By Ben Murphy
Step one is complete for the Clare cross country teams, as both sides of the squad won the first Jack Pine Conference jamboree at Harrison High School Wednesday.
The girls, who have won three straight JPC titles, got off to a dominating start, claiming the top four spots to win the meet with 18 points. Roscommon placed second with 55 points, Meridian was third at 101, Farwell placed fourth with 129, Houghton Lake came in fifth at 140, Harrison placed sixth with 142 points, Gladwin was seventh with 143 and Beaverton was eighth with 175.
“You don’t know what to expect until you run the first jamboree,” Clare girls head coach Kyle McKown said. “It gives you a chance to evaluate and move on from there. For us, each race is a stepping stone, trying to get faster and improve.”
Victoria Harper (21:16), Jasmine Harper (21:24), Holly Pummell (21:53) and Jayda Sykora (22:17 first-through fourth with Hannah Brown crossing the line eighth (24:07). Victoria Harper is the defending JPC champion from last year.
Madison McPhee was 12th (24:50), Jordyn Bradley was next in 13th (25:29) and Makenzie Harmon placed 14th (25:39). All eight girls earned points towards all-conference honors. Sam Gray was 17th (26:40), Sarah Gray placed 24th (27:40), Ashley Boulis was 29th (28:45), Alexis Harton came in 33rd (29:30), Angelica Krueger was 35th (29:36), Megan Sheredy placed 36th (29:37), Bethanie Jones crossed 43rd (30:53), Jillian Pappas was 46th (31:11) and Hannah Bauman 50th (33:34).
“The course was very challenging and times reflected that, but I was very pleased with the way that our girls performed today,” McKown said. “This is an extremely hard working group of girls and they continue to step up against any challenge in front of them. We are looking forward to continuing to work hard and to improve throughout the course of the season.”
Farwell’s top runner was Contessa Hammond, crossing the line fifth with a time of 23:37. Meagan Williams was next in 19th (26:48), Lorena Gomm was 42 (30:42), Clarissa Hammond was 53rd (35:35), Raylene Ramirez led Harrison with a 10th place finish, timing out at 24:42. Stephanie Prince was the next top finishing Hornet in 21st (27:13), Brandi Miller was 52nd (35:00) and Hannah Sharp was 55th (39:55).
The Clare boys, looking for their seventh straight JPC title, were almost equally as dominant as their female counterparts, claiming the top three spots. The Pioneers finished with 25 points, Gladwin was next with 77, Meridian was third with 105, Beaverton placed fourth with 112, Farwell was fifth at 122, Harrison was sixth with 134, Roscommon placed seventh with 153 and Houghton Lake was eighth with 205.
“We just wanted to run safe and smart,” Clare boys head coach Adam Burhans said. “(We had) good overall team unity. Very proud of the guys.”
Kyler Phillips, Kevin Spicer-Torres and Hunter Nivison took the top three spots for Clare, all crossing close together with times of 18:22, 18:23 and 18:24. Ben Haupt placed sixth (19:16), Chase Field placed 13th (20:02), Nick Wertheimer was 21st at 21:03, Mike Wertheimer placed 33rd (22:06) and Scott Baldwin was 39th (23:09).
Farwell was led by Daylen Garver with a 10th place finish (19:46), Marty Fedewa was 12th (19:57), Kurt Meister was 16th (20:25), Damien Brown placed 43rd (23:42), Trevor Frost was 63rd (26:50) and Stephen Conroy was 68th (34:59).
Harrison was led by Dalton Macdormott with an eighth place finish (19:19), Reed Romanowski was 25th (21:21), Phillip Hale was 27th (21:36), Noah Cesal was 34th at 22:36, Andy Cargill was 48th (24:11), Ray Ramirez was next in 49th (24:14), Lucas Oesterreich and Daniel Yoder were 51st and 52nd with times of 24:45 and 24:57, Alan Poole was 54th (25:15) and Kurtis Eichorn was 61st (26:25).
“Dalton ran the race of his life,” Harrison head coach Tod Reeve said. “He had new shoes, which he said helped a lot… Our top three guys placed well but we had a lot of girls sick today.”
The next JPC jamboree is scheduled for Oct. 2 at Houghton Lake with the final jamboree slated for Oct. 16 at Meridian.
On Saturday Clare competed at the Holly Invitational, with the girls team winning and the boys team coming in third. This was the first time the Lady Pioneers had won the meet in program history.
“This was a very impressive team performance and something to build on,” McKown said. “The level of competition was very high at this meet with three of the top eight teams in the state competing. We are very pleased with our continued improvements and continue to work hard to achieve the big goals that we have for the season.”
Jasmine Harper led the way in first (19:23), Holly Pummel ran a career best time to place seventh (20:19), Victoria Harper was 10th (20:33), Jayda Sykora came in 17th (21:04). All four girls picked up medals for their efforts. Hannah Brown finished 39th (22:32), Madison McPhee placed 45th 23:09) and Amanda Yats was 59th(23:48).
In the junior varsity race Jordyn Bradley led the way with a seventh place finish (23:17). Makenzie Harmon was 17th (23:57), Sam Gray placed 19th (23:59), Sarah Gray was 31st (24:51), Ashley Boulis was 36th (25:27), Olivia Walworth came in 39th (25:29), Megan Sheredy was 44th (25:47), Bethanie Jones crossed 57th (26:55), Alexis Harton was 58th (26:56), Hannah Bauman came in 68th (27:22), Jillian Pappas crossed 72nd (27:35), Angelica Krueger was 74th (27:41) and Natalie Fedewa was 77th (27:58).
The Clare boys came in third, with 85 points while Hanover-Horton won the event with 57 and Jackson Lumen Christi came in second with 71.
Kyler Phillips came in fourth (16:52), Kevin Spicer-Torres was 10th (17:17), Hunter Nivision was 11th (17:19), Ben Haupt was 24th (18:10), Chase Field was 36th (18:37), Nick Wertheimer placed 56th (19:15) and Mike Wertheimer was 79th (20:37).
Clare runs on Saturday at the Delta Invitational and competes again on Sept. 28 at Carson City.
Harrison hosted its own invitational on Saturday, with the girls team coming in 11th and the boys coming in seventh.
Ramirez was the top finisher for the girls in 21st, (24:33), Prince was 36th (25:53), Christine Mason placed 65th (33:13), Iris Xie was 66th (33:13), Brandi Miller was 68th (33:52) and Anrea Feliz Calvo placed 69th (34:11).
For the boys Dalton Macdormott was 25th (20:52), Reed Romanowski was 30th (21:11), Phillip Hale 35th (21:38), Noah Cesal placed 37th (21:44), Ray Ramirez was 55th (24:20), Andy Cargill placed 58th (24:48) and Alan Pole was 59th (24:57).
The Hornets run at the Delta Invitational on Saturday and run at Evart on Tuesday.