Two runners from the Cedar Springs Red Hawks cross country teams did something last weekend that has never been done before in Division 2—and only once before in the state’s history—a boy and girl from the same school both won the state title in Cross Country the same year.
Junior Austin Sargent finished first in the Boys Division 2 State Finals with a time of 15:42.7 and Kenzie Weiler finished first in the Girls Division 2 State Finals with a time of 17:55.1 last weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
Only one other time in state history has a boy and girl won state titles together and that was Corunna HS in 1995.
The entire girls Cross Country team also qualified for the state finals. After placing second at regionals, the girls’ team was looking for a solid performance on Saturday. The team ended up finishing 15th overall, led by Weiler, who placed first and became Cedar Springs’ first female cross country girl to win a state championship. Sophomore Kellsie Webber was 71st overall and ran her best time of her career. Senior Maddie Pekrul finished her last race, placing 90th overall, and was followed closely by Ellie Ovokaitys who placed 91st and also ran her best time. Shayne Mann (103rd) also ran her personal best time ever. Senior Caitlin McClurken also broke the 21-minute barrier and Allyson Marvel rounded out the top seven by adding a solid performance.
Austin Sargent, Cedar Springs boys only state qualifier, ran in a pack and broke away to take the lead and finish first to become the D2 state champion. Sargent becomes the third boy from Cedar to win an individual state championship. He follows Connor Mora (2012) and Landon Peacock (2005). The win also becomes the first time a school has had two different state champions in back to back years.
“This is a big moment in our school history and we are very proud of Kenzie and Austin!” remarked Autumn Mattson, Athletic Director at Cedar Springs High School. “The success of these individuals and our team is directly related to the support of our cross country parents, hard work and determination of our athletes and the countless hours our previous coaches and current coaches have put into our kids. Last Saturday was a great day to be a Red Hawk!”