The Lady Rams XC Team had a down up week over the past five days. On Tuesday they suffered a third place finish out of six teams at the OK Red Conference Jamboree when they lost to 10th ranked Hudsonville and 7th ranked Grandville. Then on Saturday they turned in a Runner-Up effort at the Portage Invitational defeating all conference foes and 6th ranked Brighton while only losing to 3rd ranked Saline.
“This week’s jamboree was not pleasant to experience. Only five points separated us from Hudsonville and Grandville but we were on the losing side,” stated Coach Watson. Morgan Benoit led the Rams on Tuesday night with an 8th place finish followed closely by Morgan Harney in 8th, Lauren Brasure in 9th and Maegan Roach in 11th. Kerianne Schoff finished the scoring for the Rams in 17th with Natalie Napolillo and Maja Hill rounding out the top seven in 21st and 22nd respectively. “Coming in third has put us in a position that we have to come from behind to tie or win the over-all conference championship at the Conference Meet,” said Coach Watson. “It doesn’t actually change any of our plans, we have always had the goal of winning that meet but now we have to.” The Conference Championship will be October 18th at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids.
The Portage Invite on Saturday saw the Rams pull together for an impressive 2nd place finish in a field of 33 teams. “We ran much better today than on Tuesday. We put in a couple of lifetime best with a few near misses and were able to prove to ourselves that we can beat the other teams in our conference,” said Coach Watson. Juniors Lauren Brasure and Morgan Harney led the charge with a 12th and 16th place finish in times of 18:44 and 18:51. Freshman Morgan Benoit finished in 22nd while posting a new lifetime best of 18:58. Sophomore Kerianne Shcoff also turned in a lifetime best of 19:01 which was good for 26th place. Sophomore Maegan Roach claimed a 65th place finish for the Rams to conclude their second place effort in a time of 19:50 after falling down in a seven athlete spill at about the half mile marker. Senior Colleen Conroy turned in a lifetime best of 19:57 with Sophomore Natalie Napolillo running a 20:18. “We were much better through our 4th spot than we have been all year and that was the key. We need those four to keep improving and need a fifth to get in the mix with them,” said Coach Watson.
In the Reserves Division Sophomore Maja Hill was the top placing Ram in 5th place while posting a new lifetime best of 19:54. “Hopefully we can take this recent momentum and build on down the home stretch. We have four weeks until the state finals and the goal is to our very best between now and then,” stated Coach Watson.