LCAA Hudson Jamboree

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Sep. 9, 2008

LCAA Hudson Jamboree
Hudson, MI

HUDSON, Mich. -

Second place didn’t turn out to be too disappointing for a couple cross country teams Tuesday as the Lenawee County Athletic Association conducted its first league jamboree of the season.

The Onsted boys and the Blissfield girls teams placed second in the meet, but coaches Jason Hunt and Al Navarro didn’t seem to be too worried, given there is a lot of the season still left, and a lot can happen between now and the October 18 league championship.

The top three teams in the boys meet were within six points of each other, with Erie Mason coming out on top with 50 points, followed by Onsted (54), Ida (56), Hudson (77), Blissfield (115) and Dundee (181).

“I tought we ran a good race and looked pretty good, we just need to work on tightening up the gap now,” said Hunt of the Wildcats. “We battled and we didn’t roll over. Our times weren’t much to speak of, but we raced hard, and that’s what matters. We’re right there and we know Erie Mason has a good team, and now these kids know how close they are to them and it will make a difference for the next jamboree.”

One thing is certain — the league will be chasing Blissfield junior Justin Bateson all season as he won the individual race in 16:36, 26 seconds ahead of Ida’s Nick Smith (17:02) and 27 seconds ahead of third-place Stephen Tennis of Hudson (17:03).

“My time today is a lot better than it was when I raced here this summer,” said Bateson, alluding to the Booster Invitational. “Nick and Stephen are always a challenge, and I just wanted to get out and make them run from behind. I have been running a little slow the last couple meets, so this felt good today.”

Bateson for the first time is a dual-sport athlete, splitting his time between soccer and cross country, something he will not do next season as he concentrates on attracting college cross country coaches.

“I really haven’t had a full cross country workout yet this season, and I can tell,” Bateson added. “I haven’t had hardly any good cross training. I run a lot in soccer, but it’s not what you need for a good workout for running cross.”

The five Onsted finishers ran the most tightly bunched, with a minute and three seconds separating first from fifth within the team. Zach Blystone paced the Wildcats with his fifth-place time of 18:11, followed by brother Mike Blystone a second behind in sixth, Josh Luellen 13th in 18:47, Russell Millett 14th in 19:01 and Mike Myers 16th in 19:14.

In addition to Tennis’ third-place finish, Hudson finishers were Derick Clark ninth in 18:34, Nathan Wilkerson 18th in 19:25, Nate Nastase 21st in 19:35, and Nathan Chamberlain 27th in 19:53.
Even though Blissfield produced the race winner, the next Royal across the line was 26th, that being Ryan Forche in 19:51, more than three minutes behind Bateson. David Dheel was 30th in 19:56, Jimmy Kimmelman 33rd in 20:32 and Chase Lewis 34th in 20:33.

Team winner Erie Mason’s first runner was Andy Raymond, fourth in 17:46.

Even through the Blissfield girls were 25 points behind winner Ida, coach Navarro could only look at the bright side.

“We knew even if we finished second, we still had a chance for the league title,” he said. “I thought it was a close race, but we have to close that 20-second gap and move everyone up as a team. We know what we have to do and we’ve got four weeks before the next jamboree, so that gives us a lot of time to improve. We just have to want to work hard. Ida worked harder than we did over the summer, and we have time to make up some ground and hopefully get them next time or at the league meet. Overall I’m not disappointed.”

Ida placed its top five runners in the top 12 positions, but it was Erie Mason’s Kaylin Belair who dominated the race, finishing in 20:42 to win by 31 seconds.

Onsted High freshman Heidi Wobrock paced the county runners with her third-place finish in 21:16.

Brittany Holdridge was the first Blissfield runner across the finish line, clocking a 22:34 for eighth place, followed by teammates Courtney Eisenmann in 11th (22:52), Lauren Yates 13th (23:11), Amanda Dheel 14th (23:29) and Jennifer Tagsold 15th (23:54).

Falling in behind Wobrock for the Wildcats were Morgan Olson in 10th (22:48), Nicole Sweet 19th (24:40), Alicia Price 21st (24:44) and Marcy Decapo 333rd (26:31).

Hudson was paced by Mary Bocks, who was 20th in 24:43, Jennifer Adams 26th in 25:04, Megan Baker 34th in 26:39, Ashlynn Brooks 45th in 31:03 and Rachel Pawson 50th in 34:29.