Clare capped off its strong cross country seasons on Saturday, with both boy’s and girl’s teams competing in the Division three state finals at Brooklyn’s International Speedway. The Lady Pioneers finished in 12th place while the boy’s came in 13th.
“We are pretty happy with today’s performance,” Clare girl’s head coach Kyle McKown said. “The effort was there and we were able to maximize our best. The injury bug snuck up on us a bit late in the season but that didn’t stop our girls from putting maximum effort into the race.”
Junior Victoria Harper cruised to a medal winning 21st place, timing out at 19:04 to improve her time by over a minute from last year’s state final’s race.
“She ran the race of her life, a race that we knew that she was capable of running,” McKown said. “She knocked it out of the park and hit every checkpoint inside of the race that she needed to finish where she had hoped.”
Her time was over a minute improvement from her run of 20:08 in last year’s state finals.
“I was more than pleased with my race this year,” Harper said. “I felt very blessed and thankful to be All-State. It was an honor to be on the platform representing Clare High School, my team, my family and my God. Next year we should have a very solid team. Most of us will be veterans with more experience.”
Junior Lindsay Winter was Clare’s next finisher, coming in 41st with a time of 19:36.
“Winter ran a solid race with a career best time but just missed all-state honors,” McKown said. “She had a great season, but has motivation to work hard and go after all-state honors next season. I know that this is something that she can accomplish next year with the type of drive and competitive spirit that she has.”
Robyn Stanley, a junior took 137th with a time of 20:58, freshman Madison McPhee was 137th at 21:16, Sadie Phillips, a sophomore was 182nd with a time of 21:50 and freshman Paige Gould was 202nd with a time of 22:12.
“This group of girls were positive, hard working, fun to be around and one of the best groups of athletes that I have ever coached,” McKown said. We are very excited for the success that we have been able to enjoy throughout the season and we look forward to the future.”
The Clare boy’s team took 13th place, led by a medal winning performance by Hunter Nivison.
“I’m very pleased with the overall total team effort today, though I see where we could have improved and so do the kids,” Clare boy’s head coach Adam Burhans said. “At the beginning of the season, I predicted a top 15 performance with us finishing around 15th, but as kids improved and roles began to become established, we tightened our vision as shooting for anywhere from 10th to 15th in a year that was about as loaded full of talent as any coach has ever seen in division three. We finished 13th with three of the top five running very solid times, so overall I’m pleased.”
Nivison ran a time of 16:38 to take 26th place.
“You can’t say enough about Nivison’s consistency and unselfish leadership,” Burhans said. “Hunter, whose drive and work ethic carried to him to what he’s worked so hard for. And for his efforts, his All-State time of 16:21 is one of the fastest ever run at a state finals by a Clare runner.”
His time was just over a minute faster than his time at last year’s state finals and also beat his personal best time by five seconds.
“Personally I felt the race went pretty well,” Nivison said. “I missed a couple goals but I was happy with the race and I couldn’t be more happy with how the team performed. I’m excited for next year.”
Sophomore Kyler Phillips ran a time of 16:38 to take 34th, senior Lucas Combs, a senior ran a time of 17:04 in his last career race and took 69th, sophomore Kevin Spicer-Torress clocked in at 17:43 to place 145th, Chase Field, a freshman timed out at 18:57 for 225th, senior Riley Crawford ran a time of 19:02 to take 227th and junior Brock Demo took 241st with a time of 19:33.
“(Phillips) truly developed into an elite runner,” Burhans said. “(His time) places him as the sixth fastest sophomore in division three and he missed all-state by just four places. Subtract all of this year’s seniors and he and Hunter are moving up the list in a hurry.”
“Spicer-Torres and Field held it together for us and although I know they wish they could have done better this team is much better next year,” Burhans added. “We are still quite inexperienced and learning to run. They are very close and competitive group of boys who have become men in a very short period of time.”
The Farwell boy’s team also competed at the state finals, coming in 22nd place. Brandon Frank took 76th with a time of 17:06, Luke Schultz ran a time of 17:18 to come in 103rd, Joe Bowen placed 148 at 17:45, Kurt Meister was 208th at 18:29, Trevor Staley was 215th at 18:38, Cameron Disbrow ran a time of 20:13 to come in 246th and Garrett McQuiston ran a time of 20:16 to come in 247th.
Harrison senior Brooke Colville also competed in Saturday’s state final running to a 147th place finish and time of 21:10 in her first state final’s appearance.
“She did quite well at Saturday’s meet, despite not meeting her own expectations,” Harrison head coach Tod Reeve said. “Her time was her third fastest time ever and I think nerves got to her a little. I feel a bit responsible for her not running her fastest time at the state meet since I didn’t do a good job of getting her in big meets throughout the season.”
Colville, who competes in hurdles in track managed to qualify for the state finals despite battle with injuries.
“She had an incredible season considering that she was coming off two ACL surgeries on her right knee her sophomore and junior years,” Reeve said. “I am looking forward to watching her this year in track. It should be a very exciting year for her.”