The Portland Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams opened their 2018 season in St. Johns at 9:30 PM in the 5th Annual St. Johns Redwings “Under the Lights” Invitational. Eighteen Schools from Grand Rapids to Dearborn participated in the event. Two Divisions competed against each other with a Boys and Girls race being run in each division. The Course which stretched around St. Johns High School and included wooded sections was lighted throughout by portable lights.
Girls Coach Mark Holdren and Boys Coach Andy Pulling traveled with reduced squads due to other school events and end of summer vacations.
Holdren’s girls’ team, which has fifteen girls this year, ran only three Freshman; Elania Volk, Destiny Foltz and Teaghan Lathers. All the girls finished the race after running hard, with Elania Volk posting a 28 minute 26 second time for the 5K course, followed by Lathers (32:34) and Foltz (39:34). Because the Raider girls did not have the minimum number of five girls running in the event they did not receive a team score at the Invitational. Coach Holdren reflected after the race, “At this point we are just trying to get the girls in shape and ready to run for the upcoming season.” He was overall pleased with the efforts of his three Freshman in their first High School meet.
The Boys team was much more competitive and placed Eighth in their Division. Coach Pulling stated that, “This meet tonight is a measure of who ran during the summer.” He reflected that, “the team this year has great personality as a team and is looking to grow and get better. Tonight I’d give us a grade of C or C-. We have lots of things to work on, but we are motivated to get better.” For Portland, Senior Blaine Rosier placed 12thoverall in his Division with a time of 18 minutes, 53 seconds followed by Sophomore Carter Rosier (20:55); Senior Cullen Rapson (21:58); Junior Andrew Seavey (22:10); Junior Andrew Pace (22:16) and Senior Ben Stallard (26:51).
The Portland Cross Country teams hope to be at full roster strength when they travel to Lansing Catholic on Tuesday, August 21st for a two-mile course event.
Pictured is the start of the girls XC Under the Lights Invitational. Also pictured are Ben Stallard, Andrew Pace and Cullen Rapson post-race.