BUCKLEY — Three-time defending state champion Hart turned in another stellar performance Saturday as the girls repeated as MHSAA Division 3 regional champions in Buckley.
The boys team, ranked No. 1 by the state’s coaches association for the duration, picked up another regional title as three finished in the top 10 and all five runners were 14th or better.
Mason County Central’s boys were in a tie for sixth while Manistee’s boys were eighth and Manistee’s girls were sixth.
Outside of the Pirates, no local runners were able to reach the state meet individually. Manistee’s Cecilia Postma was the closest, finishing less than 10 seconds behind the seventh and final individual qualiifer from the regional, Reed City’s Nora Smoes.
The MHSAA announced earlier this season that it would take the top three teams and the seven-best individuals not on those teams to the state meet because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state meet is being hosted over two days, not its customary one day, with the first- and second-place teams running in one race and the third-place and individual qualifiers running in a second race for each division and gender.
The Hart girls will be going for yet another state title on Saturday while the boys team will be in pursuit of its first-ever state championship.
The Pirates’ girls dominated the field as their top four girls finished 1-2-3-4, led again by freshman Alyson Enns. Junior Audrianna Enns was second, senior Savannah Ackley was third and senior Lynae Ackley was fourth. Senior Layla Creed was 13th to round out Hart’s top five.
Mason County Central’s girls were led by junior Jaden Petersen with a time of 23:05.30.
Hart’s boys were led by Alex Enns, was the regional runner-up to Benzie Central’s Hunter Jones. Spencer Vander Zwaag and Wyatt Dean were sixth and seventh, respectively. Clayton Ackley (12th) and Noah Bosley (14th) rounded out Hart’s top five.
Mason County Central’s Gavin Shirey again led the Spartans’ effort. The sophomore was 24th. Teammate and senior Gage Tyron ws 27th and senior Spencer Johnson was 30th.
Manistee’s top runner was freshman Abdul Ghennewa, who was 33rd.
Boys team results: Hart 40, McBain 62, LeRoy Pine River 98, Benzie Central 104, Manton 134, Reed City 141, Mason County Central 141, Manistee 186
Mason County Central boys: 24-Gavin Shirey, 17:49.99. 27-Gage Tyron, 17:55.21. 30-Spencer Johnson, 18:04.25. 35-Jay Danielson, 18:12.31. 41-Cullen Kraus-McCarty, 18:38.70. 62-Hunter White, 20:02.71. 63-Thomas Wagner, 20:17.35.
Hart boys: 2-Alex Enns, 16:10.53. 6-Spencer Vander Zwaag, 16:56.88. 7-Wyatt Dean, 16:59.64. 12-Clayton Ackley, 17:14.14. 14-Noah Bosley, 17:21.52. 22-Michael Tubbs, 17:43.89. 23-Seth Ackley, 17:45.39.
Manistee boys: 33-Abdul Ghennewa, 18:08.23. 40-Jarod Wright, 18:38.16. 43-Elliot Hoeflinger, 18:48.26. 51-Jack O’Donnell, 19:12.83. 61-Luke Smith, 19:57.57. 66-Jordan Fink, 20:38.14.
Girls team results: Hart 22, Benzie Central 61, McBain 89, Reed City 106, Manton 120, Manistee 146, Morley-Stanwood 159
Mason County Central girls: 43-Jaden Petersen, 23:05.30. 55-Gabby Jensen, 24:11.35. 58-Emily Adams, 24:49.57.
Hart girls: 1-Alyson Enns, 18:12.54. 2-Audrianna Enns, 18:41.69. 3-Savannah Ackley, 18:49.81. 4-Lynae Ackley, 18:52.04. 13-Layla Creed, 20:28.98. 19-Lauren VanderLaan, 20:54.44. 24-Savanna Owens, 21:36.09.
Manistee girls: 22-Cecilia Postma, 21:04.40. 26-Olivia Holtgren, 21:38.24. 34-Allie Thomas, 22:23.08. 35-Brynn O’Donnell, 22:23.37. 39-Teagan Johnson, 22:30.39. 42-Taylor Murray, 23:01.61. 48-Olivia Smith, 23:19.32.