The MHSAA Regional Runner-Up RHS Girls Cross Country Team. ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
BENZONIA - The Rockford Rams girls cross country teams took a trip north to Benzie Central High School, Saturday, Oct. 26, to compete in the MHSAA Division 1 Regional 1. The team had a huge day by putting up impressive times, and came home with the title of Regional runner-up.
The Rams were fresh off a second-place finish in the OK Red Conference Meet and were prepared to have a big day. Luckily, the rain held off as the girls took their marks on the course at Benzie Central High School and they were able to run their race without contending with mud and the slipping that goes along with it. The Rams put on incredible performances with all five top runners posting PRs. Two athletes, Bailey Ewen and Elise VanStensel clocked in with lifetime PRs, and Jessica Harney, Emma Flanders and Anna Tracey posted season PRs.
The team from Traverse City Central claimed first with just 27 points, but oh, there was a race for the runner-up position. The Rams nosed out Forest Hills Northern by just two points putting up 92 points to claim second and the Huskies claiming third with 94.
Sophomore Bailey Ewen put in another stellar performance, pacing the team with a 10th place finish clocking in at 18:53.04. Two freshmen followed in the next finishes for the Rams, with Jessica Harney finishing in 17th place with a time of 19:15.31, and Emma Flanders landing in 23rd with a time of 19:39.76. Rounding out the top five Ram finishers were sophomore Anna Tracey in 25th, clocking in at 19:45.23 and junior Elise VanStensel in 31st with a time of 19:56.62. Adding their talents to the field were Lexie Allshouse and Nora Hoekert placing in 42nd and 43rd, respectively.
The Rams will now prepare for the MHSAA State Finals, which take place, Saturday, Nov. 2 at Michigan International Speedway. This is the 27th year the Lady Rams have qualified as a team for the State Finals.
There was also a Post Regional Open Meet (PROM) that took place on the same course and the team from Rockford did well. The Rams claimed first of the four teams with 34 points. Hailey Fike paced the Rams with a fifth-place finish and a time of 20:10.41, and was followed by Mara Sweeney in sixth with a time of 20:22.17. Natalie Allshouse earned 12th at 21:08.13, Riley Thompson placed 17th at 21:13.88, and Elizabeth Bennett rounded out the top five in 20th with a time of 21:27.01. Lily Weirich (21), Scarlet Beachy (32), Grace Flanders (34), and Ruth Kauffman (53) also added their talents to the run and placed in the field of 61 runners.
Bailey Ewen placed 10th for the Rams. ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Jessica Harney and Emma Flanders ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Elise VanStensel ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Anna Tracey ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Nora Hoekert ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Lexie Allshouse ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Hailey Fike, Natalie Allshouse, Mara Sweeney, Riley Thompson, Emily Danks, and Grace Flanders ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Lizzie Bennett ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen
Lily Wierich, Emily Danks, Grace Flanders and Scarlet Beachy ~ Photo by Kyla Ewen