Joey Fici wins Division 2 boys cross country regional, leads Vicksburg to state-qualifying third-place team finish
Hughes crossed the finish line in fourth place to help the Bulldogs to third place as a team with 83 points Saturday at Portage West Middle School.
"We've been having a streak of going to state as a team, and last year we didn't make it," he said. "My first place is definitely going to help more for our team score than it does for just me."
Fici won the race in 16:03, nine seconds ahead of St. Joseph's David Berry. St. Joseph (25) won the team title in dominant fashion. It placed six runners in the top 11 and finished 58 points ahead of second place Gull Lake (83). Gull Lake was led by Sam Butler (10th) and Dallas Chase (12th), but it was its depth that helped the Blue Devils win the tie-breaker with Vicksburg. Coach Brad Portis said his team did a great job of dealing with an injury to one of its top runners.
"Every guy on the team has a job and if somebody can't, everybody else says, 'All right, I guess I got to do more," he said. "That's how it played out."
Tyler Starr (ninth) and Bryan Harvey (15th) of Otsego qualified for the state finals along with Evan Hendrix (sixth) and Ian Everitt (14th) of South Haven.
The top three teams and top 15 individuals qualify for state finals, which will be held Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.