BROOKLYN, Mich. — Montabella cross country coach Jeff Kauffman had set a goal for his girls team to finish in the top 10 of the teams in Division 4 race Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
After finishing ninth with 260 points, Kauffman said the mission was accomplished.
“I think they did very well,” Kauffman said. “That was a real successful season. All the girls came to run all season.”
The Mustang girls finished behind winner Beal City’s 120 and second-place Breckenridge’s 136.
“The team that won and the team that was second was ahead of us at our regional,” Kauffman noted.
The leader on Montabella’s team was Taylor Smith, who earned all-state honors after finishing 11th (19:28.2).
“Taylor didn’t have the best race but she was 11th overall,” Kauffman said. “She still ran real well. They were right in front of her. She’s a tough runner. Last year she was fourth and she was 11th.”
Kensington Garvey was 27th overall (20:07.7), which also qualified her for all-state honors. The top 30 runners qualify for all-state.
“Kenzie was 34th with about 600 meters to go and she sprinted past seven girls to get 27th,” Kauffman said.
Kim Buskirk was 86th (21:26.1), Alyviah Karcher was 133rd (22:19.6) and Brynn Lobert was 135th (22:27.0).
“My fifth girl did real well. We needed her to step up and Brynn Lobert did really well,” Kauffman said. “The thing that made us get into the top 10 was our third runner ran her best time of the season. That was good considering the conditions.”
Kauffman thinks that despite losing Smith, the Mustangs can go back next season.
“I think we have a decent chance,” he said.
Montabella had one guy go to the state finals, and that was Kelton Eldred, who finished 42nd (17:36.4).
In Division 2, Belding’s Teresa Myles got an all-state place of 18th overall (19:14.3).
“She’s been having great practices the last three weeks, running really hard on the hard days and running easy on the days she’s supposed to recover,” Redskin coach John Carlson said. “She trains hard and it paid off for her. She want slow at the beginning, she was in 50th place in the half-mile and kept moving up in the race field.”
Trevor Curtis did not run in Division 2 despite qualifying.
“Trevor had marching band at Ford Field at 1 p.m.,” Carlson said. “He jumped in his car at 1:20 hoping to make it in. He missed his starting time by 15 minutes. So he ran the course for fun after his race but before the Division 1 race. They pulled him off the course at the 3-mile mark even though he was told he could run. 20 guys knew but the two at the three-mile mark didn’t.”
And in Division 3, the only Carson City-Crystal girl to qualify, Kaitlin Beyer, was 17th overall (19:22.8). Eagle boys Tyler Craig was 48th (17:05.3) and Kolton Kavanaugh was 113th (17:46.1).