Saugatuck cross country boys take first, girls second at Ithaca Invitational
By Jason Wesseldyk
ITHACA—The Ithaca Yellowjacket Invitational represented the first meet of the season for the Saugatuck boys’ cross country team.
And what a way to start the new campaign.
The defending Division 3 state champion Indians squared off with defending Division 4 champion and long-time rival Pewamo-Westphalia. And it was Saugatuck that took the top spot in the eight-team event with a 37-point showing.
Pewamo-Westphalia was runner-up with 47 points, followed by Ithaca with 65 points and Carson City-Crystal with 98 points.
The girls’ race also saw Saugatuck and Pewamo-Westphalia claim the top two spots. This time, however, it was P-W that finished on top with 30 points compared to 42 for the Indians.
The duo of junior Corey Gorgas and freshman Nik Pettinga provided quite the one-two punch to lead the charge for the Saugatuck boys. Gorgas finished first with a time of 15:40, while Pettinga started his high school career by running a 16:05 that put him in second place.
“That was a personal best time for Corey,” Saugatuck coach Rick Bauer said.
Senior Keegan Seifert placed fifth with a time of 16:44, while junior Ray Bartlett (14th at 17:45) and senior Armand Carrion (15th at 17:50) rounded out the scoring runners for the Indians.
On the girls’ side, junior Thea Johnson took the individual championship with an 18:49.
“That breaks the school record,” Bauer said.
Classmates Megan Jenkins and Natalie Martinson joined Johnson in the top 10 by placing seventh (20:16) and eighth (20:18) respectively. Junior Lily Francis placed 11th with a time of 20:33, while junior Ceci Stickle placed 15th with a time of 21:00.
Saugatuck next races on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Fennvalley for the first of three SAC jamborees.