BENZONIA — The Bear Lake boys kept their streak alive Saturday morning.
The Lakers won the Division 4 cross country regional at Benzie Central, finishing with 41 points. St. Francis edged Grand Traverse Academy for second on a tiebreaker after the two came in with 85 points. All three teams advance to next Saturday's state meet at Michigan International Speedway.
Bear Lake has qualified every year but one since 1990. The one exception came in 1995 when the team bumped up a division.
"We have a great team," Bear Lake junior John Girven, the individual champion, said. "We had to keep the tradition going."
The Lakers also won the girls regional with 34 points. St. Francis placed second with 46 and Grand Traverse Academy third with 81. All three will be bound for the state finals next weekend.
"Just incredible. A great day," Bear Lake's first-year coach Tony Shrum said, summing up his feelings.
Freshman Holly Bullough paced St. Francis, running away from the field to win the girls race in a personal best 18:20. That was 18 seconds faster than her previous PR.
"Coach made sure I knew every place to cut to keep the shortest amount of distance I could," she said. "So before the race I went out and checked every corner to see where I could turn. I did that and it did me well.
"Now I'm really excited for the state meet. I've never felt better than that race that I just did."
The best part is that her teammates will be joining her.
"The girls ran very well," Gladiators coach Ben LaBelle said. "They were closer to first than I thought they would be.
"Holly clearly ran an excellent race. Maddy (Danz) ran well ahead of her pace. And our three, four and five runners (Lauren Buckel, Krissi Dressler and Eric McDonnell) finished together. That made a difference."
Bear Lake's Keena Gilbert was second to Bullough in 19:36. Junior Faith Moerdyk was fifth (19:52). The Lakers put five runners in the top 18.
"The girls all ran PRs by 40 seconds and they're still mad," Shrum said. "That's why they're so good. They hold themselves to such a high standard that no matter how well they do in my eyes they always want to do better. That's all you can ask for as a coach — to have a team with that kind of desire."
For the Gladiators, Danz was 13th overall (20:23), Buckel 15th (20:31), Dressler 16th (20:32) and McDonnell 17th (20:34). All moved up a few spots after individuals were taken out of the team scoring.
Sophomore Abby Fifarek led Grand Traverse Academy, finishing ninth (20:07). Alysia Campos came in 19th (20:44), Rowan Estenik 22nd (21:06), Molly Ritsema 23rd (21:08) and Lindsey White 28th (21:46).
Glen Lake's Kaitlin Grigg came in third overall (19:47). Teammate McKenna Turrill was 10th (20:07). Frankfort freshman Isabelle Putney finished fourth (19:48). Another freshman, Suttons Bay's Dani Merwin, was seventh (20:00).
Girven, meanwhile, took charge in the boys race. His time of 16:45 bettered his previous best by 39 seconds.
"It was great," he said. "I was hitting all the times (at mile and two mile). I knew I had to go all out the last mile because I didn't want to leave anything at the end."
Teammate Jordan Anderson came in fifth (17:18). Bear Lake placed five in the top 15.
"Fantastic," Shrum said. "The goal coming in was to set PRs across the board and that's what they did. I thought it would be a good day for John to break 17. This is a fast course. He ran a great race. And the rest of the guys ran PRs by 20 seconds plus, at least, some by nearly a minute."
Bear Lake's not ranked in the latest poll but that doesn't concern Shrum.
"Rankings don't mean anything," he said. "It's what you do the day of the race.
"Today, they ran the race they needed to. Now they've got to duplicate that or do better next weekend."
Mark Mol finished sixth (17:19) to lead St. Francis into the state finals. Connor Archer placed 16th (17:57), Nick Fisher 17th (18:01), Matt Mawby 18th (18:03) and Andy Fitzpatrcik 29th (18:50). The Gladiators won the tiebreaker with Grand Traverse Academy when their sixth runner, Eric Wales, took 35th (19:09).
"We had seven guys run seven personal bests," LaBelle said. "That's really cool. Perfect course, perfect conditions and great competition."
For Grand Traverse Academy, freshman Dallas Hanna led the charge, finishing seventh (17:23). Austin McQueer came in ninth (17:33), Aaron Kostrzewa 13th (17:39), Tyler Floering 26th (18:23) and Lars Truesdall 34th (19:02).
Mesick's Zack Workman was second to Girven in 16:53. Suttons Bay's Alex Kraft took third (17:13) and Manton's Dillon Gouge fourth (17:17).
TC St. Francis, GTA girls and boys also qualify for states
BENZONIA — The Bear Lake boys kept their streak alive Saturday morning.
2014 All-Region Girls Track Team
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Girls Track team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Boys Track Team
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Boys Track team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Baseball teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Baseball teams:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Tennis Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Girls Tennis teams:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Softball Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Softball team:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams:Continued ...
- Monday, July 21, 2014
2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams
The 2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams:Continued ...
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
Kalkaska coach inducted into Hall
You can’t have much more of a stable job than baseball coach at Kalkaska High School. Since 1946, there’s been only two.Continued ...
- Saturday, July 12, 2014
TC's Dy sisters win GAM titles
Traverse City’s Anika Dy and Anci Dy each won their age groups in the sixth annual Golf Association of Michigan Junior Stroke Play Championship.Continued ...
- Friday, June 20, 2014
Sports in Brief: Kreple earns honorable mention all-state
Traverse City West senior forward Kiley Kreple was named Division 1 honorable mention all-state, the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association announced. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Glen Lake puts three on baseball All-State team
Three players off Glen Lake's Division 4 semifinal baseball team earned first-team All-State honors.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 17, 2014
TC West best in Big North
Traverse City West Senior High School finished in first place in the Big North Conference All-Sports Standings during the 2013-14 school year, according to a Traverse City Area Public Schools press release.Continued ...
- Monday, June 16, 2014
Katt anxious to turn around Huskies program
Every day Jason Katt spends about four and a half hours in the car traveling from his home near Grand Rapids to Benzie Central High School and then back again.Continued ...
TC Central relay finishes sixth at national meet
An 1,800-mile round trip was made completely worth it.Continued ...
- Sunday, June 15, 2014
Central runners set records at national meet
Traverse City Central runners set school records in two events while competing at the New Balance Nationals on Saturday.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 14, 2014
Lakers fall in semifinals
Austin Odziana’s seventh-inning shot sailed a foot out of bounds. It was Glen Lake’s best and last chance to get back into its Division 4 baseball semifinal. The No. 3-ranked Lakers (32-3-1) fell 3-1 to New Lothrup (33-6) at Michigan State’s McLane Stadium.Continued ...
Buckeyes offer TC West's Lukusa
Ohio State caught Thiyo Lukusa off-guard. The Buckeyes became the fifth offer for the Traverse City West offensive lineman while he was down at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp near Detroit on Friday, an offer the rising junior was not expecting at all.Continued ...
- Friday, June 13, 2014
Glen Lake baseball falls in state semifinal
Austin Odziana's seventh-inning shot sailed a foot out of bounds in Glen Lake's best chance to get back into its Division 4 baseball semifinal contest. The Lakers (32-3-1) fell 3-1 to New Lothrup (33-6).Continued ...
Consistency key for state champ Sneed
When it came to the postseason, Leland’s Joel Sneed simply could not be beat.Continued ...
State Baseball and Softball Tournament Schedules: 06/13/2014
Prep state baseball and softball tournament schedules:Continued ...
Today in Sports: 06/13/2014
What's happening in sports across the region and the nation:Continued ...
- Thursday, June 12, 2014
Glen Lake to tackle semifinals Friday
Friday is a new start for Glen Lake. After advancing to the Division 4 state semifinals with a 5-2 win over Norway, the Lakers want to forget last year’s 15-0 semifinal loss to Beal City.Continued ...
- Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Lakers top Norway 5-2 in quarters
Ben Schweikart got a bounce, and it bounced Norway out of the Division 4 playoffs. The senior backup catcher's third-inning hit Tuesday was headed straight for Knights third baseman Dane VanDenHeuval when it took an odd hop and soared over the third sacker and into the outfield.Continued ...
Rogers City ousts Central Lake from softball tourney
Within moments after Tuesday's Division 4 softball quarterfinal, Central Lake softball coach Ralph Hines was second-guessing himself.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Glen Lake moves on; Central Lake falls
Glen Lake defeated Norway 5-2 today in a Division 4 baseball state quarterfinal held at Traverse City West Senior High School.Continued ...
- 2014 All-Region Girls Track Team