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Boys cross country team headed to state finals

The boys cross country team took second at regionals and are headed to state finals.

The Cedar Springs Boys Cross Country team is headed to the MHSAA Division 2 State Finals. The team placed 2nd out of the 15 teams that competed at the Division 2 Regional 10 meet at Michaywe Pines Golf Course in Gaylord, Michigan, on October 27.  

The boys were led by Corey Bowers who finished 3rd overall, breaking the 16 minute barrier for the second time this season in a time of 15:59. Jaydon Moleski had the biggest personal record of the day running a 30-second lifetime best and  finishing in 6th overall in a time of 16:14. Bowers and Moleski each earned All-Regional honors. Dilan Sargent just missed his lifetime best coming in 16th overall in a time of 16:44. Austin Mann ran a personal lifetime best time of 16:53 finishing in 19th overall. Gavin Braciak had a season best time of 17:09 to finish in 29th overall. Daniel Vermulm had his second best race of the year coming in 53rd overall in a time of 17:52. Carter Moleski ran well in his first meet of this importance coming in 64th overall in a time of 18:15.

 “Our boys’ team ran a hard fought race at regionals to finish 2nd and qualify for the D2 state finals at Michigan International Speedway this weekend,” said Coach Garrett Lacy. “We lost to a phenomenal Fremont team, who is one of the best teams in the state. We are excited about our potential moving forward to the state meet next weekend as well. Chelsea and Fremont look to be the top two teams in the state at this point, but after that I see it being a hard fought battle amongst several teams for spots 3-10. We are hoping for a top 5 finish to improve upon our 10th place finish at the state meet a year ago.” 

L to R: Marjorie Hosking, Tonya Tepin, Isabel VanDusen, Lily Howland, Maggie Prins, Ally Ladd, Carolanne Merlington, and Coach Melinda Stressman.

The girls team had a great day of season and personal bests. The team placed 10th out of 14 teams. Senior Carolanne Merlington led the Lady Red Hawks and placed 31st in a time of 20:30 and earned herself a season record. Maggie Prins placed 38th with a time of 20:46 to finish out her season with a lifetime personal best. Coming in next for the Red Hawks was Tonya Tepin, who placed 57th with a time of 21:35, and  also earned herself a lifetime personal record. Continuing with the trend of earning lifetime personal bests, Isabel VanDusen kept the streak rolling placing 64th in a time of 22:03. Following closely was Lily Howland placing 68th with a time of 22:25.  Aslo achieving a lifetime personal best was Marjorie Hosking with a time of 22:47. She placed 76th.  Finishing 84th was Ally Ladd in a time of 23:04. She also earned herself a lifetime personal best.  

“I was so happy with how the girls performed. They ran hard and continued to push each other in the race to move up as it went on. We had a lot of them reach their lifetime PRs and that’s great! The course was pretty fast. We were hoping for a better place but honestly they went out and did what they were supposed to do. I’m very excited for this program. There is so much talent and they work hard, now we just have to keep applying it in the competitions more and more as we go. I’m so proud of them, they’ve really come more together as a team,” said Coach Melinda Stressman.

The boys will travel to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Saturday, November 3, and compete at 1:30 p.m. Let’s go Red Hawks!

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Boys cross country finishes 10th at state finals

The Cedar Springs Cross Country Boys team finished 10th at state finals last weekend. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs boys cross country team made the long trip to Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, November 4, for the MHSAA LP Division 2 Finals. Mother nature was not kind. The boys’ team was on the starting line when claps of thunder and lightning meant a 30-minute delayed start to the race. This did not stop the Red Hawks from earning a top 10 finish, however. 

The conditions were muddy with light rain but the boys pushed through. Freshman Corey Bowers came away with a personal best of 16:26, placing 37th overall. Dallas Mora finished out his senior season with a time of 16:31, placing 43rd, and earning his best time and highest placing in three years of racing at MIS. Sophomore Jaydon Moleski came in next for the Red Hawks with a time of 17:01, placing 94th, followed by sophomore Dilan Sargent, with a time of 17:04, placing 104th. Coming in 183rd and 184th were sophomores Gavin Braciak and Daniel Vermulm, with times of 17:50 and 17:51 respectively. Freshman Austin Mann came in next for the team with a time of 19:08, placing 237th

The boys cross country team was a the starting line when a thunder clap caused a 30-minute delay last Saturday. Courtesy photo.

The boys also earned team academic all-state honors at MIS this past weekend with a cumulative team GPA of 3.190. Jaydon Moleski also earned it on an individual basis with a GPA of 3.834. 

I am very proud of our boys’ team performance this weekend at the state finals,” stated Coach Garrett Lacey. “They all faced a lot of adversity on a cold, rainy, and windy day, accompanied by a few weather delays, but all performed admirably. We are thrilled to come away with a top 10 finish in the state with this young team. We were hoping for a little higher finish, but still happy to finish 10th with six of our top seven runners returning for next season.”

Lady Red Hawk junior Carolanne Merlington also made the trek to MIS to finish out her season with a very respectable time of 20:58, placing 172nd. It was her third fastest time of the season. Coach Marie Covey stated, “I’m very proud of Carolanne’s performance. She worked hard all summer and during the season for the opportunity to run at the state finals. I know she will be back next year and will have some teammates along with her.”

Congratulations to everyone on a great season.

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Red Hawks place 2nd at Warrior Invite

Ellie Ovokaitys placing second at Warrior Invitational. 

Ellie Ovokaitys placing second at Warrior Invitational.

By Megan Kilts

The lady Red Hawks had the rain to compete with this past Saturday when they raced at the late season Chippewa Hills Warrior Invitational. As usual, the girls worked hard, taking home a trophy as the runners up out of ten teams.

“It was hilly and challenging, but a good race,” said senior Allyson Marvel, about the course at Chippewa Hills.

This year, the course was rearranged, but it didn’t throw the ladies off. They all had excellent races that helped propel their team to the podium.

Senior Ellie Ovokaitys led the Red Hawks, placing 2nd, while Marvel, junior Tara Tepin, and senior Kelsie Plugge-Webber took 11th, 17th, and 18th, respectively. Freshman Carolanne Merlington, and sophomore Hannah Gibbs both took home medals for placing in the top 50. Juniors Brooke Ross and Kayla Vanassen, along with seniors Nadja Jepson and Molly Doherty, also ran impressive races for the Red Hawks, with Ross setting a new personal record for herself.

“It’s been a great season of teamwork,” said coach Marie Covey. “It was exciting to watch [the girls] run at Chippewa Hills and finish second, our best finish of the season.”

The girls will head to the Michaywe Golf Course in Gaylord on October 31 to compete in the Division 2 MHSAA Regional meet. The top three teams in the division and any individual medalists will qualify for the State Finals, which will be held at Michigan International Speedway on November 7.

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Girls Cross Country takes first at regionals

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

2014 Cross Country Regional Champions. L to R: Kenzie Weiler, Myla Umphrey, Tara Tepin, Ellie Ovokaitys, Shayne Mann, Hannah Heintzelman and Allyson Marvel. Coached by Marie Covey.

The Red Hawk runners decided to follow the local gridiron heroes by extending their season. The boys and girls teams competed in the regional cross country meet in Traverse City last weekend.

The Cedar Springs Girls Cross Country Team placed first at regionals and will compete at the state finals November 1. Senior Kenzie Weiler led the pack of 100 girl competitors racing on the course at Grand Traverse Resort, with a finishing time of 18 minutes 15 seconds, 53 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Kenzie has held the title of Regional Champion all four years of high school. Senior Shayne Mann and junior Ellie Ovokaitys ran their personal best records finishing 8th and 9th with times of 19:46 and 19:50, respectfully. Teammates Hannah Heintzelman (sophomore) finished 22nd in 21:00, Tara Tepin (sophomore) 34th in 21:27, Allyson Marvel (junior) 56th in 22:44 and Myla Umphrey (freshman) 66th in 23:12.

Coach Covey said they were seeded to place third in the meet behind Whitehall and Sparta, but with the performance her team ran on Saturday they were able to take home the trophy by overcoming second place Whitehall by 8 points, 74-82. Gaylord is the third place team that will also be traveling to the State Finals.

“I am so excited to have this team win a big meet. We were very close to winning the conference title but we fell short of Forest Hills Northern at every conference meet. These girls deserved it!” Covey exclaimed. This is Covey’s first regional championship.

The boy’s team placed fifth and did not qualify for the state meet. However, senior Austin Sargent won the boys race and will represent Cedar this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.



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Teachers compete in Tough Mudder event

Josh Cooper competed in the Tough Mudder event.

Josh Cooper competed in the Tough Mudder event.

By Judy Reed

N-Tough-Mudder2Two Cedar Springs High School teachers gave it all they had and then some when they competed in the grueling Tough Mudder event held at Michigan International Speedway June 28 and 29.
Josh Cooper and Brian Busen competed on separate days in the 12-mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.
“The last couple of miles were tough,” noted Cooper. “Afterward I looked like a bruised mess.”
Cooper said that he tries to do one or two events a year to stay in shape. Last year he did the Grand Rapids Triathlon, and he and Busen did the Warrior Dash in Millenium Park, which is a shortened version (a 3.1 mile course) of the Tough Mudder event. He had fun, and so decided to step it up this year to try the bigger event. He signed up to run on Saturday as part of a four-person team with some friends from college, and Busen signed up to run on Sunday.
N-Tough-Mudder3To train, Cooper began running in March and working out at the gym. He felt good about his training, but when he got to the course, it was not what he expected. “It had rained excessively leading up to the event. The whole course was covered in mud, it was just a mess. I had been running on the trail, on asphalt. And sure, it’s called Tough Mudder, but there’s supposed to be mud on the obstacles, not on the course,” he said with a laugh.
There were 20 obstacles scattered throughout the 12-mile course. Cooper said the obstacles were fun, though some, like the electric shock, were definitely challenging. On the electric eel, there were wires hanging down that would shock the participant as they crawled through the mud. In some of the tubes they crawled through, they were filled with water and there wasn’t a lot of room to breathe. On the Walk the Plank, they climbed a 15-foot tower and jumped in a mud pit. “They were all a lot fun,” he said.
Many of the participants at this year’s Michigan Tough Mudder event came down sick with the NoroVirus, but Cooper wasn’t one of them.
The Tough Mudder events are held all over the world, and they have raised over $5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project. Last year, 460,000 people participated in 35 events. This year there are 53 events scheduled.
Cooper said that he would certainly do it again, and recommends that if anyone is going to do it, that they get a team to sign up together and train together. “I had a blast. Barring injury, I’ll do it multiple times. It’s quite the adrenaline rush and a lot of fun.”
For more info on the event, visit www.toughmudder.com.

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