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XC Runs Big at Portage

Saline's runners pick up the trophy at Portage

Saline traveled to the Portage Invite on Saturday to compete in the Midwest’s largest race over the weekend. There, the Hornets found a very talented field of nearly 40 teams, including six of the top teams in the state of Michigan.

From the gun, Saline executed an aggressive strategy, sending their top seven out to chase times that are far better than they had ran to date. The usual suspects of Grant Praschan, Anthony Lamus, Dylan Jennings and Andrew Kitto packed up and ran the first mile together with teammates Kevin Hall, Matt Elms, and John Dolsen not far behind.

Praschan finished eighth in 15:52, putting himself in some elite company. Jennings and Lamus were sixteenth and seventeenth, both running times of 16:01. Kitto, recovering from illness, finished forty-first in 16:24, with Hall right behind him in forty-seventh place in 16:27. Elms and Dolsen were 16:35 and 16:52 respectively.

“Those boys ran really well today,” said Saline boys head coach, Carl Spina. “We came here to run big and we got just about everything we wanted and some other things we did not really expect. As a coach, I don’t get many days when every one of our top seven gets in a great race, but they did that today.”

Final scores put Saline in 2nd place with 129 points, behind Hilliard Davidson (106) of Ohio. The Hornets were well ahead of Rockford (160) and Grand Blanc (174).

“Winning the meet was one of the things on the ‘wish list,’” said Spina, “but Hilliard is a tough program. We ran great and got beat by another great team. Finishing ahead of Rockford and Grand Blanc was important. Both of those teams have beaten us at some point this year and they are quality programs. We’ve made some nice progress and going into the championship races, our boys have picked up some momentum.”

For the reserve race, Saline invited a limited squad to compete. Top runners for the boys in the reserve race were senior Patrick Dunn placing third overall with a time of 17:12.1. Junior Sean Dew was right behind him in fourth with a time a 17:12.6. Also placing in the top ten were sophomores Brennan Corcoran and Colin Burnett with the times of 17:18 and 17:24 placing 7th and 10th.

Rounding out the top five, was junior Kaj Althaus placing 11th with a time of 17:25.

Up next for the Hornets, will be Pre-Regional River Rat Invitational atWillowMetroParkinHuronTownship.