Niles sweeps Dowagiac in Wolverine Conference cross country

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac cross country team hosted its first meet of the season as Niles came to town for a Wolverine Conference meet Tuesday.

The Vikings swept the Chieftains, who did not have a girls team due to injury and a lack of numbers.

Niles won the boy’s portion of the meet 23-32 as it was led by overall winner Aiden Krueger, who ran a time of 18:18. Ashton Burrous was second with a time of 20:24, while Logan Ritchie also cracked the top five with a fourth-place finish and a time of 22:22.

Dowagiac was led by Killian Sullivan, who finished third overall with a time of 21:43. Jonathan Phillips was fifth with a time of 23:07 and Owen Saylor sixth with a time of 23:28.

Kierstyn Thompson, of Niles, was the winner in the girl’s race with a time of 21:50.

Nine out of the 10 Viking runners cracked 30 minutes on the Chieftains’ home course.

“For the girls, Erin Beck and Faith Green have been working hard, but both are recovering from injuries,” said Dowagiac interim Coach Dan VandenHeede. “First time this year, most of the boys have been able to compete, so this is really a baseline for them. They all ran as fast or faster than the goals we talked about yesterday. A good start for them.”

VandenHeede is replacing Dowagiac Coach Maria Kulka, who resigned over Labor Day weekend.