BENZONIA — Five top 10 finishes helped pace the Mason County Eastern boys cross country team to a first place finish as they will head as a team to the MHSAA Division 4 cross country regional hosted by Bear Lake at Benzie Central on Oct. 31.
Nate Wing paced the Cardinals with a second place finish at Wednesday’s pre-regional also at Benzonia, followed by Mateo Barnett and Eli Shoup finishing fourth and fifth. Henry Hybza and Nelson Damkoehler rounded out the top five with seventh and eighth place finishes.
“I guess it was a good trial run. We always go up there for a trial run before regional anyway. With as small as our division is, it’s just a formality I guess,” said Eastern coach Ben Knizacky. “The way that it is set up with Division 1 and 2, everyone has to do it (with a pre-regional). On the guys side, they had to eliminate some guys. I think there was 68 girls listed in the regional.
“We had five guys in the 17s. Now, we’ll see if they move us up in the rankings,” Knizacky said later.
For Pentwater, it saw four boys qualify individually including Abie VanDunien who finished 14th, Christian Wright in 25th, Jordan Bales in 27th and James Davis in 31st.
Falcons head coach Erika Fatura was very pleased to see how her team ran today.
“All eight runners for both teams ran personal best times. We came into today wanting to put everything out there and we did. Everybody was very ecstatic with how they ran.”
On the girls side, the Cardinals’ girls had three individuals qualify with Olivia Wing and Sydney Gage came in sixth and eighth while Amelia Malburg finished 14th.
“We haven’t been running on extremely fast courses and the girls all had better times,” Knizacky said. “They all had (personal records). Most of the courses we run are slower courses and are a little more challenging.”
Penwater’s girls team did not see anybody qualify with their top finisher being Emily Schwartz finishing 21st.
Boys team results: Mason County Eastern 21, Frankfort 68, Maple City Glen Lake 74, Bear Lake-Onekama 81, Pentwater 122
Mason County Eastern boys: 2-Nate Wing, 17:00.12, 4-Mateo Barnett, 17:12.31, 5-Eli Shoup, 17:35.55, 7-Henry Hybza, 17:39.02, 8-Nelson Damkoehler, 17:57.70, 11-Neal Stewart, 18:15.52, 16-Raul Hernandez, 18:43.24.
Pentwater boys: 14-Abie VanDuinen, 18:26.09, 25-Christian Wright, 19:49.15, 27-Jordan Bales, 19:55.10, 31-James Davis, 20:15.33, 35-Mitchel Daniels, 21:38.33
Girls team results: Maple City Glen Lake 28, Bear Lake-Onekama 47, Brethren 49
Mason County Eastern girls: 6-Olivia Wing, 21:41.20, 8-Sydney Gage, 21:55.49, 14-Amelia Malburg, 24:05.86, 17-Kennady Tyler, 25:19.18
Pentwater girls: 21-Emily Schwarz, 26:34.34, 27-Abby Hughes, 29:04.43, 29-Ireland Breitner, 29:49.60