Sharks pile up PRs at BLUEJAY Invite


Courtesy Photo

Alex Baxter ran a PR, and Walker Aldrich ran a season record.

Keegan Honig, Staff Writer

The Sharks’ cross country team competed at the BLUEJAY Invite Saturday, Oct. 3, at Shepherd High School. St. Louis took advantage of practically perfect conditions and a fast course to have a dominant showing against its state-bound competition.

To keep from having too many runners in a single race, teams were divided into different sessions. Each session could have teams from any division, so final scoring for the division wasn’t known until all the sessions were complete. Additionally, the top 10 finishers in each division received shirts, so Aaron Bowerman, Libby Munderloh, and Mikenna Borie earned a shirt.

The boys’ team made a huge statement at Shepherd. They tied the top-ranked team in Division Three (Traverse City St. Francis) for first place with a score of 68. However, they lost the tie-breaker, and therefore took second place, beating Ithaca, another highly ranked team, by one point. Bowerman had an incredible day by taking fifth place with a time of 16:33.7. Keegan Honig followed in 12th with a time of 16:55.8, Ben March was 13th in 16:58.9, Nate March finished 14th with a 17:04.9, Dylan Marr was 24th in 17:31.6, Joe Erickson was 26th in 17:40.8, and Alex Davis finished 40th in 18:44.9.

The girls’ varsity team had a fantastic day as well with many season bests. They took fifth place in the loaded field while still defeating some of the top-ranked teams in division three. Munderloh led the Sharks in fifth place with a finish of 19:14.1. Mikenna Borie was right behind in sixth with a 19:19.7, Jaiden Dickman followed in 15th with a 19:53.0 finish, Sela Delgado was 39th in 21:11.4, Payton Kuhn was 56th in 21:44.3, Mikaila Borie finished 60th in 21:54.7, and Monika Borie was 63rd in 22:00.6.

Dickman said, “The weather was really nice, and the course was super fast. I’m proud of how our team performed.”

The J.V. boys executed during their race at the fast Shepherd course. Will Erickson led St. Louis in seventh place with a 19:11.9 finish. Next was Dominic Gilman in eighth with a 19:16.9, Tristin Baker in 10th with a 19:30.0 finish, Alex Baxter in 17th finishing in 20:14.8, Robert Long-Terwilliger in 18th with 20:17.9, Walker Aldrich in 20th with a 20:23.9, and Matt Haag in 32nd with a time of 22:57.1.

The J.V. girls also had great races on the day. Laney Pestrue dominated the race as she finished first for the Sharks and first overall with a time of 21:51.7. Next up was Natalie Lemert in 15th with a time of 23:46.4, Gracie Shattuck in 27th with a 24:52.1, and Lillie Shattuck in 31st with a 25:44.9.

It was a fast day as nine Sharks ran season bests and 11 ran personal career bests (PR)! Girls with the biggest career drops were Lemert with a 73-second drop, Pestrue with a 45-second PR, and Dickman, who shaved 43 seconds off her best. On the guys’ side, Honig ran a 43-second best, Baxter had a 31-second drop, Ben March ran a 26-second PR, and Marr ran 25 seconds faster than his previous best.

Head Coach Jay Puffpaff shared, “It was a great day for our team. We had some big mid-season drops and were able to perform and hang with some of the top teams in the state. We knew that we were capable of theses performances based off of what we had seen in practice. It was great to go out there and watch our athletes accomplish it.”

The Sharks will be competing again Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Greater Lansing Cross Country Championships at Grand Ledge.