Again this fall, Fred Hutchinson’s Grand Ledge girls cross country team will be favored to win the CAAC Blue Division. Grand Ledge also made a statement last week that they will challenge for a top ten state finish as they grabbed third place in the always talent filled Rockford Invitational.
The Comets finished third out of the field of many of the top teams in the state. Rockford won their own invite with a fantastic score of 24. Grandville placed second with 30 points and Grand Ledge third with 50 points. Holland West Ottawa came in fourth with 91 and Grand Rapids Catholic Central fifth with 126 points. The meet was the season opener for all of the runners.
“The girls really did an exceptionally good job for their first time out this season,” Hutchinson said. “We’re loaded with potential but we’ve got a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be. I’m certainly optimistic about our chances.”
Leading the way this season and running her final year was senior Allison Dible who ran a blistering 20:01 and finished second overall.
“Allison had quite a day,” Hutch said. “She really took a big step forward in terms of joining the elite runners in the state. One of the girls that she beat was 19th at the state finals last year and an all state runner. Allison has the potential to be one of those kids this season and her running proved it.”
Placing second was junior Krista Magness with a time of 20:54. She was fifth overall.
“Krista was very good, particularly in the last mile. She is dealing with some nagging injuries but I think she is beginning to come into form,” Hutch added.
Third was senior Christy Snelgrove who clocked in at 21:27. She closed at eighth overall.
“I was really proud of her. She has been dealing with chronic knee pain since track in the spring and it is finally feeling better. When she gets back to 100 per cent she’ll be great for us. She has proven her talent in the past,” Hutch stated.
The meet was scored by combining the top three juniors and seniors and the top three freshmen and sophomores.
First for the underclassmen was sophomore Olivia Conway who picked up right were she left off last year. She ran a 21:35 and finished seventh overall.
“Olivia was just great. Her race was very strong in a very competitive field of freshmen and sophomores,” Hutchinson said.
Right behind was another sophomore, Taryn Hubaker who crossed fifth for the Comets and tenth overall at 22:12.
“Taryn had a very good start to her year. She’s such a wonderful talent and she’s just going to get better and better,” Hutch praised.
The sixth and final scorer for the Comets was upstart freshman standout Annmarie Mahar. She crossed 19th overall at 23:39.
“Annmarie had a wonderful first high school race,” Hutch praised. “She was in the top 20 in a very talented field.”
Other runners for the Comets were junior Danielle Snelgrove 22:50, senior Amanda Schultz 23:15, junior Madison Arnouts 24:33, freshman Becky Golisch 25:09, sophomore Lauren Grost 28:34, junior Emily Konen 26:23, junior Liz Konen 24:42, sophomore Katelynn Novak 25:30 and sophomore Caroline Smith 25:08.