PORTAGE — The Bridgman High School girls cross country team claimed its second regional championship in the past three years on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Portage West Middle School.

The Bees took the top spot in the Division 3 race with 51 points.

Individual results for the Bees follow: Arie Hackett (second place, 20:25.94); Clara Fast (10th, 21:25.58); 14. Summer Fast (14th, 21:34.08); Jane Kaspar (16th, 21:42.04); Emily Howell (18th, 22:08.16); Stephanie DeMeulenaere (30th, 22:52.30); Graci Tate (37th, 23:38.60).

“It was a really exciting race – the goal all season has been to try and win regionals,” said Bridgman freshman Clara Fast.

Impoving on her best time by a full minute, Howell (the fifth Bee to finish) gave her team a big lift.

“I really had an amazing race, it felt so good,” she said.

“I’m super-proud of how my team did today,” noted Arie Hackett, one of the squad’s seniors.

Also qualifying for the Nov. 6 state meet in Brooklyn were second-place Buchanan (67 points) and Schoolcraft (third with 99 points). Rounding out the top 10 teams were: 4. Lawton; 5. Saugatuck; 6. Fennville; 7. Coloma; 8. Watervliet; 9. Hartford; 10. Constantine.

Ava Genovese of Coloma was the race winner in a time of 19:55.58. The senior finished fourth in last year’s regional meet.

“They all ran really well,” said Bridgman coach Spencer Carr, addng that the Portage West course was a little muddy due to recent rains.

He said the Bees won regionals on the way to their 2019 Division 4 state championship. In 2020 four of the squad’s starters missed the regional meet due to a COVID quarantine.

The Bridgman girls placed first in the Oct. 26 River Valley Invitational, with Hackett (a senior) finishing first for the first time.

The Bridgman boys placed fourth in the Oct. 30 Division 3 race, with John Sanderson qualifying for state thanks to a seventh-place showing (in a time of 17:43.90).

Also competing for the Bees were: Andrew Mabry (16th, 18:24.77); Sebastian Kirk (22nd, 19:04.89); William Rodriguez (33rd, 19:33.57); Jayce Warren (35th, 19:39.39); Nathan Blied (56th, 20:36.07); Gunter Ansinn (59th, 20:41.64).

Division 4

The River Valley boys team finished fifth in the Oct. 30 Division 4 regional meet in Allendale.

The top four squads were: 1. Wyoming Potter’s House; 2. Muskegon Western Michigan Christian; 3. Gobles; 4. Lake Michigan Catholic.

Two Mustangs also qualified for state – Adam Slavens (9th place in a time of 17:56.22) and Ignacio Ayesa (14th, 18:33.87).

Slavens, a freshman, said the course was really muddy, but he felt faster than most races.

Also competing for River Valley were: Austin York (27th, 19:08.28); Owen Slavens (30th, 19:26.31); Cadden Krieger (35th, 19:49.13); Jaren Christ (41st, 20:01.23); Grant Schumm (43rd, 20:04.41).

Although not scoring as a team, New Buffalo runners finishing the race were: Evan Spriggs (38th); Harrison Bourne (40th); Keagan Papke (48th).

On the girls side, New Buffalo placed seventh in the Division 4 race with Eliza McGinn leading the way with a 17th-place finish in 22:15.29. Also competing for the Bison were: Ella Vyskocil (32nd, 23:22.58); Emily Walters (59th); Georgia Arvanitis (62nd); Gladys McGinn (65th).

Competing for River Valley (which did not have its full team due to the conference volleyball tournament going on at the same time) were: Rylee Rogers (23rd, 22:38.08); and Mya Thomas (60th).

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