Updated: Dec 6, 2022
The New Balance Midseason Spectacular was voted on as the favorite local cross country meet and Friday’s results proved why. With speedy competition, a fun environment, and a perfect fall day, area runners saw plenty of progress and personal records.
On the girls side, Croswell-Lexington sophomore Eva Thompson became the third-fastest runner in school history when she won the small school division in 18 minutes, 53.6 seconds.
“It felt good. I liked the course this year, it was really fast,” Thompson said. “I’m excited about [my time]. I don’t really know the [school record] times, but I’m excited about it.”
Thompson said she had no expectations when she started her career just last year as a freshman, but head coach Lisa Shaw saw her potential.
“If you watched Eva run when she started on our team, you could tell she was just effortless,” Shaw said. “This is good. This early as a sophomore is pretty exciting. I give the credit to her for putting more miles in this summer, and her teammates. They want to run. It’s really cool because they run together a lot.”
Thompson and the Pioneers finished second in their division to Caro – the only team to top Cros-Lex so far this year.
“It was really exciting, but Caro got us again by six points,” Shaw said. “We’re going to see them again at Harbor Beach though…I’m really excited. For us, we've just got to stay healthy. We’ve been progressing just like we should. Just the opportunity to run with that many kids all together…is so good because that’s like what the state meet is, that’s what the big meets are.”
Cros-Lex junior Morgan Newton joined Thompson in the top three with a personal best of 19:21.6. Fellow junior Abby Barkley finished 15 and also set a new personal best of 20:36.7. Shaw said these improvements came after a lighter workload in comparison to the three meets the girls had run the week prior.
“We kind of were expecting it because before this meet. Last week we had Algonac, a BWAC meet, and then the meet in Soney Creek,” Shaw said. “We still did some workouts, but it was nice to be able to not have to race becasue that can take a lot of out of you.”
St. Clair tied for third with Whitmore Lake, led by senior Ava Pergitone who finished with a season’s best of 19:55.0, which she said was a big breakthrough.
“It was definitely nice to see 19 on the clock instead of 20. It’s just a mental thing, like, ‘OK now I can do more instead of just being stuck in the 20 minutes,’” Pergitone said.
With a personal best time of 19:36 that dates back to her sophomore year, Pergitone said she’s excited about what the second half of this season could bring as she moves closer to rewriting her own records. Even more so, she said she’s excited about the depth of her team that was displayed on Friday.
“We had three girls under 21 minutes and I don’t think we’ve ever had that before. They all finished super close by each other, so that was really good,” Pergitone said. “I honestly think it was the weather. It was definitely perfect becuase it wasn’t hot at all and there was a little bit of sun, and it just seemed like everyone did well. A lot of people got their best times.”
St. Clair sophomore Allie Komarowski finished 12th in 20:26.4; senior Katelyn Jalosky took 17th in 20:37.7; and junior Lilyana Bratt was 20th in 20:54.0.
In the big school division, Port Huron Northern seniors Reese Georgia and Dylan Pasia each finished in the top 10 to lead the Huskies. Georgia crossed the line fifth in 19:41.3 and Pasia was ninth in 20:50.2.
On the boys side, St. Clair won the small school division, followed by local rival Yale, and Northern finished second to Detroit Catholic Central in the big school divison.
“Overall, I was happy. You can never complain when you get a win. That’s always the goal is to get a win, and the boys took care of business,” Saints head coach Tom Brenner said. “I’m super proud of them. We’re still not maybe were we want to be, but they’re giving themselves to the chance fulfill their goals and that’s all I can ask for as a coach.”
Leading the area and the Saints was senior Carter Boullard who won the small school division with a personal best time of 16:09.8.
“I was just trying to run my own race. I didn’t want to go out too hard, I wanted to do my own thing and run the race,” Boullard said. “I’m happy with [my time]. It was a nice day and that’s about where I am in shape right now…I'm in a good place for championship season to get faster than this.”
Northern senior Glen Davis led in the big school division, following close behind Boullard in 16:13.5. A trio of local leaders – Yale’s Blake Ferguson, St. Clair’s David Harris, and Northern’s Micahael Paoletti – all finished within five seconds of one another among the 10, proving the area’s competitive depth.
Ferguson was third in the small school division (16:27.9), Harris was fifth (16:31.3), and Paoletti was ninth for the big schools (16:32.7).
“The last two races [Michael] has done an awesome job. He Broke 17 [minutes] at the Spartan Invite on Friday and he came out and ran 20 seconds faster than he’s ever run before [today],” Huskies head coach Paul Nevado said. “I know he’s fit enough and he’s starting to come around and finding that belief that he can run fast.”
“I’m just kind of getting my mental game locked in because it’s been kind of a struggle the last couple of years. I know I'm better and in my training it really shows that I’m fast enough,” Paoletti said. “We do a bunch of hard workouts and just in our regular training days, we’re putting in good work, so I know I’ve got all the tools there.”
With a boost of confidence behind them, most area teams will return to league competition this Tuesday as Cros-Lex hosts the second BWAC Jamobree and the MAC-White and MAC-Blue teams race in their second jamborees of the season as well.
For full meet results, click here.
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