DURAND — A few girls cross country runners took a wrong turn late in the first Mid-Michigan Activities Conference jamboree of the season Tuesday at Durand Middle School.
That left the team scores and team finishes in doubt for several hours as officials, coaches and runners tried to sort it all out and decide what to do about the infractions.
What was immediately clear was Byron senior Olivia Krejci was the winner in 20 minutes, 25.7 seconds. New Lothrop sophomore Clara Krupp was second in 20:43.4.
Krejci said she was a bit confused about the course — but Krupp actually gave her the proper instructions.
“Clara and I almost went the wrong way — luckily she was behind me because I asked, ‘Do I go straight?’ And she was nice enough and said, ‘Yep, keep on going straight,’” Krejci said. “The people who were standing at the first opening where you could cut, but you weren’t supposed to, they left. So, it wasn’t marked good and I feel really bad for the people who went the wrong way.”
At least three runners behind them — and possibly more — took the wrong turn instead of going straight. But the snafu was ironed out by officials and coaches, according to Byron coach Olivia Lake-Lofiego.
Some coaches complained that the course was not properly marked, making it difficult for runners to determine where to go at certain spots. It was the first of three MMAC jamborees scheduled this season.
The official standings, had Byron placing first with 39 points with New Lothrop second at 56. Montrose (67), Ovid-Elsie (89) and Chesaning (107) rounded out the field.
Byron’s Allissa Ash was third in 22:58.0, while Ovid-Elsie’s Emma Koutz was fourth in 22:59.0. Rounding out the top 10 area were Emily Williams of Byron, sixth in 23:02.9; Chesaning’s Emma Soelberg, eighth in 23:21.6; and Durand’s Logan Zerka 10th in 24:38.1.
Krejci trailed Krupp until approximately the 2-mile mark and then started to pull away.
“Clara was before me for the first two miles,” Krejci said. “And then we were just running neck and neck and then I passed her and then I knew we were close the whole way. And I just really kicked it in the last little bit.”
Krupp said Krejci ran strong in the latter portions of the race.
“She kind of caught up to me,” Krupp said. “The course was a little confusing and I was hoping for a little faster time today. But it was kind of hot today.”
Koutz said the heat, in the mid-80s, made it even tougher to run — and in the immediate aftermath she was unsure of what her final position would be.
“I felt like I was running an interval workout and I felt really tired and I wanted to stop, but I didn’t,” Koutz said. “The course wasn’t very well marked and I might be disqualified because I think I did something wrong.”
New Lothrop’s Carson Hersch was the clear-cut winner in the boys race, crossing the finish line in 16:58.3 ahead of three Montrose runners. New Lothrop’s Drew Kohlmann was fifth in 18:31.7.
Chesaning’s Jaden James was seventh (18:58.9), followed by New Lothrop’s Thomas Heslip (19:11.8), Byron’s Hubert Ash (19:16.1) and Chesaning’s Levi Maier (19:25.9).
Kade Frizzelle led Durand by running 13th in 19:30.5. Montrose placed first with 32 points, six better than second-place New Lothrop. Chesaning ran third (66), while Byron was fourth (98), Ovid-Elsie fifth (136) and Mt. Morris sixth (154). Durand did not have an official score.
Hersch finished nearly a full minute ahead of second-place Chase Hobson of Montrose.
“It was hot and there was a lot of humidity too,” Hersch said “It rained and it washed out the markings too. So I saw a lot of the girls had some confusion on where to go (during the race). We got the course from a teammate who was second in that race and a couple of the Durand teammates helped us out too.”
Hersch said he is hoping to keep improving .
“I’m hoping to get into the 15’s this year,” Hersch said. “I’m hoping to get into the top 10 (at states), anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 and hopefully closer to the No. 1 side.”
NOTES: Byron senior Hunter Luke, who led the Eagles to the MMAC title last season, was cheering the team on from the sidelines Tuesday. She was wearing a medical boot after suffering a stress fracture and has not competed yet this season, but hopes to return to the lineup.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
MMAC Jamboree No. 1
at Durand Middle School
Team standings: 1. Montrose, 32; 2. New Lothrop, 38; 3. Chesaning, 66; 4. Byron, 98; 5. Ovid-Elsie, 136; 6. Mt. Morris, 154.
1. Carson Hersch (NL) 16:58.3
5. Drew Kohlmann (NL) 18:31.7
7. Jaden James (CHE) 18:58.9
8. Thomas Heslip (NL) 19:11.8
9. Hubert Ash (BY) 19:16.1
10. Levi Maier (CHE) 19:25.9
11. Cole Yaros (NL) 19:27.3
12. Elisha Huggins (BY) 19:28.1
13. Kade Frizzelle (DU) 19:30.5
14. Ryan Heslip (NL) 19:33.1
15. Addison James (CHE) 19:59.4
16. Jason Weber (NL) 20:20.2
17. Kaden Liebrock (CHE) 20:45.1
19. Aaron Vincke (NL) 20:54.3
20. Henry Hill (NL) 21:06.3
21 Andrew Daniels (BY) 21:08
23. Nick Hormann (BY) 21:10.5
24. Luke Walser (CHE) 21:22.1
25. Zachary Craven (NL) 21:29.4
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
MMAC Jamboree No. 1
at Durand Middle School
Team standings: 1. Byron, 39; 2. New Lothrop, 56; 3. Montrose, 67; 4. Ovid-Elsie, 89; 5. Chesaning, 107.
1. Olivia Krejci (BY) 20:25.7
2. Clara Krupp (NL) 20:43.4
3. Allissa Ash (BY) 22:58.0
4. Emme Koutz (OE) 22:59.0
6. Emily Williams (BY) 23:02.9
8. Emma Soelberg (CHE) 23:21.6
9. Logan Zerka (DUR) 24:38.1
10. Lindsey Wendling (NL) 24:42.7
11. Alexis Spitzley (OE) 24:42.7
12. Sidney Green (NL) 24:43.8
13. Kaitlyn Hankins (BY) 24:48.8
14. M. McPherson (DU) 24:49.1
15. Olivia Grover (CHE) 24:49.4
18. Lauren Lane (NL) 25:02.8
19. Jenna Belmas (BY) 25:24.7
20. Julia Martin (NL) 25:28.0
21. Chalea Herron (NL) 25:57.5
22. Alana Beckman (NL) 26:01.3
23. Ella Powell (OE) 26:22.7
24. Julia Lane (BY) 26:29.3
25. Becky Marvin (BY) 26:30.7