BRIDGMAN — The Bridgman girls cross country team had a great start to the season at the Aug. 21 Bridgman Invitational.
The Bees placed four runners in the top 10 to take first overall with 35 points, edging out Bloomingdale’s 44.
Hartford was third with 69 points, Cassopolis fourth with 146, and Bangor fifth with 152.
The Watervliet boys team placed five runners in the top 30 to earn first place with 81 points. Lawrence (101) placed second, followed by Bloomingdale (105), Bridgman (105), and Mendon (126).
Karsyn Stewart led the Bees with a second-place time of 21:46.9. Summer Fast (23:08.2), Arie Hackett (23:24.4), and Jane Kaspar (23:29.5) placed fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively for Bridgman and Alexa Ackerman (25:02.1) was 15th.
“I think the girls ran really well,” Bridgman coach Spencer Carr said. “Karsyn has been our number one the past couple of years and she ran well today. Summer Fast was a freshman we knew would be pretty good but weren’t sure she’d be up there. Jane ran her fastest time ever today. Our first four ran pretty well and Alexa ran her best time ever
“Everyone’s running really well right now.”
Bloomingdale junior Kallie Harrison pulled away from Stewart after the first mile and took first place overall with a time of 21:07.
Her teammate Aimee Sustaita (21:57.1) placed third.
“I just wanted to beat my record from last year and I did that today,” Harrison said. “I wanted to start slow and that didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. I just wanted to keep the pace that I did during the first mile and I think I did that pretty well.”
Bloomingdale’s Joe Furlan came in first overall in the boys’ race with a time of 17:25. Buchanan’s Walker Barz (17:59.7) finished third.
“I knew that Buchanan kid was going out fast, so I just let it happen,” Furlan said. “I gradually caught up to him around the one-mile mark and just stayed with him until the second mile. That’s what I did and the game plan worked.”
Luke Blesy of Bridgman (18:03.5) was fourth, Lawrence’s Isaiah Beiter (18:22.3) was sixth, and Lake Michigan Catholic’s Joel Chandler (18:43.8) was 11th.
“I thought our guys ran OK today,” Carr said. “(Luke) ran a great race. Our freshmen are running well. We have three freshmen in our top seven and they ran better than I expected. We just need our veterans running better and I think they’ll do it. I think this is kind of a wake-up call for them.”
Top finishers in the middle school race were Andrew Mabry of Bridgman and Clara Fast (sixth overall), also a Reed Middle School student.