BUCHANAN – The Coldwater boys took first place in the regional at Buchanan’s Redbud Motocross Track, with their top five runners all finishing in the top 15 and ending with an impressive 37 points as a team.
The first place finish qualifies the Cardinals’ team for the state meet next Saturday, which is held at Michigan International Speedway.
“Our guys have been trying to earn a trip to the state meet since last year,” Coldwater coach Jim Bilsborrow said. “To go there next week with a regional championship makes it all the better.”
Shuaib Aljabaly was the first runner to cross the finish line in a time of 16:24, followed closely by teammates Zack Murphy (sixth, 17:17), Josh Evers (seventh, 17:22). Ben Fagen (ninth, 17:26), and Matt Sowles (14th, 17:39).
“I am just extremely pleased with how all of our kids did today,” commented Bilsborrow. “The weather and the course were the toughest conditions we have faced all season, and our kids responded very well to the challenge.”
For the girls, Coldwater’s top runner was Kathy Potter, who placed 38th in 22:30.
Division 1 at Portage Central
Lakeview’s Maggie Farrell qualified for next weekend’s state meet, finishing ninth place in a time of 19-minutes, 20-seconds. As a team, the Spartan’s placed fifth with 129 points.
For the boys, Lakeview was 12th overall with 298 points. Leading the way for the Spartans were Brandon Vanoosten (17:32) and Scott Bridges (17:33), who placed 46th and 47th, respectively.
Division 2 at Portage Central
The Gull Lake girls qualified for the state meet as team with a third place finish. The Blue Devils ended with 82 points, behind Otsego with 20 points and Thornapple-Kellogg with 80. Gull Lake’s top five runners were Makenzie Wank (fourth, 19:25), Lily Fell (10th, 19:57), Blaire Halpin (16th, 20:16), Maddie Salvato (21st, 20:32), and Morgan Blinn (31st, 20:49).
Marshall’s Abbey Ufkes and Rachel Schoepke also qualified for the state meet as individuals. On Saturday, Ufkes was 13th in 20:05, while Schoepke grabbed the last qualifying place, finishing 15th in 20:09. The Redhawks placed fourth as a team with 139 points.
The Harper Creek girls finished fifth as a team with 162 points and were paced by Daniell Stewart (24th, 20:44), while Pennfield placed 13th overall and were led by Mallorie Haaksma (20th, 20:30).
Gull Lake also qualified for states as a team in the boys’ race, placing second with 67 points, just behind first place Otsego. Joey Dawson took first overall in the regional meet in a time of 16-minutes, 20-seconds. Rounding out the top five for the Blue Devils were Jack Millmier (13th, 17:07), Jacob Lyons (16th, 17:10), Lucas Hamilton (17th, 17:13), Austin Lovett (20th, 17:22).
Marshall finished sixth as a team with 173 points and was led by Elijah Balli-Solis (27th, 17:38), while Harper Creek placed seventh with 179 points and was paced by Tommy Shaw (21st, 17:23). Pennfield ended up 13th overall with 341 points, led by Nick Simonds in 37th place in 17:54.
Division 3 at Buchanan
The Delton Kellogg girls’ team qualified for state with a second place finish in the regional meet. The Panthers ended with 87 points, finishing only behind Watervliet. Maranda Donahue placed first in the race individually in a time of 21-minutes, nine-seconds, followed by teammates Megan Grimes (sixth, 21:55), Danielle Cole (18th, 23:11), Anna Bassett (30th, 23:51), and Mica LeBeau (32nd, 23:53).
In the boys’ race, Delton Kellogg finished seventh as a team with 175 points, and was led by Brandon Shepard (17th, 18:33). For Galesburg-Augusta, Nathan Chatman led the way, finishing 38th in 19:21.
Division 3 at Ovid Elsie
The Maple Valley girls placed 14th as a team with 388 points, led by Katie Cheeseman (67th, 23:56), while the boys finished 13th overall with 389 points and were paced by Jacob Brighton (46th, 18:47).
Division 3 at Vandercook Lake
The Bronson boys’ team qualified for the state meet as a team, finishing second in the regional with 95 points. The Vikings’ top five runners were Colin Ransbottom (10th, 17:40), Marcus Broom (16th, 18:01), Blake Bucklin (21st, 18:14), Hunter Trine (23rd, 18:16), and Isaac Robertson (31st, 18:57).
Quincy’s Brandon Gary (11th, 17:41) and Olivet’s Isaac Waffle (14th, 17:51) qualified for the state meet individually. The Orioles placed fifth as a team, with 158 points, while Olivet was ninth with 191 ooints, and Union City was 13th with 330 points. Grant Gay (25th, 18:24) was Union City’s top runner, while Trevor Reagle (17th, 18:04) was Homer’s top finisher.
In the girls’ race, Olivet qualified for the state meet with a third place finish (66 points), led by Teona Feldpausch (fifth, 20:24), Morgan Greenman (sixth, 20:27), Kaylee Richardson (14th, 21:07), Leah Amey (15th, 21:13), and Ally Platzer (28th, 21:47).
Also qualifying for the state meet was Quincy’s Gabby Porter (third, 20:08) and Katie Spalding (13th, 20:55). As a team, the Orioles were fourth with 85 points.
Homer placed seventh with 191 points, led by Abby Himbaugh (24th, 21:42). Bronson’s top runner was Meghan Vaughn (57th, 24:53), and Union City’s top runner was Marionna Bigelow (50th, 23:31).
Division 4 at Portage Central
The St. Philip girls’ are headed to the state meet after placing second in the regional with 50 points. Ava Strenge was second overall in a time of 18:50, followed by Riley Rutherford (third, 19:28), Madi Elliott (fifth, 20:47), Meagan Casterline (13th, 21:44), and Helen Berner (27th, 24:09).
Athens’ runner Corra Hamilton also qualified for states by finishing sixth overall in 20:59. The Indians were fourth as a team with 103 points.
Also for the girls, Climax-Scotts’ top runner was Kaylyn Barthowlemew (22nd, 23:41), and Colon’s Anessa Broker was 26th in 23:54.
In the boys’ race, three individual runners from St. Philip punched their ticket to the state meet. Jack Greenman was fifth overall in 17:24, while Kenny Wojick was 13th in 18-flat, and Drew Lantinga was 15th in 18:08. As a team, the Fighting Tigers were fourth with 119 points.
Athens finished sixth overall with 141 points and was led by Casey Hardin (20th, 18:40). Colon was ninth as a team with 237 points, paced by Larry Peppers (32nd, 19:50). Climax-Scotts’ top runner was Tim Lotter (55th, 22:33).
Division 4 at Vandercook Lake
For the boys, Tekonsha’s David Frederick and Calvin Blue qualified for the state meet as individuals. Frederick finished second overall in 17-flat, while Blue was 14th in 18-minutes and one second. As a team, the Indians were fifth with 128 points.
Also for the boys, Bellevue was ninth as a team with 212 points, led by Sam Lothamer (24th, 18:49).
In the girls’ race, Bellevue’s Brandy Mathewson qualified for state with an 11th place finish in a time of 21:29.
For Tekonsha, Liese Kuemmerle was the Indians fastest runner, placing 59th in a time of 27:27.
Travis Tekiele can be reached at [email protected] or 269-966-0677. Follow him on Twitter: @travis_tekiele