CENTREVILLE — Fresh off their third place finish at last Wednesday’s Springport Invitational, the Coldwater boy’s cross-country team scored an even bigger triumph at Saturday’s Centreville Invitational.
The Cardinal distance runners took first place honors in Centreville’s Junior-Senior Division, scoring a victory with just 28 points. In a race scored with only four of a team’s runners, Coldwater got commanding performances from John Aerts and Myron Lafty who finished one-two, taking both the gold and silver medal in a dominant effort. The Coldwater duo was followed by solid support from their teammates as Haroon Omar in finished in tenth place and Ethan Woodcox finished in twenty-fourth place.
“No one could tell we were coming off a big effort at Springport,” said Cardinal head coach Jim Bilsborrow. “I think we ran even better today than last Wednesday.”
Certainly the finishing times showed an even better effort on Saturday, led by senior John Aerts who notched his first invitational win of the season with a finishing time of 17 minutes, 13.7 seconds. It was the best recorded time at Centreville among all of Saturday’s competitors, and it bettered all of Aerts’ times from 2020 except for just two of his late season 2020 races.
Senior Myron Lafty also had a solid run in his runner-up effort, finishing with a time of 17 minutes, 34.6 which was also a huge improvement this season, with only four of Lafty’s 2020 times that were faster.
“The big storm that tore through our county in August did a lot of damage to Centreville’s course in the woods,” pointed out coach Bilsborrow. “So they had to reconfigure their course. They claim it is a faster course now.”
It sure helped the Cardinals’ Haroon Omar who ran a season-best time of 18 minutes, 53.1 seconds, crossing the line in a photo finish for tenth place. Ethan Woodcox was the fourth Cardinal to medal, crossing the line in twenty-fourth place while posting his season-best time of 20 minutes, 21.6 seconds.
Three Rivers posed the most competition for Coldwater on Saturday as the Wildcat runners earned the runner-up trophy with 35 points while placing their first four runners among the top 16 finishers.
The younger Wildcats won the team trophy in the Freshman / Sophomore Division by taking five of the first nine places and scoring a mere 18 points. But they could not stay with Coloma’s Boden Genovese who ran away with first place in a time of 17 minutes, 29.7 seconds.
In this race Coldwater could not field a full team, yet sophomores James DeWitt and Ethan Parker were among the 30 medal winners while also running season-best times. DeWitt finished in fifteenth place when the clock read 20 minutes, 00.7 seconds while Parker was close behind in seventeenth place, posting a time of 20 minutes, 11.7 seconds.
Nor did Coldwater field a full girl’s team in either Division. However, Coldwater’s young Lainey Yearling earned eighth place honors in the Freshman / Sophomore race with her 22 minute, 51.2 second effort.
Lawton’s Kendra Koster ran off with first place, finishing with an impressive time of 19 minutes, 42.1 seconds, while the Buchanan girls were the trophy winners with their 26 points.
In the girl’s Jr./ Sr. race, senior Sarah Forrister opened her CHS season with a thirty-first place finish, clocking a time of 26 minutes, 44.3 seconds. Forrister was just one place shy of earning the last medal to be awarded. Coloma’s Ava Genovese, the 20 minutes, 56.3 second gold medal winner, did one better than her younger brother earlier in the day. Genovese led her Coloma team to a 29 point win among the upper class girls.
Cardinal distance runners must bounce back quickly from their efforts this past week. This week they will compete in the first Interstate 8 Jamboree of the season at Parma Western on Tuesday, and follow that league competition with the Spartan Invitational, a mammoth assemblage of teams competing on Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University on Saturday.