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KETTERING, Ohio — Make it a three-peat for Michigan high school cross country.

Both the boys and girls team took first place Saturday at the Mid-East Cross Country Championships in Kettering, Ohio. The race pits the 24 best senior boys and girls cross country runners from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois against each other.

Michigan’s combined scored of 67 (28 for the girls, 39 for the boys) was good enough to earn them the title for the third straight year the competition was held. Michigan won the championship in 2018 and 2019. The race did not take place in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state with the lowest combined score wins the trophy. Each runner on the winning team has his or her name engraved on the cup.

Ohio finished in second with 108 points, Indiana third with 113, and Illinois fourth with 235.

Traverse City Central’s Julia Flynn led the girls team and finished first with a time of 17:30.23. Fellow Trojan Luke VenHuizen placed fifth for the boys at 15:30.43. Manton’s Noah Morrow took 18th at 15:46.1

VenHuizen and Flynn next head to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to race in the Eastbay Midwest Regional on Nov. 27. They have to finish in the top eight among runners from 14 states to qualify for the EBXC Foot Locker High School Nationals in San Diego on Dec. 11.

SWIMMING

Bills 16th in state backstroke finals

Traverse City Central junior Avery Bills placed 16th in the Division 1 state finals for the 100-yard backstroke.

Middleville’s Abby Marcukaitis won the event in 55.07 seconds. Bills finished in 1:00.04.

HOCKEY

TC West 5

FH Central 2

Senior captain Michael Schermerhorn started the Titan hockey season with a natural hat trick to lead West to a 5-2 win over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.

“It was a good first game for us,” West head coach Jeremy Rintala said. “We had a lot of new kids that had to step into new roles for us.”

TC West (1-0): Schermerhorn 3 goals, assist; Tyler Esman goal, assist; Brandon Meyers goal, 2 assists; Jake Burzynski assist; Mason West 32 saves.

UP NEXT: The Titans host the Cathy Buchanan Memorial Showcase next weekend, playing Farmington United at 8 p.m. Friday and Northville at 3 p.m. Saturday. Traverse City Central plays Northville at 6 p.m. Friday and Farmington at 1 p.m. Saturday.

James Cook contributed to this report.

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