal of qualifying (for states) as a team this year, I don’t know if we’re going to. But, we’re at least going to get close to it.”
Vestaburg, Montabella and CC-C will all journey to Breckenridge for his or her subsequent MSAC convention meet at four:30 p.m. Tuesday.