The Linden varsity boys cross country has made a habit out of making annual trips to the state meet at Michigan International Speedway.
The Eagles continued that tradition, making their 14th straight boys trip Saturday in the D2 state event. The girls, who have made it to the meet frequently in that span as well, also competed at the event on Saturday.
Tyler Buchanan continued his habit of excellence as well, earning All-State honors at the meet with a sixth-place finish (15:57.3).
The Linden boys placed 11th in the D2 race, while the girls took 21st.
Buchanan started in the pack and worked his way to the front as the 5K race progressed. His 5:04 first-mile time placed him in the teens. He moved up at each mile. He improved to the top 10 with a time of 10:17 at the two-mile mark. Finally, he was comfortably in the top 10 at the three-mile mark (15:31). Only seven runners finished the race in less than 16 minutes.
“I was happy with the effort, with the given conditions on the course as it was very muddy and windy,” Buchanan said. “I will remember it as a huge chapter in my life that has changed me in the best ways, as it has made me become stronger as not only an athlete, but a person as well.”
The rest of the Eagles’ scoring five runners were River Meckstroth in 44th (16:47.3), Kyle Eberhard in 82nd (17:08.9), Liam Sack in 168th (17:52.3) and Ryan Blackwood in 176th (17:56.8). The Eagles’ final two runners in the men’s race were Simon Dicks in 183rd (18:03.7) and Jacob Monaghan in 203rd (18:14.8).
“The team was very excited as well, were seeded 20th going into the state meet and ended up taking 11th,” Buchanan said. “It is the kind of meet and conditions that shows who is stronger and we all proved ourselves that we are much stronger than a lot of teams.”
The Linden girls only had two runners qualify for the meet a year ago and both were among the runners in their squad this fall. Melanea Strauss placed 82nd with a time of 20:13.0, placing the Linden girls. Also returning to MIS was Zoe Brown who took 151st (20:52.3). Kathryn Walterhouse was Linden’s second-fastest runner in the race, taking 138th in 20:43. Alyson Kelly (164th in 21:06.1) and Hannah Wabel (168th in 21:08.1) capped the Eagles’ scoring five runners. Also running for Linden were Shelby Holscher in 170th (21:11.6) and Alexcis Parker in 203rd (21:40.1).