20 High School Varsity Cross-Country teams, from as far away as Dearborn, converged on St. john’s High School Friday night for the Annual Under the Lights invitational. The races began at dusk about 9:30 PM and concluded at 11:00 PM. Bob Sackrider, St. John’s Cross Country coach, told the Beacon that for 25 years the RedWings opened their Cross-Country season with a midnight practice on the first Friday of the official MHSAA season. “Several years ago, we wanted to try something different and have a little more fun, so we put this Invitational together”.
Holt Senior, Alex Penski, won the Boy’s Division 5K race with a time of 15 minutes, 55 seconds. While St. Johns Senior, Taryn Chapko took the Varsity Girls Division with a time of 19 minutes 29 seconds.
Portland Freshman Valarie Hoppes led all Raider Girls and took 38th place overall in the Girls Division with a time of 23 minutes, 50 seconds. Sophomore Carter Rosier placed 28th overall in the Boy’s Division with a time of 20 minutes and 15 seconds.
The Raiders are in action again on Tuesday when they compete in a 2-mile race at The St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt. The event has sixteen local teams registered to participate. The Girls race is scheduled for 5 PM and the Boy’s Race will follow at 5:30.