Heritage, Breckenridge boys cross country teams earn victories at Alma College Invite

Heritage, Breckenridge boys cross country teams earn victories at Alma College Invite

Provided by The Saginaw News

, October 21, 2011 8:09 p.m.

ALMA — Despite using its "B" team Friday, the Heritage boys cross country team earned another victory, winning the Alma College Invite.

Host Alma finished in second place behind the Hawks, 46-54.

Breckenridge won the smaller schools division, beating Ithaca by two points. Shepherd finished in fifth place, also resting its top five runners before the regional tournament next weekend.

Alma senior Adam Sanchez was the top area finisher, crossing the line in 16:44. Heritage senior Bobby Leddy was the Hawks top finisher in fourth at 16:47.

Broderic Bender and Jake Morey also finished in the top 10 for the Panthers. Shane Kaiser, Chris Lopez, Max Cobb and Nathan Derdowski all finished in the top 15 for Heritage.

All but Leddy are underclassmen and several were getting their first taste of being in the top five for Heritage.

"We have five seniors in our top seven, so it was important for these guys to see that they are competitive varsity level athletes," Heritage coach Gary Loubert said.

Shepherd finished with 107 points which was good for fifth in the smaller schools division. Breckenridge won by two points over Ithaca.

For the Bluejays, James Newman finished in 16th at 18:02, Andy Travis in 18th at 18:10, Cody Gruss in 20th at 18:12, Jake Pifer in 21st at 18:13 and Caleb Gilbert finished in 32nd at 18:49.

Beal City's Nick Pung finished in second at 16:52 to lead area finishers in the small schools division and Breckenridge's Nate Partee was third at 16:55. Ithaca's Stephen Merchant was fourth in 16:55 as well to lead area finishers.

For Shepherd, which just won the Tri-Valley Conference Championships, it was all about resting up for the Division 3 regional tournament at Carson City-Crystal.

"We didn't want to race quite as much, we do what we needed to do to get ready to have some good postseason races," Shepherd coach Rick Cahoon said. "There is still improvement to be made, but the kids have done well all season. I'm real happy with the progress over the season."