For the majority of the 2012 boys cross country season much of the attention focused on junior standout Nathan Megge. Megge, in his first year of cross country competition, again shined at the MHSAA Class A state finals at Michigan International Speedway on Nov. 3.
But at the end of the day it was the performance of the entire team that had head coach Tim Hoshal extremely pleased with his team’s final run of the year. And, well he should have been as five of his top runners broke their all time personal best times.
Grand Ledge finished 21st in the field of the best 28 schools from around the state. The Comets scored 494 team points, well behind state champion Highland Milford with a score of 83, but well ahead of 28th place Portange Northern with 750.
The Comets were the lone Class A team from mid Michigan to reach the finals.
“What a great way to end our season,” Hoshal said. “For us to finish with five personal best times is quite an accomplishment.”
As has been the case this fall it was Megge who led the way. He finished first for the Comets and a very very good 23rd out of a field of over 250 runners. His time of 15:43.02 was his best ever after changing to cross country after two years of high school football.
Junior Mike Buffin also had a sensational day as he ran 16:24.03 and a top 100 finish at 95th place.
Three seniors followed, ending their hard working careers with record times. Austin Rios ran 16:39.01 and grabbed 128th place. Ben Heriford rose to the occasion in his final run with a time of 17:19.0 and 213th place. Teammate Tyler Bannhard also ran his final meet and came in at 17:24.06.
Sophomore Tony Patino ran 18:44.05 and senior Kyle Strange, a steady and competitive runner crossed the line at 18:52.06.
“I just can’t say enough about how proud I am of all of them,” Hoshal added. “The final meet performances by our runners rivals many of my previous coaching experiences of my last 28 years.”
The Comets entered the meet seeded 26th based on previous times so moving up to 21st place was indeed a great team effort.
“The course was very fast, however, it was fast for every runner. For us to move up five spots is something that the runners should be proud of,” Hoshal shared.
With his time and finish, Megge was named to the All State Team.