Belding boys win cross country preregional

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 2:11 pm on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Belding boy’s team won the Central Montcalm preregional and the first-place trophy with their low score of 28 points. They had six runners place in the top ten.

STANTON — For the junior varsity cross country runners, it was the last race of the season. But for the varsity runners, it was a warmup for Saturday’s regional races.
Seven local schools; Belding, Central Montcalm, Greenville, Lakeview, Reed City, Saranac and Tri County brought 140 runners to compete in Monday’s Central Montcalm pre-regional meet with medals given to the top 50 runners in each division and trophies presented to the top male and female teams.
“It is a fast course. It was perfect weather for running, except for the wind, but the woods really helps to break it back,” Belding team captain Austin Giles said. “We also try to cram together as a pack when we run and that tends to help, too.”
Belding’s boys team raked in first place with a total of 28 points, followed by Saranac with 63, Greenville at 87, Central Montcalm 109, Tri County 117 and Lakeview finished with 159.
“We had six runners finish in the top 10,” Giles said, who finished fourth overall and second on his team with a time of 18:09.59. “This has been a really good year for the team, with us bringing in more trophies than any other year.”
Mitchell Jenks led Belding with a time of 17:53.06 and placed third overall.
Belding coach John Carlson said the teams hail from different conferences and compete against each other only a few times throughout the season.
“It is fun to run against different people,” he said.  “We did the Rivalry run with Greenville back at the beginning of the season, and it has been great to see both teams improve a lot from then.”
Sam Syrjala of Belding ran a 18:33.46, fourth on his team, earning eighth place.
“This is a good race to prepare for Regionals on Saturday, where we hope to do well there also,” Syrjala said.
Finishing first overall, with a time of 17:21.14, was Saranac’s Tim Young, who was challenged through most of the course by Central Montcalm’s Tyler Sleet, who placed second at 17:38.35.
“I stayed with him until about the 2 ¾ mark, then he took off and left me in the dust,” said Sleet, a junior and lead runner for the Hornets.
The home course advantage worked for Sleet, whose strategy was “go strong the first two laps until you settle into a pace, then when you come out of the woods at the end, you know you’ve got to kick it up as much as you can.”
Trevor Schnick of Lakeview led the Wildcats with his time of 18:19.45, earning fifth place. Danny Hansen was first for Greenville at 13th place with a time of 18:49.48. In 14th place was Tri County’s Trent Slavens at 18:50.46, who was first for his team.
Though Greenville’s Bailey Parmelee had a formidable lead, finishing first at 18:44.87, it was the Saranac team that won the trophy. With runners at second, fourth and fifth, Saranac earned 44 points, edging out Belding at 46 and Greenville at 51. Tri County was fourth with 87 points followed by Central Montcalm at 149 points.
Ivy Boden of Tri County placed seventh with a time of 22:06.94 to lead her team with teammate Briana Snyder finishing ninth at 22;15 14.
“I fell over the roots near the end of the first mile, and though you are kind of numb and don’t feel it, it did throw off my pace,” Boden said.
Snyder said temperatures were “super for runners, not too hot, although the wind was a little strong.
“I tried to go as hard as I could around the loops for the first mile, but by the second, I thought I was going to die,” Snyder said.
Central Montcalm co-coach Shad Morgan said though it was windy and the course was a little wet from rains, several of his athletes earned personal records.
“Tyler Sleet had a good race, among others. For the girls Scylar Blaisdell had a PR,” Morgan said. “We are looking forward to Regionals at Carson City on Saturday.”

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