Dowagiac harriers split; Edwardsburg girls take two of three

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Edwardsburg and Dowagiac runners take off at the Wolverine Conference Quad hosted by the Chieftains Tuesday. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Edwardsburg and Dowagiac runners take off at the Wolverine Conference Quad hosted by the Chieftains Tuesday. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

The Edwardsburg girls cross country team showed it has depth Tuesday in its Wolverine Conference quad meet against Dowagiac, Allegan and Plainwell.

Shorthanded because of season-ending injuries, the Eddies still managed to beat Allegan (15-47) and Dowagiac (15-50) and just fell short against Plainwell (27-29). In the other dual meets, Allegan beat Dowagiac, 23-33, Plainwell beat Dowagiac, 15-50, and Plainwell beat Allegan, 15-46.

“The girls did a phenomenal job today,” said Edwardsburg cross country coach Beth Gunn. “I was really pleased. We’re missing our No. 1, 3 and 4 runners out of the top five so the girls that ran today really stepped up.and had some of their best performances of the season.”

Edwardsburg’s top girl was sophomore Abby Smith, who placed third with a time of 21:44.

“I think I did awesome,” said Smith. “That’s probably one of my best times this season. The weather helped me and I love this course. It’s hilly in a couple spots, but the woods are the best part.”

Also running well at Dowagiac Middle School for the Eddies were fourth place finisher Gianna Haller (22:00), sixth place finisher Amelia Montgomery (22:20), seventh place finisher Brittany Udell (22:29), ninth place finisher Allison Lewis (22:39) and 11th place finisher Isabelle Peak (23:40).

“Abby Smith has taken over as my No. 1 runner and Amelia Montgomery did a fantastic job,” Gunn said. “(Montgomery) showed great improvement. We talked a little bit after school (Monday) and she came out today as a completely different person.”

The top Dowagiac girl was junior Charlotte Sievers, who placed 21st with a time of 25:12.

In the boys competition, Plainwell beat Edwardsburg, 23-32, Edwardsburg beat Dowagiac, 18-41, Plainwell beat Dowagiac, 15-50, Allegan beat Dowagiac, 17-42, Plainwell beat Allegan, 25-34, and Edwardsburg and Allegan tied with 28 points with the Eddies winning the tie-breaker. Edwardsburg’s sixth place runner D.J. Bosse finished 20th (20:28) and placed better than Allegan’s sixth place runner.

Leading the Edwardsburg boys was sophomore Mike Higley, who placed first with a time of 17:25.

“I think I did pretty good,” said Higley. “I would have liked to have shaved a little more time off, but with only one guy ahead of me (until the last 800 meters) for the longest time it’s kind of hard to keep going fast.”

Other Eddie standouts in the boys race were ninth place finisher Kevin Knox (19:26), 12th place finisher Zach Williams (19:45) and 13th place finisher Andrew Markel (19:48).

“(Higley)  missed a couple weeks early in the season because he sprained his ankle at practice,” Gunn said. “He’s back now and he’s running really strong and we’re really pleased for him with the way he’s performing and how he’s leading the team.

“Kevin Knox is doing a tremendous job. He’s improved so much since last year. I’m so proud of him and so happy

with what he’s done. He’s done a fantastic job. It’s exciting to see someone show that much growth.”

Dowagiac’s DeYonte Sullivan finished 15th with a time of 20:03.