Streak that lasted more than a decade ends for Saugatuck girls’ cross country
By Jason Wesseldyk
GALESBURG—All good things must eventually come to an end.
For the Saugatuck girls’ cross country team, that end came on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
After more than a decade of finishing atop the standings at SAC meets, the Indians saw that streak come to an end as they finished runner-up to Kalamazoo Christian at the Galesburg-Augusta-hosted league jamboree.
Saugatuck ended up with 55 points to finish three points behind the Comets.
“It was a tough battle,” said Saugatuck boys’ cross country coach Rick Bauer, who is helping to run the team while his wife, girls’ coach Angelina, is on maternity leave.
The Indians will have another shot at Kalamazoo Christian as part of the SAC jamboree in Gobles on Thursday, Oct. 10.
“This sets up a winner-take-all situation at that final jamboree,” Bauer said.
A trio of Saugatuck runners finished in the top 10, with Jillian Vera third at 21:09, Jillian Johnson fourth at 21:23 and Kyrah Rodriguez eighth at 21:56. Hannah Smit (15th at 22:38) and Sophie McQueary (25th at 23:15) were the Indians’ other scoring runners.
Fennville’s Julie Mendoza (22:44) and Angelica Mendoza (23:14) finished 18th and 24th, respectively.
On the boys’ side, Saugatuck remained the top team as its score of 30 points bested runner-up Watervliet by 21 points. Martin was ninth with 212 points.
Nik Pettinga and Max Sharnas had respective first and second-place finishes for Saugatuck, both crossing the finish line at 17:07. Tristan Ashley (sixth at 17:33), Adam Martinson (seventh at 17:41) and Luke Gorgas (14th at 18:20) rounded out the Indians’ scoring runners.
Fennville’s Jonathan Mendoza was 15th at 18:34.
The Saugatuck boys continued their winning ways on Saturday, Sept. 28, finishing first in the Falcon Division of the Allendale Invitational with 41 points.
Hart was second with 79 points and Grand Rapids Catholic Central was third with 122 points.
Pettinga (16:28) and Sharnas (16:48) were again at the forefront for Saugatuck, finishing first and third, respectively. Martinson joined them in the top 10 with his ninth-place showing of 17:11.
Ashley (12th at 17:20) and Winston Marcy (21st at 17:41) also scored for Saugatuck.
The Saugatuck girls placed fifth with 139 points. Hart (32 points), McBain (102), Clare (127) and Catholic Central (128) finished ahead of the Indians.
Vera had the best time for Saugatuck, placing 19th at 20:53. Johnson (27th at 21:26), Rodriguez (30th at 21:32), McQueary (31st at 21:34) and Smit (41st at 22:01) completed the top five.