Redskins’ boys place first in O-K Blue Jamboree

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:13 am on Thursday, October 04, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS — The Belding Redskins’ boys cross country team continued its outstanding season with a first place finish in Grand Rapids on Wednesday afternoon.

The Redskins finished in first place with 37 points in the O-K Blue Jamboree hosted by Wyoming. Sparta was second with 65 points and followed by Coopersville 75, Allendale 90, GR Creston 105, Wyoming 154 and Comstock Park 180.

All five of Belding’s runners placed in the top 14 at Johnson Park. Eric Rasch was third overall with a time of 17:28. Brad Hoekstra of Allendale was first with 16:49.

“We talked about how important staying close in a pack was for today’s meet,” Belding coach John Carlson said. “The course has one really good hill, so we made it real clear that the goal was all about place at this meet. The guys really came through.”

Justin Belding placed fourth for the Redskins in 17:32, Trevor Curtis (fifth) 17:43, Sam Syrjala (11th) 18:04 and Mitchell Jenks (14th) 18:17.

“Sam Syrjala had one of his strongest races of the season,” Carlson said. “He tore up the big hill like it was a speed bump.”

The Belding girls team placed fourth, just missing out on third place by a few points.

Sparta was first with 42 points, followed by Coopersville 60, Comstock Park 71, Belding 73, Allendale 99 and Wyoming 182.

Teresa Myles took home top honors in the jamboree with a time of 20:28. Catherine Croft of Coopersville was second with 20:31.

“Teresa Myles had a great day. She really turned it on the second half of the race. She set her career personal record today and this is a challenging course for someone to set a personal best time,” Carlson said. “It is the first time she has ever taken a first place. As a freshman, I can’t say enough about her race. I guess she picked a great day to have a breakout race.”

Monica Baylis was sixth, but battled a sprained ankle as she finished in 20:49.

“We are very anxious for Monica Baylis she left the meet for x-rays for a bad ankle. She was running away with the race until she was injured on the big downhill,” Carlson said. “She fought threw a lot of pain over the last mile to gut out a strong sixth place effort.”

Rachel Warner (15th) ran 21:27, Mariah Carlson (25th) 22:00 and Joesi Krieger (27th) 22:03 were the Redskins runners.

The Redskins will compete next in the Saranac Color Run on Tuesday.

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