SHELBY — Hart again showed off its dominance of the West Michigan Conference Tuesday, claiming wins in both races of the third league jamboree in Shelby.
The Pirate girls nearly posted a perfect score, with five of the top seven finishers. Audrey Enns easily won the race with a time of 21:21.4, followed by Savannah Ackley in second in 21:46.97 and Lynae Ackley in third at 21:47.9. Brenna Aerts placed sixth in 22:35.6, and MacKenzie Stitt rounded out the scoring in seventh in 23:02.4.
Additionally, Hart got high-level performances from Layla Creed, Lauren VanderLaan, Savanna Owens and Abigail Pretty, who all placed in the top 15.
The Pirate boys also easily took first place, beating Montague 28-67. Alex Enns took the top spot in the race with a time of 18:23.3, and Hunter Tubbs placed fourth in a time of 19:18.3. Spencer VanderZwaag earned a time of 19:19.2, and Seth Ackley and Clayton Ackley closed out the scoring in eighth and ninth respectively. Seth’s time was 19:38.2 and Clayton’s was 19:40.98. Michael Tubbs, Wyatt Dean and Noah Bosley added top-15 finishes.
With such overwhelming strength, the Pirates know as long as they show up to the races, they will almost certainly win. Health, though, has been a concern off and on throughout the season, said coach Terry Tatro.
“That’s been our biggest issue with this season so far,” Tatro said. “We had a few health issues early on, and we’ve kind of worked through those up to date. We just hope we’ve got all that stuff worked out and the rest of the season, we’ll be good to go.
“We’ve had a lot of changes, as far as position and stuff on the team. Everybody at 100 percent, we should be in pretty good shape.”
Savannah Ackley entered the season as the presumed #1 runner, but she’s had some injury issues, and Enns has mostly assumed the mantle of the top runner, though Lynae Ackley has often been right there as well. Aerts and Stitt have stayed strong in the #4 and #5 positions to keep Hart at the top of the state rankings.
“They work so well together,” Tatro said. “It’s about the team, not the individual stats. They know that the eyes are on them and stuff, and they want to perform up to the level, the expectation everybody has of them...In the race, we try to push the fact that we want everybody working together, helping each other out on the course. And they have. They’ve done a lot of chatting out on the course.”
Shelby’s girls team placed fourth at its home race. The Tigers’ top scorer was Alice Josephson, who finished in 16th place with a time of 24:31.5. Lauren Brown was next, placing 20th in a time of 25:02.7. Also scoring were Maya Cornaby (38th, 27:02.8), Claire Peterson (40th, 27:04.3) and Lindsey Trantham (42nd, 27:21.4).
The boys team was limited to four finishers, paced by Ethan Sill in 33rd place (21:33.3). The Tigers also had Oliver Squire (39th, 21:50.9), Isaac Scouten (45th, 22:31.3) and Tommy Harvell (65th, 25:09.7) finish the race.