It was hot and muggy at Monday’s Cross-Country Invitational but that did not dissuade the Pewamo-Westphalia Men’s and Women’s Varsity runners from overwhelming their opponents. Eleven other schools participated but most all of the individual runners followed the P-W teams across the finish lines.
The Men’s race was so close that the first four runners finished within three hair-splitting seconds of each other. Junior Ashton Walker defeated his fellow P-W teammate, Junior Hayden Germain by less than a second to claim first place. Walker ran the 5K course in 16 minutes, 48 seconds and Germain finished at 16 minutes 48.7 seconds. They were followed by Mitchell Bjorne of Bath at 16:50 and Mitch Nurenberg of P-W at 16:51. P-W easily won the men’s division with an amazing score of 38 in a race that had 149 individual runners. Blaine Rosier led all Portland Men’s runners, finishing 37th overall, with a time of 19:48.
The Women’s race was also dominated by Pewamo-Westphalia. Their final team score was 22. In Cross Country a “perfect team score is 15”. About the only upset for P-W was that Junior Brooke Soper of Okemos won the Women’s Individual first place medal, finishing the 5K Course in 19 minutes,57 seconds. Junior Emily Nurenberg of P-W finished second in the Women’s race with a time of 21:04. Ari Babcock of Portland finished 34th overall, in leading the Portland Women runners with a time of 24:12.
Dewitt won the Boy’s Middle School Division. Portland Seventh grader Matt Seavey placed 43rd out of 168 runners, in leading the Portland Boys’ team. Ludington Jr. High won the Middle School Girls Division with Portland Seventh Grader Evy Arleth finishing the 2-mile race in 14 minutes flat to lead all Portland runners.
The concluding event was a 1-mile race for 3rd-6th Graders. Over 50 students from Portland and Pewamo-Westphalia Elementary Schools participated. The photo above captures the enthusiastic start of the Elementary race.
Portland Cross Country teams continue in action later this week on Thursday at the Bob Invitational and on Saturday at the Greater Lansing Invitational. Both events are being held in East Lansing.