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Red Hawk cross country teams compete at MSU invite

The Cedar Springs Red Hawks boy’ and girl’ teams who competed at the 2019 MSU Spartan Invite.

The varsity boys and girls teams ran at the 2019 MSU Spartan Invite on Friday, September 13, which took place at Forest Akers East Golf Course. The course was soft with high humidity but that did not stop both teams from putting out some great performances.  

The boys finished 14th out of 40 teams competing and this was against some of the best teams across the state and in all divisions. Competing in the Spartan Elite division, Corey Bowers secured himself a spot as a medalist finishing the race in 16:48 (29th);  Jaydon Moleski (17:08, 48th); Dilan Sargent (17:23, 68th); Gavin Braciak (17:47, 108th); Carter Moleski (18:46, 202nd); Austin Mann (19:19, 250th); and freshman Espen Wood (19:25, 256th) ran very strong in his first ever varsity race on a big stage. 

“In the face of some injuries and sickness, our varsity squad still finished well within the top half of what was arguably the toughest field in the state of Michigan we will see all season,” said Coach Justin Jones. “Our boys got out aggressive and held on to their positions very well. Corey walked away from this meet as a medalist, which is a big accomplishment as well. I was very proud of his patience and grit during the race. He’s a pretty special kid and proved he’s one of the most talented runners in Michigan.” 

The girls took to the course with Ally Ladd running a lifetime best of 22:04 finishing 184th; Isabel VanDusen (23:07, 263rd); Danika Fessenden ( 23:13, 268th); Larissa McGrath ( 23:33, 279th); Tonya Tepin ran her season best of 23:48 placing 291st; Molly Bentley (24:01, 298th); Alexis Wood had a personal record by 30 seconds running 24:09, placing 306th; Lily Howland (24:18, 310th); Paige Marsman ran her season best of 24:39 placing 320th; and Marjorie Hosking (27:08, 340th).  

“My purpose for them running this race was to get them engaged in tougher competition,” explained girls coach Melinda Stressman. “The field was very tough. We had some teams there that were the best in the state. It’s good that they get exposed to that so when we go to regionals, state finals, and so forth, it will make them better prepared, and you only get better put in situations like that. I was extremely impressed with how they ran the race. Race conditions were not ideal with the weather and the course, but they stuck to their game plan. I didn’t want them to focus on times, just see what they could do and where we stand right now. I think they handled it very well and worked together and made some moves as the race went on. Everyone ran so well,” she added.

The Red Hawks will compete at home in the Red Hawk Invitational this Saturday, September 21.  

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