BENZONIA — The ninth annual Pete Moss Invitational took place at Benzie Central High School Saturday and featured runners from 18 area schools.
Runners took to a wet course early Saturday morning looking to make a big first impression in front of schools from around the state.
Athletes from 41 schools made the trip to Bezonia including defending girls Division 3 state champion Hart and Division 1 powerhouses Ann Arbor Pioneer and Northville.
The course conditions improved as the morning progressed, but according to host Benzie Central's head coach Asa Kelly the course needed the rain and it helped runners in the end.
"It ran faster because of the rain," Kelly said. "It had been so ridiculously dry that it was soft and dusty in a lot of spots. It was a blessing to have that rain come down last night because it really firmed everything up nicely."
The invite was separated into six races — boys and girls big schools (Division 1 and D2), boys and girls small schools (D3 and D4), and boys and girls JV races.
Although no area varsity teams came out of the invite with the top prize the TC Central JV squad ran away with the boys JV division, toppling Grand Rapids Christian by 17 points.
The Kingsley girls team placed second in the girls small school race to give them the top varsity finish among area teams. Lake Leelanau St. Mary's took sixth, Glen Lake eighth, Leland ninth and Frankfort rounded out the top ten in this division.
McBain ran away with the boys small school division and Bear Lake-Onekama took fourth place. Glen Lake placed 12th, Lake Leelanau St. Mary's fell to 14th and were followed in 15th by Grand Traverse Academy.
State powerhouse Hart took the top spot in the girls big school division with TC Central (4th), TC West (5th) and TC St. Francis (6th) finishing in the top 10.
TC Central was the top area boys big school team at third place and Benzie Central grabbed fifth. Cadillac placed seventh and TC West took eighth with TC St. Francis sliding into the ninth slot.
The TC West JV girls placed third just in front of the Benzie Central squad in fourth.
Top area performers in the big school boys race included fifth place finisher TC Central's Cole Truszkowski (16:26.9), ninth place finisher Benzie Central's Tyler Kintigh (16:46.5) and a pair of TC Central runners Zach Gerber (16:49.2) and Joe Delgado (16:49.5).
TC St. Francis' Katelyn Duffing placed 12th (18:55.3) while TC Central's Avery McLean took 18th (19:14.8) in the girls big school race.
Kingsely's Jake Lathrop took 12th (17:50.9) and Glen Lake's Mason Staggs grabbed 13th (18:06.7) as the top area runners in the boys small school race.
Makenna Scott of Glen Lake placed fourth (20:47.4) and Buckley's Shelby Cade took sixth (20:57.7) in the girls small school race.
"Ann Arbor Pioneer and Northville are powerhouses and it is really cool they come up here to run this meet," TC Central girls cross country coach Lisa Taylor said. "I think more and more downstate teams are going to want to come up here to see what is going on in the state because there are such good teams up here."