ACME – When Bear Lake’s John Girven and Jordan Anderson pulled away from the field and crossed the finish line almost in tandem Saturday, there was little doubt what boys team was going to take home the Division IV regional cross country trophy at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
The Bear Lake Lakers dominated, placing four runners in the top 7, six in the top 14, to cruise to victory with 28 points. Manton finished second in the 11-team field with 82. Grand Traverse Academy secured the third and final state qualifying position with 114 points.
The Bear Lake girls also triumphed, finishing with 52 points. St. Francis, led by individual winner Holly Bullough, came in second with 82 points and Grand Traverse Academy third with 138. All advanced to next weekend’s state finals.
“I thought we did really well,” Bear Lake coach Tony Shrum said. “Our goal was to get our top five runners in both races into the medals. The girls did that. The boys actually had six medal.
“I’m really proud of what they were able to do. They always seem to rise to the occasion when it means the most.”
Girven and Anderson certainly did, finishing in 18:02.22 and 18:02.65, respectively.
“It was teamwork all the way through the race,” Girven explained. “That’s how it usually is.”
Runners had to contend with muddy, windy conditions.
John Schoedel came in fifth (18:39.61), Shane Peterson seventh (18:50.85) and Jared Bair 13th (19:07.10) for the Lakers.
Bear Lake will be a top contender at the state meet.
“We want to win it,” Girven said. “We haven’t done that in awhile. It goes back to 1994.”
“Absolutely,” added Shrum. “Our goal every year is to hang another banner in the gym. It would be nice, too, if we could put another year on that sign as you drive into town that says cross country state champions.”