The Lady Rams of Rockford claimed the regional championship in cross country this past weekend for the second year in a row. Currently ranked number two in the state, the Lady Rams took home the victory over number-three-ranked Traverse City Central (TCC) and number-one-ranked Grand Haven in addition to the other 12 teams in the field.
The Rams posted a score of 44 to outdistance the TCC Trojans, who scored 55, and the Grand Haven Buccaneers, who scored 63.
“We ran really well today,” stated Rockford’s Coach Ben Watson. “We have lost to Grand Haven four times this year, but the girls remained confident in their training and their talents and it paid off today. This victory is really gratifying.”
The Lady Rams were powered by a third-fourth-fifth finish from Taylor Manett, Catie Rietsema and Jane Hawks, who posted times of 19:00, 19:09 and 19:21 respectively. Sawyer Rocheleau claimed All Regional honors along with the top three by claiming 14th place in a time of 20:01. Jordan Vickery rounded out the scoring in placing 18th with a 20:16, as Anna Bos (20th) and Allison Hazy (24th) finished the team effort in 20:20 and 20:32 respectively.
“It was certainly a team victory. We lost by two points a week ago to Grand Haven and talked about how if any girl could have just passed one more opponent we could get ahead of them. Each of our seven took it upon themselves to get the job done, and it showed today by them earning the victory,” stated Watson.
The Rams placed well in the open race, where Morgan Harney claimed top honors in racing a 20:20 while Sam Anderson claimed sixth in 21:11.
The Rams will compete for the state championship Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Michigan International Speedway with the race time being 3:00 p.m. Rockford has placed no worse than sixth over the past 12 years with five state championships and two state runner-up finishes, including last season’s.