P-CEP cross country teams compete at states

At the Cross Country MHSAA Division 1 Finals on Saturday, Nov. 4, Plymouth Boys Cross Country came in a close second place to Ann Arbor Pioneer by three points, a record-breaking place for their team. Salem boys came in twentieth and Salem girls team came in eighteenth. Plymouth freshman Londyn Swenson also competed to represent the Plymouth girls’ team. The meet took place at the Michigan International Speedway where 27 teams from all over the Lower Peninsula that came to compete for the coveted title of state champions.

Leading up to the state finals, the MHSAA Region 06-1 Meet took place on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Willow Metropark in Brighton. Out of the 14 boys teams and 14 girls teams from the region, the Plymouth boys placed first as a team and Salem placed third, which allowed both teams to earn a spot at the state meet.

The Salem girls finished in second place, which also allowed them to qualify, but Plymouth girls just missed the cut off by finishing in fourth. Swenson qualified as an individual runner at states for Plymouth by finishing in the top 15. Canton boys came in eighth place and Canton girls came in ninth.

Plymouth boys have had an excellent season, and their hard work showed at the meet. Six of the top ten finishers in the boys’ 5K were from Plymouth, including senior Ethan Byrnes taking third place.

“So this season the team has really decided to step up in the sense that we came back from two building years; it really showed on Saturday when we won the region for the first time in Plymouth history,” said Byrnes. “To see the work that not just our varsity runners have put in but our JV as well, it’s been quite inspiring and we have an amazing team.”

Also having a comeback season is Plymouth girls, with three of their freshmen running varsity at the regional meet and four girls finishing with times under 20 minutes.

Head Coach Alice Ahearn said, “We’ve worked hard, we wanted to take the third team spot to go to states, but it was a tough spot.”

Salem girls are known for their overall speed as a team, and their performance at regionals was no exception. Six girls finished with times under 20 minutes, contributing to them scoring the second spot to states. Salem has had a consistently impressive record over the past few years, and outlook is good for upcoming years considering how well their freshmen have run this season.

Salem freshman Reagan Justice said, “Regionals was a great experience. Everyone was very competitive because it all leads up to the state finals, which obviously everyone wants to go to. I was very nervous because I wanted to do my best and make it to states, it was great race though.” Justice has been one of the key runners for the team this season, placing second for Salem in the race.

Salem boys got into states under unusual circumstances. Northville was disqualified because of uniform inconsistency, causing Salem to take the third spot by default. Despite how they got into states, Salem has a strong team of 63 runners who didn’t disappoint at regionals.

Canton boys didn’t deliver as much as the other Park teams, but still had a solid race. They came in eighth and one of their strongest runners, junior Daniel Jimenez, got a new personal record, but unfortunately none of their runners made it to states individually. Even though they didn’t place in the top three, Canton boys arguably have the best team spirit.

As for the Canton girls team, junior Anna Nagelhout and senior Carmen Bruchnak ran under 20 minutes, leading them into ninth place and putting Nagelhout onto the record board for Canton and earning a personal record for Bruchnak. Canton girls had a good season and gave regionals their all, but they didn’t place for states either.