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.
Local MSU fans revel in Big 10 title
Rob DeLonge lost his voice on Saturday and by Sunday night it still hadn’t returned. A fair trade off for a Big 10 football championship, as far as he was concerned.Continued ...
Hounds complete sweep of Firehawks
Five different players scored goals as the Traverse City Hounds defeated the Soo Firehawks 5-2 on Saturday night.Continued ...
Local Bowling Scores: 12/09/2013
Local bowling scores from Lucky Jack's:Continued ...
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings: 12/09/2013
Midwest Junior Hockey League Standings as of Sunday, Dec. 8:Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/09/2013
- Sunday, December 8, 2013
Prep Sports Roundup: Early goals do in Trojans
Traverse City Central scored three of its four goals on the power play, but an explosive Houghton offense scored eight times in an 8-4 victory over the Trojans on Saturday at the Rick Miller Invitational. (Plus more)Continued ...
No. 10 Michigan St. shocks No. 2 Ohio St. 34-24
Connor Cook was determined to shake things up in the Big Ten title game. By the end of the night, the sophomore quarterback's teammates were bouncing up and down right along with him.Continued ...
- Saturday, December 7, 2013
West prevails, Central falls
Traverse City West scored two unanswered goals in the third period Friday to win at Calumet 3-1. Meanwhile at Hancock, the host Bulldogs bolted out to a 3-0 lead and then held off Traverse City Central 6-4.Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Frankfort tops TCSF in Challenge
Guards Pauline Lausten and Shayla Soto led Frankfort to a 42-38 girls basketball win over St. Francis in the Lake Michigan-Northwest Challenge here Friday night. (Plus more)Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/07/2013
Big Ten title game looks like a classic
The Big Ten championship game already looks like a classic contest.Continued ...
Bullough, Sadler earn honors
Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough and junior punter Mike Sadler have been named to the Capital One Division I Academic All-America first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).Continued ...
- Friday, December 6, 2013
High school sports scoreboard: 12/06/2013
A roundup of prep sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
TCSF student gets equestrian scholarship from UT-Martin
Reiley Wilson is not unlike most high school athletes who aim to continue competing at the collegiate level.Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Titans drop opener
It wasn’t the best of starts for Traverse City West in Thursday’s girls basketball season opener against Grand Haven, but the Titans played the Buccaneers even the rest of the way in a 43-31 loss. (Plus more)Continued ...
Bob Gwizdz: How old to be a legend?
It depends, I suppose, on your field of endeavor. Athletes can attain legendary status at a relatively young age.Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/06/2013
- Thursday, December 5, 2013
Girls Basketball: Grand Haven beats TC West
Traverse City West fell behind early and couldn't recover as Grand Haven defeated the Titans 43-31 tonight.Continued ...
Hebden sparks Central, 5-2
Parker Hebden may have "park" in his first name, but he's started the season in high gear.Continued ...
Video: St. Francis captures Heintz tourney title
When it came down to crunch time on Wednesday night, Traverse City St. Francis did not respond like a young and inexperienced team.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Titans erupt to beat Gaylord
Traverse City West erupted for four goals in the third period Wednesday to beat Gaylord 4-1 in a Big North Conference hockey contest. (Plus more)Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 12/05/2013
Krejcik wins goalie award; Hounds add defenseman Schumacher; Farmland 5K set for Saturday.Continued ...
- Today in Sports: 12/05/2013
- Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Chemics overpower Trojans
Traverse City Central’s girls basketball season tipped off Tuesday with a 69-32 loss to Midland.Continued ...
Reports: Tigers close to signing Texas reliever Joe Nathan
Finding a closer was a top concern for the Detroit Tigers this off-season.Continued ...
- Local MSU fans revel in Big 10 title