STANTON — Saturday morning started out as a great day for a run. Later in the morning, the same couldn’t be said as rain and lighting delays slowed the event and runners.
Central Montcalm hosted 14 high school cross country teams and another 13 middle school teams for the 36th annual Mike Noll Hornet Run on Saturday. Area schools participating included Belding, Carson City-Crystal, Central Montcalm, Montabella and Vestaburg.
The Hornet Run is different than most races as the run is split up among grade levels. The senior boys/girls started the day at 8:30 a.m. and were followed by the juniors, sophomores and freshman. The middle schoolers wrapped up the day with the eighth, seventh and sixth grades followed by the run club featuring first through fifth graders.
The top 25 runners in each grade, male and female, received medals for their performances. There were plenty of good performances by runners during the day.
Carson City-Crystal’s Tyler Craig had the best local time in all divisions. His 17:49.91 was good for third overall in the senior division, just behind Cooper Terry of Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (17:22.72) and Will Wilson of Kent City (17:25.21).
“It went pretty well, I started off on the right pace,” Craig said. “I held it for a while. This course is pretty nice. It’s flat and I like being in the woods a little bit.”
Belding’s Trevor Curtis was fifth (18:21.48), Montabella’s Christian Watson sixth (18:34.08) and Belding’s Sam Syrjala eighth (18:39.43).
Greenville had six runners medal in the senior division including Kenneth Wood (19:29.23), Jared Milner (19:43.82), Josh Scott (19:56.53), Seth Davis (20:12.52), Chris Jacobson (20:17.30) and Ryan Loiselle (20:37.40).
Belding’s Michael Albert (20:17.93) and Montabella’s Taylor Smith (20:46.44) also placed. Smith was the second fastest girl in the senior division.
“It was a nice run,” Smith said. “It is a flat course compared to others we run. I’m trying to improve all the time, finish better at state and I hope our team can do better, as well.”
“I thought our kids adjusted and ran well today considering some transportation and weather issues, thanks to some really great senior leadership,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “Kenny Wood ran well and I am hoping he can put it all together in the next few weeks.”
Carson City-Crystal led the junior division with three runners finishing in the top 25. Kolton Kavanagh was fifth with a time of 18:08.50, Jeremy Bigford 11th (19:21.00) and Kaitlin Beyer 17th (20:08.31). Beyer was the second girl to finish behind Cedar Springs’ Kenzie Weiler (18:24.24).
Central Montcalm had two runners place in Joesph Baldwin (19:39.18) and Leo Stubblefield (19:42.33). Belding’s Matt Feuerstein (19:52.24) and Tyler Gasper (20:36.08) also placed.
“Overall, I thought we competed well. I was hoping we could get the freshman race in before the lightning/thunder delay, but everyone ran well,” Eagles coach Grant Woodman said. “They were either at the same time on this course from last year or they were faster. This course isn’t super fast, but they all ran even or faster than their PR’s, so that is good for this early in the season. We saw Montabella and Sacred Heart Academy, which are in our league so we have a feel for how the first league meet will shake out.”
Montabell’s Kelton Eldred was the top area finisher in the sophomore division. He placed sixth in 18:53.03. Greenville’s Andrew Mason (13th – 20:10.15), Belding’s Teresa Myles (16th – 20:37.10), Greenville’s Nelson Byington (19th – 21:13.54) and Montabella’s Kensington Garvy (20th – 21:20.83) all placed. Myles was the third fastest girl and Garvey the fifth fastest.
“Teresa Myles ran a strong race taking 3rd for the 10th grade girls. Her split time for the second half of the race was faster than the first half,” Belding coach John Carlson said. “On Wednesday, she’ll need to go out a little faster at the beginning.”
Greenville’s Stephen Hilliker led the freshman with a second place finish in 19:56.71. Also placeing were, Belding’s Royce Braman (7th – 21:19.68), Vestaburg’s Tyler Gondek (8th – 21:24.75), Central Montcalm’s Harrison Myers (12th – 22:14.08), Belding’s Alexa Syrjala (17th – 22:50.58) and Greenville’s Nathan Downing (22nd – 23:33.88).