Michigan High School Sports – MLive.com
Kentwood Girls Finish Fifth at Jackson; Girls Cross Country

Advance Newspaeprs, September 29, 2009 6:14 p.m.
KENTWOOD GIRLS FIFTH AT JACKSON: East Kentwood cross country coach Ray Antel was smiling after the Jackson Invitational on Saturday at Ella Sharp Park because of the team’s fifth place finish in a 20-team field that featured some of Michigan’s top runners.

Saline won the event with 89 points, while Troy was second, 15 points behind. Ann Arbor Pioneer (128 points), Livonia Churchill (134) and East Kentwood (138) rounded out the top five schools.

“I am very pleased with our performance today,” said Antel, who is in his third year as head coach. “We have everyone back from a team that finished third in the state last fall. We have beaten Traverse City Central, who won the state last year, and also Grand Haven, who placed second at state, but there are some other schools that are very good as well. We’re getting better and better every week. We need to close the gap between our third, fourth and fifth runners. It is what it is but we’re not nervous. Our girls are working very hard and they have a goal in mind. The temperature was 62 degree at Jackson but the humidity was 92 percent. We’ve run in all kinds of conditions.”

Returning all-state junior Alyssa Williams led the way for the Falcons as she ran a 18:48.3 and placed seventh overall. Senior Krista Parks was eighth with an 18:48.8 effort. Parks was all-state as a freshman and has her sights set to a return to prominence in her final season. Junior Leah Shepherd placed 19th with a 19:18.2 effort, senior Jessica Dippel placed 50th with a 20:12/0 effort. Sophomore Erica Parks, Krista’s sister, was 54th with a 20:21.0 performance, while senior Byrn Nadziejka also performed.

“The senior leadership from Krista, Jessica and Bryn has been outstanding,” Antel said. “We feel that this is our year. The girls are great leaders and we’re ready to take it to the next level.”

Categories: Track and Cross News

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