Frankenmuth girls’ cross country TVC-East League Champions
by Head Coach Mike Snyder
The boys and girls cross country team travelled to Delta College on Tuesday to compete in the third of three TVC-East Jamboree meets hosted by Essexville Garber. The team that performs the best over the three meets is declared the TVC-East League Champions. The FHS girls team dominated all three Jamborees’ and came out on top as this year’s TVC-East League Champions. The boys team needed to beat the Birch Run team in order to secure the third place position and they did just that by edging them out by one point. Coach Fitch and I are very happy with how both teams stepped up and did what they came out to do.
The girls continued to show their strength as they finished first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh for the top five scoring positions earning 20 points (perfect score is 15). Six of the seven first team All-TVC-East positions were earned by our girls (Hannah Loucks, Gabbie Michael, Delaney Knoll, Zoe Neirink, Samantha Rapson and Sarah Richmond). Tara Keller and Lulu Karney earned second team All-TVC-East and Gabby Harris earned Honorable Mention. That’s quite an accomplishment by the girls as it is the combined results of the three TVC-East Jamboree races during the season.
Senior Hannah Loucks once again won the overall race with her first place time of 19:03 just five seconds off her number two record board performance a few weeks ago. Hannah is running very strong right now and is prepared for the end of season meets. Coach Fitch and I know that the top of the Frankenmuth High School record board that is currently owned by Jennifer Barber (18:52 / set in 1990) will belong to Hannah by the end of the season.
Freshman Gabbie Michael has shown that she can run with the top runners as she placed second with a time of 20:12. Gabbie is currently fourth on the all-time record board and is someone that you will want to watch as she will continue to move up the record board. Gabbie has a great mentor in Hannah and I am predicting that Gabbie will be someone looking for the top of the record board in the not too distant future.
Another freshman, Delaney Knoll, is currently our third runner on the team and is eyeing the record board as well. Delaney came in fourth with a time of 20:33 and is also someone to watch in the future as she continues to grow as a runner and we look forward to seeing how low she will get her time.
Junior Zoe Neirink continues to improve as she set her season best time with 21:07 taking sixth place overall. Following right behind Zoe was sophomore Samantha Rapson placing seventh with a time of 21:08 and senior Sarah Richmond in eighth with a season best time of 21:19. These three runners are in a great position to make a difference in the larger meets coming up as they continue to push to their personal best times. Rounding off our top seven today was junior Gabby Harris placing 13th setting a personal record time of 21:50. Gabby has turned the corner and is one of the girls that have been working hard to get into the top seven (varsity) runners on the team which she has accomplished with her performance over the last few races.
We have a deep team with some talented ladies. That number seven spot has been something that continues to push the girls as we have that internal team competition to be the best they can be. Having so many strong runners is a great problem to have as it helps build strong character on the team. Each girl continues to work hard and support one another even though they want to have better times than their teammates. Coach Fitch and I have let the team know that we look at the last two to three races, look at their trending in times and placement within the team along with other factors we consider to help make that varsity team decision. It’s not a perfect science, but it’s something that the team knows about each week so they understand what to expect.
Other girls that set season or personal best times include junior Lulu Karney who set a personal best time of 22:06 placing 16th. Lulu continues to improve and that earned her a spot on the second team all TVC-East team along with teammate sophomore Tara Keller who earned a spot on second team and finished 15th today with a time of 22:02. First year runner junior Sophia Wiggins set a personal record clocking a time of 24:22 good for 30th place. Sophia is a good athlete and that is coming through as her time continues to drop. Sophomore Kallie Lindow has been working through injuries all season but said she felt good today as she set a season best mark of 25:16. It’s great to see Kallie stick with cross country as it is not an easy sport when you are healthy let alone trying to compete with a lingering injury, but she is sticking with it. Our newest member on the team, senior and exchange student from Brazil is Marianna Rabaiolli. Mari set a personal record shaving almost 3½ minutes from her previous best time as she clocked a 34:37. We are hoping Mari is having a good experience being part of our team.
We are looking forward to competing next Tuesday at Uncle John’s Cider Mill hosted by Olvid-Elsie as we will compete in the overall TVC meet with all 22 schools in the TVC. The girl’s team has a very good chance of winning the meet if they can hold off a very strong Shepherd team who is ranked ahead of our team in some polls. This will be a great race as we are ramping up for the Regional meet in just a few short weeks.
The boy’s team had a goal coming into the meet of finishing in third in the TVC-East. In order for that to happen, they had to beat a Birch Run team that has been getting stronger with every race. We tell the kids that every runner that you pass is a point and if you pass someone from a team that we are looking to beat, that is two points (you gained a position and they lost a position). Today that played out as the boys met their goal and finished third today behind number one Caro and number two Essexville Garber but one point ahead of friendly rival Birch Run.
Sophomore Wesley Beck led the way for the Eagles placing sixth with a time of 17:05 just three seconds off his personal best and 16 seconds from the top-10 FHS record board which Coach Fitch and I believe he will reach this season. Wesley also earned first team All TVC-East with his performance today and his performances at the previous two TVC-East Jamboree meets.
Junior Scott Nedoff was our second runner in as he set a personal record time of 18:05 placing 15th overall. Scott’s goal this season is to get into the 17-minute range which we know he will do. Senior Alex Pressler is a nice addition to the team as he is a first year runner and just continues to get faster. Alex tied his personal best time of 18:19 placing 19th and we know he is not done lowering that time. Sophomore Nicholas Hyslop broke into the 18’s today with a personal record time of 18:50 which is another milestone as a runner (breaking into that next minute level). Freshman Harrison Loucks ran a strong race finishing 22nd just three seconds off his personal best time as he clocked a 19:07. Harrison will be in the 18’s before the end of the season as well.
Our sixth and seventh runners today played a big role in finishing ahead of Birch Run as the top five runners score (placement points add up) but the sixth and seventh runners can displace points for other team’s top five runners. That is exactly what freshman Brendan Lenhard and junior Sam Piper did today. Brendan placed 24th with a personal best time of 19:10 and Sam placed 26th with a time of 19:18 just ahead of Birch Run’s fifth scoring runner who set a personal record himself but was 27th place (two positions further back because of Brendan and Sam).
Other FHS runners setting personal best marks today include senior Sam Neirink placing 31st with a personal best time of 20:19 followed by senior Anthony Harris in 32nd place with a personal best time of 20:23. It’s always nice to see upper classmen set personal records as it gets harder to do so each and every year. They work hard in practice and this is a nice way to have their hard work show.
The season is winding down quickly as we have the TVC-Overall on Tuesday at Uncle John’s Cider Mill hosted by Olvid-Elsie followed by the Saginaw Country Meet on Saturday, Oct. 21 hosted by Birch Run and the MHSAA Regionals at Delta College on Saturday, Oct. 28. The top three teams at the Regionals and the top 15 individual finishers at Regionals advance to the MHSAA State Finals at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 4. There are also a few higher level meets after the State Finals that we will make available to the runners this year (MITCA Mid-East Meet of Champions qualifying race to make Team Michigan to compete against top seniors in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. There is also the New Balance Championships the following week in Kenosha Wisconsin).