BRIDGMAN — The 2021 Berrien County Cross Country Meet was hosted by Bridgman at its home course of Lake Township Park on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Berrien Springs edged St. Joseph 56-64 for first place in the men’s race while St. Joseph romped to a 23-point showing to win the women’s high school run.

Team results follow:

Men – 1. Berrien Springs (55 points); 2. St. Joseph (64); 3. Coloma (80); 4. Lakeshore (115); 5. Bridgman (132); 6. Watervliet (135); 7. LMC (155); 8. River Valley (160); 9. Brandywine (250).

Women – 1. St. Joseph (23); 2. Lakeshore (76); 3. Bridgman (114); 4. Niles (116); 5. Buchanan (126); 6. Coloma (157); 7. LMC (170); 8. Berrien Springs (231); 9. River Valley (252); 10. New Buffalo (252); 11. Watervliet (263).

Taking the top individual spots were (men) Race Bettich of Lakeshore (in a time of 15:46.5); and (women) Elena Figueroa of St. Joseph (18:55.7).

In the boys middle school race River Valley eighth-grader Charlie Gibson won in a time of 11:01.8. Teammate Landon Rogers placed third (11:34.3) and Brody Roberts of Bridgman came in sixth (11:49.5).

Gibson said his goal is to run a 10:48, and he’ll have more chances including the massive Portage Invitational and a new Middle School Regional meet.

Top high school women’s race finishers were:

BRIDGMAN – 7. Arie Hackett (20:24.4); 16. Jane Kaspar (21:25.2); 29. Summer Fast (22:36.3); 30. Clara Fast (22:42.5); 40. Emily Howell (23:19.9); 61. Graci Tate; 65: Stephanie DeMeulenaere; 70. Tuula Buckland; 71. Grace Fenech; 97. Sophie Fenech; 105. Sophia Bomar; 110. Anne Scott.

RIVER VALLEY – 33. Kursten Smith (22:51.8); 52. Ashley Strefling (24:00.1); 66. Rylee Rogers: 88. Macey Springer; 98. Hanah Lynch.

NEW BUFFALO – 34. Eliza McGinn (22:56.3); 39. Ella Vyskocil (23:17.8); 69. Emily Walters; 84. Olivia Bourne; 113. Gladys McGinn.

“I like this course a whole lot more than the other one,” said Emily Howell, the fifth Bee to finish in the women’s run, in reference to an altered route that didn’t finish up a steep hill as it normally does.

Arie Hackett, the first Bridgman runner to cross the finish line, said she was focused on finishing in front of Buchanan’s Madeline Young, who was next in the standings at eighth.

River Valley’s Kursten Smith ran her personal-best time, saying she pushed herself because it was the County Meet.

Eliza McGinn of New Buffalo said she got her best time of the season.

“The weather really helped, and I found a group to stay with.”

Pacing local men’s squads were:

BRIDGMAN – 11. John Sanderson (17:55.5); 17. Andrew Mabry (18:08.9); 24. Sebastian Kirk (18:38.7); 44. William Rodeguez; 64. Nathan Blied; 66. Gunter Ansinn; 69. Jason Swenson; 82. Brad Salmon; 95. Aiden Sonnenberg.

RIVER VALLEY – 12. Ignacio Ayesa (18:01.7); 22. Adam Slavens (18:28.8); 49. Cadden Krieger; 60. Jaren Christ; 62. Owen Slavens; 72. Braiden Brooks; 83. Patrick Driscoll; 90. Sean Driscoll;

NEW BUFFALO – 45. Harrison Bourne; 55. Evan Spriggs; 59. Keagen Papke.

Ignacio Ayesa, a River Valley exchange student from Spain, said he nearly slowed down for the last 500 meters or so, but kept pushing “for my team.”

Top boys middle school teams were: 1. Upton (St. Joseph); 2. Buchanan; 3. Bridgman; 4. Lakeshore; 5. River Valley; 6. New Buffalo; 7. LMC.

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