The Lake Fenton varsity boys cross country team has a bright future.
Apparently the present is just as bright.
The Blue Devils weren’t sure if they would qualify for the Division 2 state meet this fall, but did exactly that. The Lake Fenton boys came back from Michigan International Speedway with a 22nd-place finish.
The girls also had a runner complete — Claire Hunt — in the women’s race.
The boys fielded a team of six underclassmen at the state meet and had junior Joseph Gilbert come reasonably close to competing for an All-State spot. He placed 41st overall in 16:45.7, about 14 seconds out of a All-State position. Following him was the team’s only senior runner at the race, Brenden Schroeder. He finished in 147th in 17:39.7. The rest of the Blue Devils finishing in the squad’s scoring five were Colton Dietrich in 160th (17:47.5), Kevin Lewis in 166th (17:50.8) and Logan Whittecar in 220nd (18:33.2). The other two runners were Nick Learman in 225th (18:44.3) and Matt Fletcher in 230th (18:59.2).
The only real downside for the Lake Fenton boys was the fact another starter, Kyle Lewis, was unable to run due to injury.
“The meet was a little bittersweet for the boys,” Lake Fenton varsity boys cross country coach Christopher Sobczak said. “Obviously, qualifying is an accomplishment in itself. We lost our No. 3 runner. He suffered a stress fraction at some point during the last month of the season. It was diagnosed last week, so he wasn’t able to run.
“We lose two of our top seven, but we have a strong group of younger runners who are ready.”
Hunt capped a strong end of the season by finishing 121st in 20:34.1. She became the team’s only state qualifier when she placed 11th at the Linden D2 regioanl with a time of 20:40.99.
“Claire had a great end to her season,” Sobczak said. “She set personal bests in each of her last three races.”