Area runners meet at annual Hornet Run

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:45 am on Monday, September 10, 2012

Senior runners take off from the start line at the Mike Noll Hornet Run Saturday.

STANTON — Despite a light rain that fell during the early part of the Mike Noll Hornet Run Saturday at Central Montcalm High School, area coaches reported a number of their runners running their personal best times.

The meet was unscored, as it was divided into four races. Seniors raced each other, followed by juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

In the seniors race, Cedar Springs had the top boy and girl runner. The highest-finishing area boy was Eric Rasch of Belding, who was sixth (17.29.3).

Fellow Redskin Samantha Parker (26:51.0) was 12th among area runners.

The top juniors overall were from Kent City. Tyler Craig of Carson City-Crystal was the area’s top boy (17.17.8), finishing third. Montabella’s Taylor Smith (20:18.1) was the highest-finishing girl with a second-place finish.

“She (Smith) ran extremely well and she almost beat the girl (Kent City’s Ashley Russo) at the end,” Montabella coach Jeff Kauffman said. “She was a really, really close second. The girl was just in front of her.”

The Red Hawks dominated the sophomore class run, taking first place in each of the genders by over 50 seconds.

Among area runners, Kolton Kavanaugh of CC-Crystal had the highest finish, scoring a fifth (18:26.2). Teammate Kaitlyn Beyer was second among sophomore girls (20:01.5), beating Belding’s Monica Baylis (20:37.9) for the spot.

“They ran great today. Nearly everyone had a season best time and several of them had lifetime PRs (personal records),” said CC-Crsytal coach Grant Woodman of his team. “I think we will really see some good performances on Friday because the Forest Akers will seem like a track compared to the two courses we have run thus far.”

Belding’s Samantha Parker, right, has a healthy lead on Lakeview’s Lexi Bates during the senior race at the Mike Noll Hornet Run Saturday.

There were only two local boy runners in the freshman race. Vestaburg’s Timothy Gondek was 12th (20:42.8) and Zach Johnston was 19th (21:35.6).

It was a different story for the girls, as Belding’s Teresa Miles was second (20:58.3) in that race, leading many area girls.

Belding coach John Carlson said 21 medals were won by his teams. The top 25 in each of the classes got a medal, which included everyone in the sophomore boys and senior girls.

“The kids were really excited to earn a lot of medals,” he said. “All nine freshman girls ran their season best time (Saturday). Miles cut 64 seconds off her best time and took second overall.”

Greenville ended up with 16 medals while Lakeview took home five. The Eagles finished with seven as did the Mustangs and the host Green Hornets got four.

Montabella runs at the Harrison Invitational next Saturday, while Belding and Greenville are at the Sparta Invitational. Lakeview and Central run in a Central State Activities Association jamboree in Hesperia Tuesday and CC-Crystal heads to the Spartan Invitaitonal at Forest Akers Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University Friday.

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