Smith, Baller win regionals as local runners qualify for XC finals
Northeast Michigan will be well represented at the cross country state finals next week.
Alpena qualified four runners for the state finals, which will be held Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
Junior Aden Smith earned a regional title after finishing in 15:47. Smith added a regional title in a season where he was crowned Big North Conference honors.
Junior Josh Smith and freshman Drew Seabase are headed to the state finals as well after finishing fourth and seventh respectively. Josh Smith finished in 16:07 and Seabase finished in 16:21.40, bettering his freshman mark at Alpena.
Junior Maddy Boyd will join the three members of Alpena’s boys team at states after finishing 11th in the girls race in 18:47.40; nearly four seconds better than her time in a 5K last week.
Alpena’s boys team finished fourth in its regional at University Center and nearly qualified for the state finals as a team. Sam Tuscher finished 28th (16:56.60), Jimmy Decker was 44th (17:30.10), Zach Zaborney was 54th (18:02.20) and Clay Donajkowski was 64th (18:16.50).
Other finishers for Alpena’s girls team included Molly Dickenson (34th, 20:17.40), Kaylee Rondeau (43rd, 20:36.80), Tiffany Foster (58th, 21.18.50), Malley McGuire (70th, 21:55), Grace Weaver (77th, 22:47.60) and Katie F
In the Division 4 races in Gaylord, a pair of local runners took home regional titles.
Fairview’s Tylor Ross won the boys race in 16:37.10 and Rogers City’s Morgan Baller won the girls race in 19:55.33 as Hurons qualified as a team for the state finals.
Behind Baller, Jenna Kuznicki was 10th (21:56.45); Linnea Hentkowski was 18th, (22:42.02), Cheyenne Bober was 26th (23:53.79), Kyley LaFleche was 31st (24:16.24), Madison Tulgestka was 43rd (27:23.68) and Brooklyn Bober was 45th (28:28.88).
Fairview’s boys team nearly qualified for the finals as three racers finishes in the top 15. Behind Ross, Andrew Heager finished seventh (17:42.03), Durius Oaks was 15th (18:16.41), Nathaniel Eastman was 30th (19:49.25), Israel Oaks was 33rd (20:03.59) and Kaleb Clover was 49th (22:43).
Senior Phil Grambau was Rogers City’s top boys finisher (20th, 18:28.96) and sophomore Teddy Peters was Onaway’s top boys finisher (21st, 18:35.49).
Kennedy Crawford (27th, 23:54.12), Sammy Pasella (28th, 24:10.04) and Zebany Box (26:06.48) were Onaway’s three top girls finishers.
In the Division 3 boys race, Oscoda’s Jonas Berenkowski earned a spot in the finals, finishing 11th in 17:41.