The Alpena Community College Cross Country team took a huge step in the right direction Friday afternoon.
The Lumberjacks took first place overall at the Firebird Invitational held at Kirtland College. Alpena finished with 28 points, followed by Kirtland (57 points) and Sault College (74 points).
"We've been running well so far. The main thing we have been missing is our runners running in packs. This is the only way we will get to the next level. We have been too spread out, until today. Our goal was to run together and that's what we did. This is exactly why we won by such a large margin." Alpena coach Mark Jacobs said.
The Lumberjacks cleaned up on the award stand, taking eleven of the first fifteen spots. Leading the way for Alpena was Jon Fitch who finished third overall with a 6K time of 21:19.
"One month and one day ago, Jon Fitch was doing the majority of his training long boarding. The kid is an incredible athlete. It's scary to think how good of a runner he's going to be" Jacobs said. "Travis LaCross has been injured and it's so good to see the rest of the team step up."
Following Fitch was Chad Zagacki (4th/21:27), Paul Wilbert (6th/21:51), Luke Spaulding (7th/21:56), Brandon Gibson (8th/21:58), Travis LaCross (10th/22:28), Jake Spaulding (11th/22:39), Brent Herberling (12th/22:43) JD Niergarth (13th/23:26), Andrew Sumerix (14th/23:31), Zane Forintos (15th/23:56) and Kyle Urban (19th/26:31).
In the women's race, Katie Brownell of ACC finished 11th overall.