CARSON CITY — Even though neither of Belding’s cross country teams qualified for the state finals, there were two boys who are going anyway.
The Redskins finished sixth in boys in the Division 2 meet at Fish Creek Sportsman’s Club in Carson City Saturday. The girls were seventh.
But Trevor Curtis finished 10th at the meet with a time of 16:42.0, and Justin Belding finished 13th with a 16:49.6 clocking. They are going to run as individuals at Michigan International Speedway next Saturday.
“We wanted to be in the top three so we could be in the state finals,” Belding coach John Carlson said. “We knew all the places were really close third through sixth.”
Carlson noted both Curtis and Belding ran the final mile of the 3.1-mile course in under 5:30.
“Justin and Trevor had a really strong race,” he said. “The last mile of the race they poured it on. Then when you figure there’s a big hill they had a great last mile.”
Curtis will be going to his first-ever state finals.
“It feels amazing to qualify for state,” Curtis said. “I just wanted to make it to state. I felt good coming in at the end, so I kept picking it up. No struggles (Saturday) for me.”
None of the Belding girls are going to state, but the first Redskin to cross the finish line, Teresa Myles, ran her best time ever with a time of 19:41.4.
“I set a personal record by like 10 seconds,” Myles said. “I didn’t place, but I was happy with my time. It was a pretty easy course, except for a sandy hill during the race.”
Myles finished 21st, which was six places short of qualifying as an individual for the state finals.
“I was trying to be in the 19-minute range,” Myles said. “This is the first time I have done that.”
Carlson noted a change the Michigan High School Athletic Association made in the regional had a difference in how the regional went.
“The MHSAA has been moving teams around and instead of moving Forest Hills Eastern five miles east to Grand Rapids they moved them 35 miles west to Carson City,” he said. “It made for a tough regional.”
In fact, the Hawks won the boys meet and was fourth in the girls meet.
This is the end of the season for all but Curtis and Belding, but Carlson noted the teams were very successful.
“On the races (Saturday), both teams set the all-time school record for average time,” he said. “The girls team averaged 20:38 and the guys averaged 17:15. We worked really hard. It started back in June. You still have to come down and perform at regionals to qualify for state.”