By David Troppens
The Fenton varsity cross country program proved it’s the best in the Flint area.
The Tigers captured the top spot at the Greater Flint Cross Country Championships in both the boys and girls varsity races.
The Fenton girls edged out Frankenmuth by four points (82-86), while the boys beat Davison by five points (91-96).
The tri-county area also had the best runner in both events. Fenton’s Alexa Keiser won the women’s race (18:35.27), defeating second-place Corunna’s Evie Wright (19:07.68) by more than 30 seconds. In the men’s event, Linden’s Tyler Buchanan earned the race’s championship, becoming the only runner in the field to beat 16 minutes with a time of 15:43.38. New Lothrop’s Carson Hersch took second overall with a time of 16:02.88.
In the men’s race, Lake Fenton took fifth overall (second in the medium school division) while Linden placed sixth overall (194). In the women’s race, Linden’s girls took seventh (175) while Lake Fenton took 16th (403).
The Fenton girls had all five scoring runners place in the top 24. After Keiser, the rest of the Tigers placing in the top five team spots were Emily Grob in 14th (19:58.47), Taylor Huntoon in 21st (20:28.52), Kaitlin Bayer in 22nd (20:29.80) and Jessica Adams in 24th (20:37.53).
The Fenton boys had four runners among the top 21, sparking their victory. Adam Jesse was Fenton’s top runner, taking sixth overall in 16:24.90, while Logan Canada took ninth (16:33.87). Samuel Cox was 13th (16:36.36). Gage Bond took 21st (16:57.44) while Micah Dekraker took 42nd (17:27.82).
The Lake Fenton Blue Devils and the Linden Eagles were in a tight battle for fifth with the Blue Devils winning it (188). Linden was sixth (194) while Flushing was seventh (197).
Lake Fenton’s top runner was Joseph Gilbert who placed 18th overall with a time of 16:42.33. The rest of Lake Fenton’s top five runners were Brenden Schroeder in 24th (17:02.42), Colton Dietrich in 36th (17:16.91), Kyle Lewis in 39th (17:24.61) and Logan Whittecar in 74th (19:10.55).
“It was an absolutely perfect day to race,” Lake Fenton varsity cross country coach Chris Sobczak said. “It was much different than last year’s torrential downpour. Any time your athletes seize the opportunity and achieve milestones is a great day. Almost every runner on the team either reached a season or personal best. We are headed in the right direction but still have a lot of work to do.”
Buchanan led the Eagles with his 15:43.28 time, beating the field by more than 19 seconds. River Meckstroth finished in 10th (16:34.86) while Samuel Cox took 13th (16:36.36). Kyle Eberhard took 48th (17:33.77) while Liam Sack was 69th (18:05.68).
Linden’s girls took seventh overall with Alexcis Parker leading the way in 26th (20:41.38). The rest of Linden’s top five runners were Zoe Brown in 33rd (20:59.18), Kathryn Walterhouse in 35th (21:02.57) and Hannah Wabel in 38th (21:04.05).
“I was very happy with how the girls ran,” Linden varsity girls cross country coach Ben Cox said. “It is finally starting to feel like fall and that is good for runners. We had some massive personal bests and I am super excited to see what else this team is capable of.”
Lake Fenton’s Claire Hunt took 41st (21:21.47) to lead the Blue Devils. The rest of the top five Lake Fenton runners were Salina Mueller in 68th (22:03.23), Evelyn Riley in 93rd (23:11.41), Estella Hufton in 144th (27:16.23) and Aubrey Fray in 149th (28:32.60).