Lady Eagles finish stellar season with trip to Division 2 state finals
Wesley Beck runs well despite illness
By Head Coach Mike Snyder
The Frankenmuth Girls Cross Country Team and Wesley Beck for the boys represented the Eagles at Saturday’s Division 2 MHSAA State Finals held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The girls team finished in 23rd which was two places ahead of where they were seeded going into the meet. The girls ran well, but overall it wasn’t the performance they were looking for today. They worked hard all season and reached the State Finals which is a very nice achievement since we moved from Division 3 last season into Division 2 this season. The competition is much deeper in Division 2 as there are many more athletes that are in that range of strong runners.
Sophomore Wesley Beck made his second straight appearance at the finals and had a good race considering he was just coming off being sick two days earlier. Wesley’s race was also postponed ½ hour just prior to the start as lighting developed about five minutes before the gun. Wesley finished in 158th with a time of 17:31. Wesley had a very good season as he is now number nine on the all-time top-10 record board with his 16:45 mark set at the Regional meet the week before. Wesley plans one more post-season meet in three weeks at the Footlocker Championships held in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Senior Hannah Loucks closed her MHSAA Cross Country career finishing in 40th place (top 30 are All-State) with a time of 19:21. Hannah was disappointed, but had to be reminded that she had a great high school career. Hannah is the second fastest cross country girl in Frankenmuth history as she is number two on the all-time top-10 record board with a time of 18:58. This is just six seconds off the top spot held by Jenny Barber who was a two-time State Champion and holds the record at 18:52 set in 1990 and one second ahead of Emily Sievert (18:59 set in 2013) who is the number one runner at Concordia University and will be running at Nationals this season. She is in very good company. Hannah will also be extending her season as she will compete in this Saturday’s Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) qualifying race to be held in Shepherd. The top 12 senior finishers at this race will represent Team Michigan at the Mid-East Meet of Champions where top seniors from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois will compete (in Kettering, OH) the following week.
Two freshmen really made their mark this season as they both ended their official season in a good way. Gabbie Michael finished 81st with a time of 19:49 which is one of her best times this season. Gabbie climbed to number four on the top-10 record board this season with her best performance of 19:20. That is pretty high praise for a freshman runner. Gabbie plans to compete at the Footlocker Championship meet in three weeks along with Wesley.
Delaney Knoll had her best race of her running career as she set a personal record clocking 20:04 placing 110th. Delaney’s time moved her to the 10th spot on the top-10 all-time record board. Delaney pushed off Samantha Rapson (20:14 set last year) and Julie Thomas (20:14 set in 1988). Julie held the top-10 for 29 years which goes to show that it’s not an easy time to match. Lindsey Bender’s time of 20:18 set in 2005 will also be dropped off the top-10 record board this year.
Our remaining runners had good races today and had that State Finals experience as they earned their way into the top seven runners on our team which was not an easy task to do this season. They are all part of the team that helped the girl’s team do so well this season. Sophomore Samantha Rapson finished in 205th position with a clocking of 21:31. Junior Zoe Neirink placed 212 with a time of 21:40 followed by junior Gabby Harris’s 232nd place with a time of 22:29 and close behind in 234th place was senior Sarah Richmond with a time of 22:38.
Coach Fitch and I are very proud of both the boys and the girl’s seasons. Competing at the MHSAA State Finals is something special that they need to all remember. There are hundreds of teams that did not have a chance to compete at this level, and they did.