COMSTOCK PARK — A hot and humid day did not stop the Belding Redskins boys cross country team from a very good day.
The boys team placed first on Wednesday in the first O-K Blue Conference meet of the year at Riverside Park. The girls team finished in fourth place, but not far behind the third place and host Panthers.
The Belding boys finished with 49 points, which was in front of Sparta’s 59. Coopersville had 81, Grand Rapids Creston 82, Allendale 100, Wyoming 147 and Comstock Park 197.
“The guys team times were a little off today except for Justin Belding. He had his beast mode on today,” Belding coach John Carlson said. “He cut 32 seconds off his season best time. He really provided a big boost for the team today. “
Belding finished with a time of 17:36, which was good for fifth place overall. Eric Rasch was third with 17:19 and Trevor Curtis was sixth with 17:40.
“Belding’s strong fifth place finish gave us third, fifth, sixth, 16th and 19th place finishes for our top five,” Carlson said. “We know we still have a lot of work to do before the next conference meet in two weeks at Sparta.”
Sam Syrjala was 16th with 18:33 and Mitchell Jenks 19th with 18:42. Patton Finley finished 23rd with a personal best 18:56.
“Patton Finley had a real strong effort today,” Carlson said. “Patton ran sixth for us and he dropped 82 seconds off his career best time.”
Coopersville won the girls race with 46 points. Sparta had 53, Comstock Park 66, Belding 79, Allendale 100, Wyoming 100 and GR Creston 209.
“The girls team ran really well. Four of our top five girls had season best times, but it just wasn’t enough,” Carlson said. “Coopersville kind of surprised the field with their great finishes today.”
Monica Baylis led the Redskins with 20:25, which was good for second overall behind Comstock Park’s Amanda Ciancio with 20:17.
“Monica Baylis continues to have a strong season,” Carlson said. “She used a strong sprint over the last 400 meters to hold off a girl from Coopersville.”
Joesi Krieger was 12th with 21:32, Teresa Myles 19th with 22:03, Rachael Warner 20th with 22:06 and Mariah Carlson 27th with 22:45.
“Freshman Teresa Myles continues to improve on her strong season,” Carlson said. “She sliced another 24 seconds off her career best.”
The Redskins will compete Saturday at the Hornet Run at Central Montcalm.