ST. JOHNS – Ethan Markey didn’t want to be a part of the team that ended the Lansing Catholic boys cross country program’s streak of regional titles.
And the junior did his part Friday to help the Cougars extend their success.
Markey was the overall race winner of the Division 3 boys race at Uncle John’s Cider Mill with a time of 16:28.4 while helping Lansing Catholic capture a sixth straight regional title. The Cougars had three top-10 finishers and had a score of 34 and were 27 points ahead of runner-up Stockbridge.
“We didn’t think we’d be this good this year because our team is so young,” Markey said. “Our top five – we don’t have anybody leaving next year. This year was a big question mark and it’s turned out very well for us.”
It also turned out to be a good day for Lansing Catholic’s girls team, which also captured the Division 3 regional title. Olivia Theis was the overall winner and Abigail Gilmore and Lauren Cleary were second and third for the Cougars, who finished seven points ahead of Ithaca.
“That’s what we were hoping for and until you do it you never know,” Lansing Catholic coach Tim Simpson said of both his boys and girls teams capturing regional crowns. “This is the second time we’ve been able to do it.”
Stockbridge and Pewamo-Westphalia were the other boys teams to qualify for next week’s Division 3 state meet at Michigan International Speedway.
Ithaca, Leslie and Pewamo-Westphalia were the other Division 3 girls programs to qualify for the state finals. P-W was fourth overall, but had four runners finish among the top 20 individuals.
In the Division 2 portion of the regional at Uncle John’s, DeWitt was the lone girls qualifier. The Panthers finished second led by three runners placing in the top five overall. Hannah Adler was the regional champion with a time of 19:07.3, while Katie Vitou was fourth and Ashley Shipps took fifth.
The Williamston and St. Johns boys teams each qualified for the Division 2 final. Dillan Haviland was the regional champion and Josiah Quinn was sixth overall to help St. Johns place third as a team.
Williamston had three runners finish in the top 10 – Aaron Davis, Nathan Maurer and Garrett Smith – while finishing as the runner-up.
“This was what we talked about on the first day of practice,” Davis said of qualifying for the state meet. “This was our season goal. We have four seniors that are going to be graduating and unfortunately after this we’re not going to have much of a team to try to get to the state meet.
“This was pretty much the year to go for it as a team.”
Contact Brian Calloway at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.