2015-10-01 / Sports

County cross country runners HIT THEIR STRIDE

Glen Lake, Suttons Bay girls finish 1-2 at Lake City Invite
By Jay Bushen Of The Enterprise staff


LEELANAU COUNTY girls dominated the Lake City Invitational on Saturday. Glen Lake finished first; Suttons Bay took second. LEELANAU COUNTY girls dominated the Lake City Invitational on Saturday. Glen Lake finished first; Suttons Bay took second. Glen Lake coach Ryan Schut was promptly congratulated with a handshake after seeing his fourth and fifth female runners cross the finish line during Saturday’s Lake City Invitational.

Congratulations came from Suttons Bay coach Jeremy Fenske, who like Schut had been keeping score throughout the eight-team race.

“We’re out there, we have the same goal and we’re all competing but at the same time we have a camaraderie as a county,” Schut said. “We want to beat the next team, but at the same time we want success for our neighbors. All of us conference coaches feel that way. ... When we’re all successful together, it just makes it really great.”

Three juniors paced the pack for Glen Lake.

Sarah Carney took third (22:24), Sunny Charpentier placed fifth (22:36) and Sage Deemer came in sixth (22:54).


ST. MARY cross country runners (from left) Lexi Schaub, Emily Burgess and Grace McKillip put the pressure on a Buckley runner during the Central Lake Cross Country Invitational last Saturday. 
(Photo credit: Jacques-Brett Burgess) ST. MARY cross country runners (from left) Lexi Schaub, Emily Burgess and Grace McKillip put the pressure on a Buckley runner during the Central Lake Cross Country Invitational last Saturday. (Photo credit: Jacques-Brett Burgess) The victory came down to Schut’s fourth and fifth place runners, Hannah Brown (seventh place - 23:11) and Lili Kaastra (15th - 24:29), who are new additions to the team.

“Lili Kaastra plays travel soccer but decided she wants to run,” Schut said. “She’s been a huge add for our team. Hannah Brown has also made a huge difference.”

Glen Lake got the team victory, but Suttons Bay came away with the top finisher.

“It was a really awesome race,” Fenske said. “Dani Merwin got first (21:50), that was pretty amazing. She kept a great steady pace and kept increasing the distance between her and the second place runner the whole race.”


THE LELAND girls came away from the Lake City Invite in fourth place. Pictured from left are Grace Noorman, Jessica Pershinske, Lizzie Kiessel, Iris Walters, Olivia Fellows, Irene Gonzalez and Josie Ball. THE LELAND girls came away from the Lake City Invite in fourth place. Pictured from left are Grace Noorman, Jessica Pershinske, Lizzie Kiessel, Iris Walters, Olivia Fellows, Irene Gonzalez and Josie Ball. Leland’s girls added to the strong performance from the peninsula, finishing in fourth place.

The county momentum carried into Tuesday’s conference meet at Kingsley, but no team was able to crack the top three.

Glen Lake’s girls came in fourth place, Suttons Bay came in fifth and Leland came in sixth.

Leading the way was Merwin (22:30), who came in 13th place. Charpentier (22:46) and Carney (22:56) crossed next in 17th and 18th place, respectively.

“Kingsley’s a tough course,” Schut said. “We went there in the invite last Thursday, so it was our second time in six days. My runners knew they needed to go harder, but it was a tough race with lots of stronger runners.”


GLEN LAKE’S girls cross country team won the eight-team Lake City Invitational. Coach Ryan Schut is pictured in the back row. GLEN LAKE’S girls cross country team won the eight-team Lake City Invitational. Coach Ryan Schut is pictured in the back row. On the boys side, Glen Lake came in third, Suttons Bay came in fifth and Leland took sixth.

Glen Lake sophomore Drake Parker led all county runners with a 10-place finish (18:57).

Not far behind were Austin Emeott (19:38) and Austin Roubal (19:48) of Suttons Bay, who placed 15th and 16th respectively.

Leading the way for Leland was freshman Cooper Stanton, who crossed in 20:04 (19th place).

“Still improving,” Leland coach Kat Murphy said of her team.

Benzie Central ran away in first place in both races. Frankfort took second on the boys side; Kinglsey’s girls came in second.

The trio of Leelanau County teams will have a week to either improve or rest before the Mesick Invitational takes place on Oct. 8.

“We’re really going to try to get some mileage in and strengthen ourselves,” Schut said. “We’re going to try to get the new girls conditioned. I’m really looking forward to seeing how well my girls team can perform from here. We’re ranked fifth here in the region.”

Fenske also said he’s looking forward to the home stretch.

“The team is really progressing well,” he said. “We’ve been medaling consistently at all of our meets. (On Tuesday) we got 10 medals and came away with a trophy on Saturday. We’re decreasing our time and everybody’s running their hardest. It’s been a great season so far.”

The final conference meet is slated at Buckley on Oct. 13. Regionals will take place on Oct. 31.

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