Linden — Tyler Buchanan has been the dominant runner during recent boys Metro League cross country seasons.

 It looks like that trend is going to continue this fall.

 Buchanan won the first Metro League jamboree race at Linden Middle School, posting a time of 16:23.8, 18 seconds ahead of Owosso’s second-place runner Jorden Sowash’s 16:41.8. Buchanan helped the Linden Eagles place a strong second in the boys meet. Holly placed fifth and new Metro member Lake Fenton placed sixth.

 Linden’s girls placed third in the women’s race while Holly and Lake Fenton were unable to field complete teams at the event. Fenton’s squads won both races. Their results can be found in a story elsewhere in this publication.

 Buchanan was happy with his performance, but he’s gunning for bigger goals.

 “I want to keep progressively getting better and trying to get that school record — 15:30 or so — and hopefully be  league champ and regional champ,” Buchanan said. “I’m hoping to place top three or top five at the state meet.”

 After Buchanan, the rest of Linden’s top five finished within the top 35. River Meckstroth placed 10th (17:31.8) while Kyle Eberhard was 18th (17:50.1). The rest of Linden’s top five were Liam Sack in 23rd (17:56.1) and Simon Dicks in 36th (18:41.6).

 “One of our goals was to place well because the league is really important to our program, to me and to the team,” Ferrara said. “Another thing we wanted to do is keep having good race habits, make sure they are executing those things early in the season. I think we accomplished those things today.”

 The Linden girls placed third by having the scoring five finish within the top 22 places. Linden’s top runner was Melanea Strauss in eighth (20:56.2) while Zoe Brown placed 14th in 21:38.7. The rest of Linden’s scoring five were Kathryn Walterhouse in 16th (21:46.3), Hannah Wabel in 21st (22:09.8) and Alexcis Parker in 23rd (22:17.4).

 “I was happy with the girls’ performances,” Linden varsity girls cross country coach Benjamin Cox said. “They ran strong. Some people stepped up today that I wasn’t necessarily expecting so I think they raced well. I’m always looking at the next step.”

 Holly’s boys placed fifth, just above Lake Fenton’s sixth-place effort.

 The Bronchos were paced by Gabe Sanchez who took 12th in 17:42.1. The rest of Holly’s top-five runners were Nolan Weisdorfer in 24th (17:59.1), Bradley Baxter in 28th (18:12.8), Griffen Rose in 35th (18:39.7) and Mason Rosa in 39th (18:48.3).

 New Metro members Lake Fenton finished a respectable sixth. Joseph Gilbert placed sixth (17:05.5) followed by Brenden Schroeder in 15th (17:47.5), Colton Dietrich in 26th (18:02.0), Kyle Lewis in 45th (18:55.0) and Matt Fletcher in 51st (19:07.8).

 “It was our first FML meet.  We knew it would be very competitive but didn’t really have any idea where we would stack up against the other FML teams,” Lake Fenton varsity cross country coach Christopher Sobczak said. “Especially considering we have a younger team, losing four of our top seven to graduation.

 “I was happy with how the team ran.  We have some work to do for sure.  I am excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

 Holly’s and Lake Fenton’s girls teams were unable to field complete teams, but Holly’s Andrea Ruiz made headlines by placing second in the girls race (19:36.7). Sister Monica Ruiz placed 17th (21:48.3).

 Lake Fenton’s leading runner was Aubrey Fray who placed 33rd overall (23:04.9). Claire Hunt placed 42nd (23:51.2) while Evelyn Riley placed 48th (24:31.2).


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