STANTON – It was perfect weather for runners, and the runners came.
The 34th annual Hornet run, hosted by Central Montcalm Public School, saw more than 630 runners representing 14 high schools and two middle schools on Saturday at the school’s athletic complex.
Unlike a normal high school run, the race is not divided by varsity and junior varsity teams, instead, the heats are by grade, starting with the high school seniors at 8:30 a.m. Down to the sixth grade at 12:10 p.m., followed by an open run for children first through fifth grades.
“It is different than they normally are, but they have always done it this was and the kids seem to enjoy it,” Central Montcalm coach Shad Morgan after. “The great thing is there are medals for each group, freshmen through seniors, and it gives the younger kids a chance to earn a medal without having to compete against the upper classmen.”
First to finish for the seniors was Sacred Heart Saint Casey Voisin with a time of 16:56.
“It’s different from normal, but it’s fun, especially for the seniors with the senior chant and all,” Voisin said.
For local runners, Belding’s Colton Klapko, and Austin Giles along with Greenville’s Danny Hansen, crossed within 13 seconds of each other. Klapko finsihed with a time of 18:18, Hansen at 18:20 and Giles at 18:25, placing fifth, sixth and seventh.
“It’s a neat race, and the weather was good with it a little shady in the woods. I came with a goal to beat Danny from Greenville, and I did,” Klapko said. “It’s fun because we have been running with a lot of these people since seventh grade, so we know a lot of them from the other schools.”
Giles was pleased with reaching his personal best for the season
“This race is more fun. It’s still competitive, but you pace yourself differently and it’s a good course,” Giles said.
For senior women, Bailey Parmelee of Greenville was first, with her time of 18:49 breaking the women’s course record of 18:51.
“I liked running in the woods, and the weather was perfect,” Parmelee said.
In her debut year, Parmelee says her strategy is to find someone to run with and then settle into a pace.
“And then I just run, and try to catch up to the next one, and the next one. I did like this course going down hill at the end,” she said.