Michigan High School Sports – MLive.com
East Kentwood girls run to victory in O-K Red Conference cross country opener

Steve Vedder | The Grand Rapids Press, September 16, 2009 10:35 p.m.

KENTWOOD — The goal isn’t a hazy one for the East Kentwood girls cross country team.

With everyone back from last year’s regional champion and third-place finisher at the Division 1 state meet, the Falcons have talent. Enough, in fact, that junior all-stater Alissa Williams said the team’s ultimate goal is clear.

“We definitely want to compete for a state title,” said Williams, who finished first in the Falcons’ O-K Red season opener against Hudsonville and West Ottawa on Wednesday. “We obviously need to improve, but we’re on our way.

“We know we have a chance — we just need to improve more.”

East Kentwood, which finished fourth in the conference last season, beat West Ottawa 16-45 and Hudsonville 21-35.

Williams (20:07) led four East Kentwood runners in the top six. She was followed by teammates Krista Parks (20:07) and Leah Shephard (20:31), who finished second and third.

East Kentwood coach Ray Antel said his team will improve later in the season. The Falcons, who are ranked third in the first cross country coaches association state poll of the season, were third at the Fremont Invitational and fourth at the Benzie Invitational.

“We’ll be stronger at the end of the season,” Antel said. “We have all the pieces. We’d like to shoot for the whole ball of wax.”

Antel said the team “is closing the gap” among the last four runners. When the Falcons can combine depth with experience, it will be a tough lineup, he said.

“The pieces we know are there,” Antel said. “They’re just scrambled right now.”

East Kentwood’s boys also won two meets, defeating West Ottawa 25-33 and Hudsonville 17-43. West Ottawa beat Hudsonville 23-34.

Isaac Cox led three East Kentwood runners among the top five by winning the race with a time of 16:54.

Categories: Track and Cross News

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