By Ben Murphy
Two down and one to go. The Clare cross country teams are just one meet away from keeping their consecutive Jack Pine Conference titles in tact by winning the second league jamboree at Houghton Lake High School Wednesday.
The Lady Pioneers moved closer to their fourth straight title by scoring 21 points. Roscommon took second with 69, Farwell was fifth with 139 and Harrison was seventh with 149.
“It was a good race,” Clare girls’ head coach Kyle McKown said. “This was a brand new course so we didn’t know what to expect. It was challenging but I thought they performed really well.”
Jasmine Harper won her first league race with a time of 20:04, Holly Pummell was second at 20:17, Victoria Harper was third at 20:40), Hannah Brown was sixth at 22:25, Madison McPhee placed ninth with a 22:58, Jordyn Bradley was 10th at 23:00 and Robyn Stanley was 12th at 23:21. All 7 girls are in position to take all-conference honors through the two league races.
Makenzie Harmon was 18th (24:06), Amanda Yats was 23rd (24:50), Megan Sheredy 28th (25:13), Sarah Gray 30th (25:31), Bethanie Jones 33rd (25:46), Angelica Krueger 34th (25:54), Olivia Walworth 35th (26:03), Ashley Boulis 39th (26:46), Jillian Pappas 43rd (27:01), Hannah Bauman 46th (27:07), Lexy Harton 53rd (28:23) and Natalie Fedewa 55th (28:47).
“Our goal is to stay healthy, improve and to get prepared for the big meets late in the season,” McKown said.
Farwell was led by Contessa Hammond at 21:21 in fourth, Megan Williams ran a 23:49 for 15th, Lorena Gomm timed out at 26:57 for 41st and Clarissa Hammond was 58th at 29:18.
Harrison was paced by a 13th place finish by Raylene Ramirez at 23:24, Stephanie Prince was 17th at 24:02, Brandi Miller ran a 29:02 for 57th, Christine Mason was 62nd at 30:49 and Iris Xie timed out with a 30:50 for 63rd.
The boys, who are one meet away from winning their seventh straight title won with 20 points, Gladwin took second with 75, Farwell was fourth with 120 and Harrison was sixth with 127.
“Overall, a very impressive performance by the guys,” boys’ head coach Adam Burhans said. “They’ve really gelled at the right time and it’s time to move up to the next level. It was a flat, yet at times very not-so-foot-friendly course but the guys made it through smoothly.”
The boys took four of the top five spots, with Hunter Nivison coming in first at 16:53, Kyler Phillips was second at 16:59, Kevin Spicer-Torres was fourth at 17:13, Ben Haupt was fifth at 17:48 and Chase Field was eighth at 18:05.
Daylen Garver was 11th at 18:26, Marty Fedewa was 13th at 18:48, Kurt Meister was 15th at 19:00 and Damien Brown was 35th at 20:46.
The Hornets were led by Dalton MacDormott with a time of 18:07 for ninth place, Reed Romanowski was 23rd at 19:48, Lukas Oesterreich was 30th at 20:23, Phillip Hale was 33rd at 20:38 and Noah Cesal was 39th at 21:01.
“10 of our 11 boys had personal best times for the season as did three out of our six girls,” Harrison head coach Tod Reeve said. “We ran quite well, but so did other teams so overall we didn’t improve on the team side. Overall, we had some very nice individual effort but still need to step it up as a team to meet our goals from the beginning of the season.”
Clare and Farwell competes at the Portage Invitational on Saturday while Harrison heads to Pine River. The final JPC jamboree is Oct. 16 at Meridian.