- By Terry Jacoby/weloveannarbor.com
The defending state-champion Pioneer girls’ cross country team had four of the top seven finishers and six of the top 13 as they ran away with the Division 1 Regional at a very wet and muddy Lake Erie Metropark on Saturday morning.
The Pioneers crossed first with just 29 points.
Saline (49) was second and Bedford third (80) as the three SEC Red Division teams qualified for Saturday’s D-1 State Finals at MIS. The top three teams and top seven runners from the other teams in the field qualify for the State Finals.
The MHSAA State Finals are Nov. 6 at MIS in Brooklyn.
On Saturday, Pioneer’s Rachel Forsyth continued her dominating season. The sophomore took first overall with a time of 18:28.30. Bedford senior Madison Foster was second in 19:02.20 and Allen Park senior Lisa Luecke was third in 19:15.80.
The Pioneers took three of the next four spots with senior Sarah Forsyth (fourth, 19:30.90), junior Emily Cooper (sixth, 19:52.20) and senior Cookie Baugh (seventh, 19:59.90).
Senior Charlotte Batra was 11th (20:17.90), sophomore Natalie Mello was 13th (20:35.80), and junior Allison Nutt was 23rd (21:36.40). All seven Pioneer runners finished in the top 25.
The teams from the SEC Red Division also dominated the boys’ race. Saline took first with 54 points followed by Pioneer (59) and Monroe (104).
Dearborn was fifth (166), Woodhaven was sixth (192), Roosevelt ran eighth (208), Allen Park was ninth (210), Carlson 10th (239), Southgate 12th (314) and Crestwood 14th (391).
Pioneer senior Owen Johnson ran first overall with a time of 16:59.30. Monroe junior Luke Butler was second (17:17.20) and Bedford senior Alexander Ortiz was third (17:28.00).
The Pioneers had three other runners land in the top 20. Sophomore Vincent Peterson Sand was sixth (17:38.70), senior Matt Ruud was 13th (18:03.10) and junior Chase Klapthor was 20th (18:17.10).
Sophomore Aaron Sterken was 22nd (18:26.40), senior Peter Florence was 28th (18:41.40) and senior Fred Wallace was 32nd (18:54.90) for the speedy Pioneers.