Two boys and one girl from cross country team finish high enough at regionals to earn trips to the state finals
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity cross country team from Grayling High School competed in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Region 19-3 meet on Saturday at Michaywe Pines Golf, and the Vikings had three runners finish high enough to qualify for the state finals.
The top 15 individuals and the top three teams in each race qualified for the state championship meet.
First, the girls competed. There were 80 runners in the Region 19-3 girls’ race.
Brianna Martin, a junior at Grayling High School, finished 12th, earning her a spot at the upcoming state finals. She posted a time of 20:13.96, a new school record, according to the cross country program.
“She had a strong race. All of her season’s preparations came to fruition today,” Coach Justin Andre said.
Based on her results this season and where she was ranked in her division going into regionals, Coach Andre said he expected Martin to be a state qualifier, but “it’s not a given. You still have to run the race.”
Coach Andre said conditions were tough due to cold temperatures.
Other placements and times for Grayling’s girls included: 39th, Sarah Rakoczy, sophomore, 22:39.83; 46th, Katelyn Moore, freshman, 23:27.07; 66th, Sorenza Couture, senior, 25:56.54; 75th, Madison Hall, freshman, 29:33.57; 76th, Kate Hall, freshman, 30:24.39.
There were 97 runners in the Region 19-3 boys’ competition.
Going in, based on 2017 results and rankings, Coach Andre said he expected Christian Artress to qualify for the state finals, and Caden Arredondo had a chance with a strong personal performance.
Artress, a senior, finished 7th with a time of 17:24.56, earning a state finals berth. Arredondo, a sophomore, also qualified for the finals with a time of 17:44.45, finishing 13th.
“Super excited,” Coach Andre said. “We knew Christian had a really good chance of qualifying. Caden was kind of on the bubble. He came up big today. Christian is going back for his second trip (to the state finals). Caden, a sophomore, is an up-and-coming talent.”
Other placements for the Grayling boys included: 26th, Bruce Coulter, freshman, 18:15.79; 30th, Kendall Tomczak, junior, 18:33.36; 51st, Ryan Anderson, junior, 19:19.48; 73rd, Russell Mansfield, freshman, 20:24.50; 74th, Trey Moffit, senior, 20:31.77.
The boys’ team from Grayling came close to earning a state finals berth as a group. Harbor Springs took first place. Traverse City St. Francis and Charlevoix tied for second place. Grayling was fourth, one placement away from qualifying.
“Overall, just a good day,” Coach Andre said. “All of our racers responded to the pressures of regionals really well.”
The state finals will be held at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
“Now the work continues. Now we have MIS. We’ll be back at Hanson Hills on Monday getting ready for that,” Coach Andre said.
According to the MHSAA, Region 19-3 featured athletes from 15 different schools: Boyne City, Charlevoix, Elk Rapids, Grayling, Harbor Springs, Houghton Lake, Kalkaska, Kingsley, Mancelona, Oscoda, Roscommon, Standish-Sterling Central, Tawas, Grand Traverse Academy, and Traverse City St. Francis.