BY DENNIS CHASE
CEDAR — Traverse City Central boys cross country coach John Lober was thumbing through his team's results Tuesday after the first Big North Conference jamboree at Sugar Loaf.
"We knew we had three guys who could run up there with anybody," Lober said. "Now, he comes on."
He would be freshman Anthony Berry, who finished sixth overall.
Berry was part of a Black and Gold pack as Central placed five runners in the top 10 to easily win the jamboree on a cool, blustery, cloudy afternoon.
The Trojans finished with 23 points. Traverse City West, the host school, was second with 67.
Junior Kyle Dotterrer and sophomore Cam McAuliffe led the way, taking the top two spots. Dotterrer was timed in 16:46.1 and McAuliffe 16:55.
"We took it out exactly the way we planned," Dotterrer said.
The two, along with teammate Nicholas Tarsa, set the pace early.
"We had a strategy," McAuliffe added. "We all worked as a team and held together."
Tarsa came in fourth (16:57.4), Berry sixth (17:12.1) and Andrew Bruning 10th (17:35.9).
Asked if he was surprised by the dominating performance, Dotterrer responded, "No. We've been working real hard and we did exactly what we set out to do."
Lober was not surprised, either.
"I thought the kids who should have been up there were up there," he said. "When you work hard you get that confidence that you can go do what you've been practicing to do."
Berry has come on strong for the Trojans.
"He won the JV race at Michigan State (last Friday)," Lober said. "There were 861 runners in that race and he won by 12 seconds. He's a special kid."
Don Lukens, who assists Lober, liked the results, but said there's room for improvement.
"I think they ran very well today," he said. "We're trying to run closer together. They were 50 seconds apart, which at this time of the season is not a bad split. We want to get that down to 30 seconds or less for five runners at least, maybe all seven. There's a lot of quality in that group."
West was led by Alec Ondrajka and Alex Garvin, who finished eighth and ninth (17:28.1 and 17:34.7). Kieran Hall placed 12th (17:41.3), Nick Hirschenberger 18th (17:55.9) and Jimmy Seekamp 20th (17:59.1).
"We thought we would be more competitive," Titans coach Ross Deye said. "They seemed to run flat as a group. I take responsibility for that. We need to regroup and be ready for the second BNC race."
Deye said the cold, wet weather did not impact the race,.
"It was fine," he said. "I think they would rather race in this than in 80 to 90 degrees and sun. This is good cross country racing weather. That wasn't a factor. We just need to train harder and get better. That's all we need to do.
"It was a rough day for us. But we'll be back."