Two weeks ago Grand Ledge girls cross country coach Fred Hutchinson made a tough decision. With little chance as repeating as the CAAC Blue champions, Hutch decided instead to use the league meet to prepare his girls for the regional meet that was held last Saturday at Portage Middle School.
His strategy worked perfectly as his girls qualified for their eighth straight trip to the state meet.
“We ran fairly well,” Hutch said. “Krista, Taryn and Allison were in the top ten the entire race. They each moved up a spot and ended up seventh, eighth and ninth.”
Hutch was referring to junior Krista Magness who finished first for the Comets and seventh overall with a time of 19:21.
Right behind in eighth place was sophomore Taryn Hubaker who has emerged as a standout runner. She crossed the line at 19:31.
Senior captain Allison Dible also finished in the top ten in ninth place with a time of 19:35.
The girls raced in 50 degree weather with a strong wind blowing.
“The race went out a little slower than I expected it would but our girls were all in good position throughout the race,” Hutch added.
Senior Christy Snelgrove finished fourth for the Comets and 15th overall with a time of 20:07.
Sophomore upstart Olivia Conway again had a terrific day as she broke her all time best performance with a time of 20:12. She finished 16th overall.
“Christy and Olivia both battled and improved their positions after the mile mark. Their races made the difference in us being able to beat Caledonia for second place,” Hutch stated.
Hudsonville won the team title with a score of 43 while the Comets came in with 55. Caledonia finished third with 60 and will also make the team trip to the state finals. Portage Central scored 146 and Portage Northern 170. Twelve teams competed in the race.