Updated: Dec 6, 2022
The Yale boys and Croswell-Lexington girls claimed the first BWAC titles of the 2022 cross country season yesterday afternoon. Armada and Richmond's girls and boys teams each finished second and third, respectively.
For the Bulldogs, it was a matter of depth and resilience as their senior leader Lukas Kriesch was out of the race with an injury. Junior Blake Ferguson stepped up to finish second overall, but it was an entire team effort as all seven varsity runners finished in the top 15.
“With Lukas being gone, it’s a lot harder to win bigger meets…but it’s OK. We still have really good depth,” Ferguson said. “We recruited a whole bunch of guys this year and now we have 18 guys on the team. We’ll still have a good top five no matter what.”
And even beyond the top five, head coach Jared Shutko said he was impressed with the way his team rose to the occasion with several new personal records.
“We talked earlier in the week about guys stepping up and filling in…and they did a really good job of that,” Shutko said. “The guys in the back are getting faster, which is huge. They had a lot of PRs today, so I’m happy for them...All the way down from five to eight, they stepped up today and closed that gap which was huge.”
“On the first day of practice, Coach had us all line up and he said that everyone’s important,” Ferguson said. “The last guy pushes the second-to-last guy and it just works its way up to where the second guy will push the first guy and we all get faster and better.”
Armada finished second as a team, led by senior Camden Khon who was the overall winner with a time of 16 minutes, 25.21 seconds, which is a new personal best.
“I just wish Lukas was there because he would’ve pushed me to a better time,” Khon said. “It is what it is and we just took it out fast and I felt pretty good.”
On the girls side, Cros-Lex’s Eva Thompson and Armada’s Brooklyn Khon battled during the final stretch. Thompson edged Khon to win in 19:29.14 while Khon finished in 19:29.91.
“I saw her ahead of me, she was pretty far, and I was like, ‘I have to get up with her if I want a chance to win,’” Khon said. “Then once we got [farther into the race], she started going and I went with her, but she caught me by a little bit. I was just trying to stay with her.”
Khon had trailed by at least 200 meters at the mile-mark, but she worked her way toward Thompson over the next two miles to earn herself a new personal best time.
For Thompson, yesterday’s race was a repeat of Saturday when she was edged by her teammate, Morgan Newton, by a tenth of a second to take first and second, respectively, at the Algonac Classic.
“It was similar to that finish where I had to push really hard,” Thompson said. “I think I just push myself a little and then once I finish that, I push myself again.”
Cros-Lex head coach Lisa Shaw said winning the first of three BWAC jamborees puts the Pioneers in the “driver’s seat” for the rest of league competition.
“We had such a great race on Saturday so I was a little bit nervous because sometimes it’s hard to run two great races in a week as a team…but it was great,” Shaw said. “We rose to the occasion and did what we needed to do.”
For Khon and the Tigers, they finished second overall as a team, proving the development the program has seen in the last year, even at a young age. Many of the middle schoolers stayed after their race yesterday to watch the varsity team, cheering them on along the way.
“We try to get them when they’re young and have them stick with it,” she said. “The other day we made little locker papers for them to wish them luck on their races today. It’s fun having races with them so we can cheer them on.”
Cros-Lex will host the next BWAC Jamobree on Tuesday, Sept. 27.
BOYS TEAM SCORES
1st – Yale 27
2nd – Armada 57
3rd – Richmond 119
4th – North Branch 125
5th – Algonac 132
7th – Almont 160
8th – Cros-Lex 167
TOP 15 BOYS
1st – Armada senior Camden Khon (16:25.21)*
2nd – Yale junior Blake Ferguson (17:08.12)
3rd – Yale junior Acer Campbell (17:20.10)
4th – Imlay City junior Elliot Whitney (17:29.88)*
5th – Yale junior Giovanni Pardo-Keegan (17:34.18)
6th – Algonac freshman Julian Walker (17:46.23)
7th – Armada senior Riley Andrews (17:56.66)
8th – Yale sophomore Kale Kovach (17:57.63)
9th – Yale sophomore Ted Rutkofske (18:24.51)*
10th – Armada junior Luke Nawrocki (18:38.06)
11th – Yale sophomore Jack Nicol (18:38.83)*
12th – Yale sophomore Wyatt Murtos (18:50.19)*
13th – Almont senior Steven Butler (18:51.72)
14th – Yale freshman Nolan Korolden (18:59.66)
15th – Algonac junior David Clemons (19:01.77)
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1st – Cros-Lex 30
2nd – Armada 49
3rd – Richmond 84
4th – North Branch 93
5th – Imlay City 102
6th – Yale 191
7th – Almont 195
8th – Algonac 217
TOP 15 GIRLS
1st – Cros-Lex sophomore Eva Thompson (19:29.14)
2nd – Armada sophomore Brooklyn Khon (19:29.91)*
3rd – Cros-Lex junior Morgan Newton (20:36.89)
4th – Richmond junior Brianna Albers (20:51.25)
5th – Cros-Lex junior Abby Barkley (21:35.39)
6th – Armada junior Darrah Mackenzie (21:44.88)
7th – North Branch senior Karlie Schlaud (21:51.04)
8th – Armada junior Ava Baltierra (21:53.30)*
9th – Cros-Lex senior Aubrey Connelly (22:07.09)
10th – Imlay City senior Jenna Denver (22:23.91)
11th – Imlay City sophomore Charlotte O’Brien (22:33.66)
12th – Cros-Lex sophomore Brynn Hurley (22:38.82)
13th – North Branch sophomore Rowan Conley (22:45.22)
14th – Richmond freshman Paulina Chapman (22:49.58)
15th – Cros-Lex junior Madison O’Connor (22:51.61)
* Personal Record
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