Thornapple Kellogg High School
Girls Varsity Cross Country
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Oct 17, 2023
We had a long talk the night before this race, but the point of the talk, among other things, was to race for each other and that the team has each other’s backs no matter what, and that they know what to do. It was the second long talk our team had, but I promised them that today I would only say five words about the race, “You…know…what…to…do”. The girls did know what to do and they really showed up! There weren’t just fireworks in the varsity race, but in the jv race as well.
It was a close race and where the chips were going to fall was uncertain, but when the official scores dropped, it was Thornapple Kellogg in the top spot, followed by a very tough South Christian team, and a team on the rise, Forest Hills Eastern, with team scores of 62, 67, and 72. We will all be facing off again in the regional race to see who advances to the State Finals.
The front of the race featured the familiar face of Ottawa Hills’ Selma Anderson who topped the field in a PR of 17:20. Catholic Central and Forest Hills Eastern had a say before Thornapple Kellog’s Ava Crews crossed the line in 4th with her fastest time in a conference meet for the season.
A smattering of other team colors went through, but then Peyton Hardy and Meghan Skidmore crossed the line in critical placings of 12th and 13th in 20:36 (a PR on a somewhat banged up knee) and 20:39 (on a wrecked ankle) respectively. Cedar Springs and South Christian followed, and then two critical TK athletes crossed the line helping to secure the win.
Of course everyone had to do their part, but the final push by Mady Kietzman (20:47) and Avery Hagemann (PR 20:49) was instrumental by passing the right people and the right time and finishing in 16th and 17th just in front of two hard charging athletes from South Christian.
Next for TK were Alaina McCrumb in 28th and Carmen Reynolds in 37th who were also strong contributors in the team effort, finishing in a PR of 21:31 and 22:04 respectively. These placings pushed Forest Hills score up, which pushed them further behind in the team standings, and displaced Ottawa Hills fifth runner, securing the win even further.
The TK JV team was not about to not be a part of the excitement. TK’s Ellie Harmon led from the front early and never looked back, winning the JV race in 20:49. Not far behind was Holly Velting, another TK runner, finishing second in 21:32, and then another TK runner, Megan Schuurmans finishing in PR of 21:43! After them, it was a slew of other teams in the conference, Hailey Lee crossed the line in 10th, in a PR of 22:45. A girl from Cedar Springs decided to crash the party before Kate Powers landed a 12th place finish in a PR of 22:50. To round out the TK squad, Raylee Preston impressed with a PR of her own, finishing in 30th place in 24:14.
Ultimately the Trojans took the top spot over Cedar Springs and South Christian, 26, 35, and 64 points respectively.
It was a hard fought win in both the varsity and JV races and it was a great night for the girls and they should all be very proud of themselves and the races they put together. We are thrilled to take home the conference trophy, an honor this team has not had since 2015, but these girls have their eyes on an even bigger prize.
In addition to the both teams winning, Ava Crews, Meghan Skidmore, and Peyton Hardy earned All-Conference honors, and Mady Kietzman and Avery Hagemann earned All-Conference Honorable Mention.
The regional meet is coming up and we will face powerhouse East Grand Rapids, and the very hungry and also very talented teams of South Christian, Forest Hills Eastern from our own conference, along with a few other teams that want a piece of that rather small three sliced pie that will punch the ticket to the State Finals.