Harper Creek, Plainwell successfully defend titles

Published 1:22 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

NILES — Defending champions Battle Creek and Plainwell successfully defended their Viking Stampede championship at Madeline Bertrand Park Friday morning.

Harper Creek won the boys title with 35 points, edging runner-up Plainwell, which finished with 41 points. Edwardsburg was third with 65 points and Niles fourth with 100.

Plainwell defended its championship by finishing with 26 points to easily outdistance runner-up Battle Creek Harper Creek, which finished with 48 points. Edwardsburg was third with 79 and Niles fourth with 82 points.

The Vikings’ Aiden Krueger finished second in the boy’s race with a time of 17:23.60.

“Super please with my guys today,” said Niles Coach Tony Todd. “I only had two returning runners from last year, so only two had times from last year to compare too. My top runner and state qualifier, Aiden Krueger, he ran three minutes faster than last year. Incredible improvement and then my number six runner from last year, Tyler Reeves improved six minutes from last year. Everybody else were either freshman or first-time runners, and we had great performances out of them.

“Finishing as our number two man was freshman Jacob Erickson, and finishing as our number three runner was freshman Owen Riggenbach. Rounding out the team, Nathan Ritter and Colton Riggenbach, respectively are our fifth and six-man. Very excited for the future. Very young team, no seniors.”

Dominic Lowrie, of Harper Creek, was the individual champion as he posted a time of 17:22.80.

The top Eddies’ finisher was Dane Bailey, who placed fifth with a time of 18:33.0.

Grace Pettit, of Plainwell, was the girl’s overall winner with a time of 21:18.70.

Edwardsburg’s Claire Ritchey finished fifth in the girl’s race with a time of 22:49.70. Niles’ top finisher was Mary Saylor, who placed ninth with a time of 23:43.50.

“I was very happy with the times that all the girls ran today,” said Niles Coach Jami Roden. “Mary Saylor, Tori Yates and Taya Fultz are first-time senior runners, and I am very happy with their performance and they are a nice addition to the team. We will continue to work hard in practice and I hope that we continue to improve as a team.”

Niles and Edwardsburg will next compete in the Big Hill Invitational hosted by Three Rivers Tuesday. The first race is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

Complete results will be posted online in Daily Data late Friday night at leaderpub.com