Homer girls win D-4 cross country state crown

Homer girls win D-4 cross country state crown


Homer girls win D-4 cross country state crown



Last year, in 2011, the Homer High girls’ cross country team made its first-ever appearance as a squad at the MHSAA State Finals and placed sixth.

On Saturday, the Trojans and head coach Rebecca Willis realized their 2012 season-long dream — earning the school’s first-ever state crown.

Led by three runners who earned top-30 individual all-state medals — sophomores Jessica Reagle and Bailey Manis and junior Amanda Reagle — Homer totaled 118 points in the Division 4 meet at Michigan International Speedway, which was 24 points better than runner-up Bear Lake (142 points).

Jessica Reagle led the Trojans with a ninth-place overall finish in 19 minutes, 26.3 seconds. She was followed by Manis in 19th place in 19:59.6, and Amanda Reagle in 18th in 20:04.9 (Amanda Reagle was also a top-30 all-stater in 2011, also 18th overall).

Rounding out Homer’s top five were freshman Kayla Kline in 45th place in 20:37.3, and senior Johnica March in 70th in 21:01.4. Senior Alexis Mestdagh (145th/22:16.5) and freshman Kirsten King (181st/23:11.0) were the Trojans’ other runners.

Both Reagles, plus Manis, March and Mestdagh, were also on last year’s sixth-place-at-state unit.

Additionally Saturday, four other local runners earned top-30 all-state accolades.

In Division 4, for the boys, Tekonsha senior Joseph Newcomb was 12th overall in 16:24.4 (he was also all-state last year, finishing 28th). And, in Division 2, for the girls, Gull Lake sophomore Mikayla Hostetler was 18th in 18:31.1 as the Blue Devils finished seventh as a team; Coldwater senior Becca Schott was 22nd in 18:36.2; and Pennfield junior Audri Bornamann — the all-city and KVA individual champ this fall — was 29th in 18:45.8.

Following is a closer look at all of the local competitors at this year’s cross country finals at MIS:


Homer coach Willis said that she was proud of all of her runners who had a part in making the Trojans state champs, and said she was especially happy with Kline’s fourth-best-on-the-squad performance in her freshman season with a personal-best time.

“Jessica had a personal-best, Kayla a personal-best and everybody did a great job and took advantage of some good racing conditions,” Willis said.

“Going into today, we were really looking at hopefully finishing in second place, or even third or fourth. But everybody just came together today and came out and ran very well … and it turned out to be a very, very big day for our team and for our school. And with a lot of these girls back again for next year, I think our future looks very bright as well.”


Aside from Tekonsha’s Newcomb’s 12th-place finish, Albion placed 23rd as a team, and two other local runners also competed.

For Albion — which placed 17th as a squad last year — junior Zach Hudson was 72nd (17:24.4), freshman Chris Bell was 164th (18:36.5), senior Bryan Peoples was 166th (18:37.5), freshman Jontaj Wallace was 178th (18:49.7), junior RJ Stone was 211th (19:38.3) and senior Matt Skinner was 230th (20:16.6).

Also, Colon senior Harley Thompson was 96th (17:41.6); and Climax-Scotts junior Eldon Ulsh was 102nd (17:46.4).


Gull Lake, 10th-place finishers in 2011, totaled 236 points Saturday. Aside from Hostetler, freshman Lily Fell was 74th (19:41.9), sophomore Hayley Buckhout was 82nd (19:47.9), senior Jori Fell was 92nd (19:51.8), senior Leah Coonrod was 106th (20:01.0), freshman Paige O’Connor was 128th (20:14.2) and junior Kylee Chaffin was 138th (20:20.7). It was the third straight season that the Blue Devils qualified for state as a team.

Additionally, Marshall placed 18th as a team with a point total of 459. The Redhawks’ finishers were senior Brianna Kalisz in 42nd (19:07.7/she was also a state qualifer in 2011), junior Lauren Feasel in 107th (20:01.2), freshman Abbey Ufkes in 135th (20:19.8), junior Maya Williams in 174th (20:55.1), sophomore Anyah Preston in 192nd (21:12.9), sophomore Tristan Tobias in 225th (22:07.3) and senior Kilee Debrabander in 240th (23:52.8).


Gull Lake — making its third straight finals appearance as a team and 10th-place finishers in 2011 — placed seventh Saturday with a point total of 261. Finishers for the Blue Devils were junior Sam Butler in 44th (16:16.7), senior Sam Sly in 48th (16:20.4), senior Jeremy Simon in 58th (16:26.7), senior Brian Wiegand in 102nd (16:45.4), junior Coleman Gibson in 119th (16:50.9), senior Ben Snow in 158th (17:09.1) and junior Caelan Deater in 185th (17:30.1).


Delton Kellogg — which placed 21st last season and which was making its fourth finals appearance in the last five years — placed 27th Saturday with 626 points. Individually for the Panthers, senior Christi Boze was 102nd (20:30.7), junior Sarah Rendon was 166th (21:27.1), sophomore Sammi Cleary was 185th (21:54.5), junior Marcie Stevens was 217th (22:28.8), freshman Megan Grimes was 223rd (22:46.8), senior Molly Egelkraut was 236th (24:10.0) and junior Danielle Morse was 237th (24:15.7).

Additionally, Maple Valley senior Jessica Rushford was 45th (19:39.8); and Olivet sophomore Alex Dart was 123rd (20:46.6).


Quincy junior Zach Slack was 39th (16:44.4) and Quincy junior Riley Horn was 92nd (17:13.9); Delton Kellogg senior Jarryd Calhoun was 130th (17:36.8); and Bronson junior Matt Cosby was 139th (17:41.8).


Lakeview senior Blake Wilson was 93rd (16:24.1).

Note: For complete team scores and individual finishes and times, please see mhsaa.com.


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