BROOKLYN — Going into the Division 2 state finals at the MHSAA state cross-country meet last Saturday, the Vikings were outspoken that their goal was to place in the top 10. Whitehall coach Kathy Hector called such a possibility a long shot, saying “they’d have to run out of their heads”.
The Vikings didn’t run out of their heads Saturday, coming in 22nd place in Division 2 out of the 28 teams competing. Their team score was 511, placing them in a tight jumble of teams that placed between 18th and 24th.
“The boys were well prepared physically, but nothing short of experience can prepare a runner for the atmosphere and race conditions at MIS,” Hector said. “The team got buried in the sea of 250 runners coming fast off the starting line. They had to spend immense energy to fight their way through dense packs of runners to make any progress.”
As he has all year, Logan Irey led the way for the Vikings, coming in 92nd place. Irey’s time was 16:41.4.
Freshman Alex Dennis was second on the team and 122nd overall, completing his run on 16:51.9. Keaton Smith was soon after him, placing 154th overall with a time of 17:05.2.
Brayden Berson finished in 17:15.2, placing 165th. Reiley Brown was the next Viking across the line, placing 179th and posting a time of 17:26. Tyler Grove and Mitch Boyce were the final two Whitehall runners to finish, coming in 190th and 197th respectively.
“I was extremely proud of how they ran the last half of the race and their strong finishes,” Hector said. “We weren’t where we had hoped to be in terms of team place. But our first goal was to get there and learn how to race at MIS. That goal was accomplished and I believe this is the beginning of a great future for boys’ cross-country at Whitehall.”